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Mad Scientist Alert

Looking back, the market was probably caught off guard a bit by an acquisition of an automation software company by the worldwide leader in networking. Looking around, the market may still be wondering:  why was the acquisition made?    Did all that cash the financial analysts keep talking about finally burn a hole in Cisco’s proverbial head as well as pockets?

Infrastructure Alchemy

Neither conjecture is true, of course. As usual, Cisco mined the market for the next catalyst (pun fully intended) to transform its infrastructure, starting with the data center. The result was a formula for data center transformation that solves some of the most pressing problems in data center management both today and well into the future. Here’s the formula: take one compute platform highly tuned for on-demand cloud environments, add third-party application deliver, then perform a little fusion with support solutions that support the Day 2 operations requirements for automating manual tasks. The result is an automation of the many repetitive tasks that are now being done manually, allowing data center administrators to invest the majority of their resources in aligning IT operations with business goals and creating new ways to generate revenue rather than in just maintaining the infrastructure. Read More »

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Understanding the Truth Behind Batch Processing in the Modern World

There is a myth that all data processing occurs in real time.  But the reality is that batch and event based processing are still very much alive and the majority of data processing is still done through batch processing.  Our average customer uses Cisco Tidal Enterprise Scheduler to execute ~50K jobs on a daily basis, but we also have large financial services companies automating the execution of over 100K jobs daily, not bad right?

So, with over 50 percent of all business processes leveraging batch operations, it is essential to keep your batch production running smoothly in order to keep your business running smoothly.  You cannot afford to have failed jobs.  Failure is not acceptable as it directly impacts the business and can impact revenue – such as the inability to process orders or to generate invoices.  What are we getting at here?

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Meeting Old Challenges in the New Normal

So it’s more or less official: the recession ended in June 2009. Anyone watching IT departments this year could have told you that. When the economy ramps up, there’s a shift in focus from cost savings and maintenance (back when I was an IT manager, we called it “bunker mode”) to innovation that moves the business forward. And in 2010 we’ve certainly observed that. IT departments are concentrating not only on streamlining operations and lowering costs—an absolute mandate of the recession—but also on innovation that leads to better business operations, greater productivity, and increased revenues—a clarion call of recovery.  Now, this innovation can be in business practice or improved technology—and most likely both—but it almost always begins with IT. Streamlining IT functions, managing assets carefully, and ensuring uninterrupted operations can lower costs, increase reliability, and free resources for research, development, and innovation.

 So it’s back to business as usual running IT departments and data centers in an expanding recovery, right? Wrong.

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