In this week’s episode of Engineers Unplugged, Uri Elzur (Intel) and Mike Dvorkin (@dvorkinista) discuss automation in the data center, from application intent to compliance and governance. What is shared infrastructure? Listen in!
Data Center Automation Knowledge Drop with Uri Elzur and Mike Dvorkin.
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This is Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:
Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
Wednesday was another beautiful day in the neighborhood, the Moscone neighborhood. I started my day with a 6:30 a.m. conference call with some nice people in Amsterdam to talk about one of the topics John Chambers put front-and-center in his keynoteaddress: business outcomes.
Hosted by Cisco’s Mala Anand, the Wednesday morning keynote focused on Internet of Everything and included Intel’s Doug Davis, NetApps’ George Kurian, and EMC’s Bill Schmarzo. For me, Schmarzo’s points on business models and big data were particularly interesting. His premise was essentially that at the core, the Internet of Everything and big data are about business transformation. A great quote: “Organizations don’t need a big data strategy, they need a strategy that incorporates big data.” Yes, yes, and yes.
Paras and Associates: Using Video to Remove Language Barriers Melinda Paras was one of the customer speakers at the collaboration press announcements earlier this week. Paras is CEO of Paras and Associates (PAA), which designed and now manages the first operational video/voice over IP call center--the Health Care Interpreter Network (HCIN)--a cooperative of California public hospitals sharing interpreter services. PAA offers technology systems that enable immediate access to language interpreting via video and telephone.
“Clinicians trust that they can reach language interpreters instantly—whether they are across the street, or across the country,” says Paras. “High quality video enables a degree of nuance and rapport that you simply can’t achieve with just a telephone.” Read More »
The Internet of Things (IoT) has already started to transform the world—and it is the next big wave of growth in our industry. At the edge of the network, devices are becoming more intelligent, and gateways are enabling the efficient, secure transmission of data by connecting legacy and new infrastructure to each other and to the cloud. As these “systems of systems” proliferate, the volume of data available for analysis multiplies exponentially. The software-defined datacenter is becoming increasingly important as it provides economies of scale for big data storage and analytics—and the importance of keeping that data secure from device to datacenter is paramount. A holistic approach that integrates hardware, software, and services is crucial for developing IoT in the coming decade.
Collaborators in Innovation
At the center of this transformation is a new ecosystem where industry leaders join forces to enable real-world use cases and deliver greater value to customers. Together, Cisco and Intel are committed to delivering innovation across the IoT spectrum—from devices at the edge to datacenters on the backend, and everything in between. This shared end-to-end vision for IoT closely aligns scalable Intel architecture with Cisco’s portfolio of multi-service edge products, powering the Internet of Things across a wide variety of industries. Read More »
This is an exciting time in the history of datacenter infrastructure. We are witnessing the collision of two major trends: the maturation of open source software and the redefinition of infrastructure policy.
The trend towards open source is self-evident. Platforms such as OpenStack and OpenDaylight are gaining huge developer mindshare as well as support and investment from major vendors. Even some newer technologies like Docker, which employs linux kernel containers, and Ceph, a software-based storage solution, offer promising paths in open source. Given the fundamental requirements of interoperability in architecturally diverse infrastructure environments, its no surprise that open source is gaining momentum.
The second trend around policy is a bit earlier in its evolution but equally disruptive. Today, there is a huge disconnect between how application developers think about their requirements and the languages and tools through which they are communicated to the infrastructure itself. For example, just to handle networking, a simple three tier app must be deconstructed into an array of VLANs, ACLs, and routes spread across a number of devices. Storage and compute present similar challenges as well. To simplify this interaction and create more scalable systems, we need to actually rethink how resources are requested and distributed between different components. This really boils down to shifting the abstraction model away from configuring individual devices to focus on separately capturing user intent, operational, infrastructure, and compliance requirements.
At Cisco, we’ve really embraced both of these trends. We are active contributors to over 100 open source projects and were founding members of OpenStack Neutron and OpenDaylight. We’ve also made open source a successful business practice by incorporating and integrating popular projects with our products. In parallel, Cisco has accumulated a lot of experience in describing policy through the work we’ve done with Cisco Unified Computing (UCS) and most recently with Cisco Application-Centric Infrastructure (ACI).
Building on this foundation, we see a unique opportunity to collaborate with the open source community to deliver a vision for policy-driven infrastructure. This will enhance the usability, scale, and interoperability of open source software and benefit the entire infrastructure ecosystem.
This vision includes two initiatives in the open source community:
Group-Based Policy: An information model designed to express applications’ resource requirements from the network through a hardware-independent, declarative language and leave a simple control and dataplane in place. This approach replaces traditional networking constructs like VLANs with new primitives such as “groups”, which model tiers or components of an application, and “contracts” describing relationships between them. Group-Based Policy will be available in the context of OpenStack Neutron as well as OpenDaylight through a plug in model that can support any software or hardware infrastructure.
OpFlex: A distributed framework of intelligent agents within each networking device designed to resolve policies. These agents would translate an abstract, hardware-independent policy taken from a logically central repository into device-specific features and capabilities.
Let’s look a bit more closely at each of these initiatives.
“Industry leaders weigh in on the disruptive nature of the cloud, and the opportunity for IT organizations to become higher-value service brokers.
IT departments have lost traditional control over company systems. With cloud storming in, IT has been pushed aside to allow the entire corporation to overshadow what used to be solely IT’s job. But they’re fighting back by embracing new responsibilities—specifically, by becoming the decision-makers for when to buy, where to build, and what the depth of the cloud should be….”
To read more on this topic* , visit Unleashing IT. We’ve just released the newest edition. Unleashing IT provides resources, news updates, and customer reports of Cisco technology put to use.
Much like Cisco and Intel collaborate to bring you the most up-to-date technology solutions, IT and business must function together to deliver the best results for both your bottom line and your customers’ satisfaction.That’s where Unleashing ITcomes into play. Unleashing IT is your easy-access source for data center solutions and best practices.