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Three Truths about Networking – the Next Chapter

It’s great to see, hear and read various points of view on the evolution of networking.  It’s a hot topic right now, highlighting the fact that the network is at the center of the market transitions driven by Mobile, Cloud, new breeds of Apps and the Internet of Things.  Technical leaders from my team have become road warriors recently, talking to customers, media and investors about the evolution in networking, sometimes referred to as Software Defined Networking (SDN)

There’s a healthy debate in the market about SDN, and with any debate comes confusion. SDN’s initial definition (the logical separation of routing and switching control plane and data plane) has been stretched so far that it has come to mean something different to everyone.

There are plenty of use cases driving the attention that SDN is receiving today.  For instance, Service Providers are looking at trends like Network Functions Virtualization for network elasticity as an opportunity to create greater business value by launching new services quickly.  Traditional enterprises think about SDN as a way to rein in the operational and management complexity of data centers to scale infrastructure.  Academic institutions want open source controllers, so they can economically slice campus networks for both production and research purposes.  At least one thing is crystal clear: one size does not fit all when it comes to deploying SDN.

In some circles SDN has become synonymous with the erosion of value in the underlying networking infrastructure – the hardware and the ASICs. There is an argument purporting that when network intelligence is abstracted into software, hardware and silicon innovation will become less important and even commoditized.

I’m going to take this opportunity to address these misperceptions about the changes taking place in networking with three truths about the next chapter in networking as Cisco sees it.

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Cisco Customer Collaboration: Moving Full Steam Ahead

As we continue our march to #1 worldwide market share in contact center, guidance and input from the analyst community, partner ecosystem and valued customers is critical. The last few months marked three important Customer Collaboration events for Cisco, which helped validate our messaging and execution plan, as well as educate these key audiences on our solution portfolio.

The Cisco Customer Collaboration Partner Sales Summit was Read More »

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IDC’s Nav Chander Analyzes the Economics of the IPv6 Transition

Everyone is talking about the transition to IPv6 in the run up to the June 6th launch of the IPv6 Internet. Most of the discussion has focused on the technical details of various approaches – 6rd vs. DS-Lite vs. CGNAT for example. However, what we haven’t seen is an effort made to look at the economic impact of the choice between IPv4 extension vs. IPv6 transition and back it up with some real world data. A few months back we asked telecommunications analyst Nav Chander of IDC (pictured right) to evaluate and publish the results of an economic analysis of the IPv6 options. This is a crucial and timely topic because operators are faced with important decisions about which transition technologies to use, when to implement them, and where in the network.

We’re pleased to report that Nav is finished and is ready to reveal the results of his findings. To keep the scope of his analysis within a reasonable boundary, he initially focused on just one scenario: that of a wireline carrier considering the deployment of a Carrier Grade NAT-only implementation (which basically just extends the life of IPv4 with no IPv6), or migrating to IPv6 with a combination of CGNAT (for short term IPv4 extension) and while new customers were deployed with 6rd.

The results of this study are detailed in a new Read More »

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Best Practices for Application Delivery in Virtualized Networks – Part II

As we start off this New Year, how about including a resolution to improve application delivery? In Best Practices for Application Delivery in Virtualized Networks – Part I , we covered key application delivery challenges that have come up due to the complexities of managing the many types of applications that enterprises use today, and further complicated by data center consolidation and virtualization. We then covered some best practices, courtesy of Dr. Jim Metzler’s 2011 Application Service Delivery Handbook, which recommended taking a lifecycle approach to planning and managing application performance.

A key step to the lifecycle approach is to implement network and application optimization tools, such as WAN Optimization solutions and Application Delivery Controllers, including server load balancers. Of course, these solutions are not new to the market and already address many of the needs that exist with delivering enterprise applications in virtualized data centers -- namely, the need to ensure network reliability, availability and security for users accessing these applications. In this post, we will discuss a recent study by IDC, where IT decision makers across Europe and the US spoke out about their strategies for using server load balancers to deal with emerging challenges.

.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              What important attributes do you look for in your server load balancers?

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Cisco UCS: Data Center Problem Solver

It’s been said that marketing is telling the truth attractively.  My spin on that definition is that “telling the truth is the most effective form of marketing.”  That’s exactly how I approach life here in the Marketing organization at Cisco. Read More »

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