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The Evolution of Networking Software

As a long time networking veteran, I’ve watched our industry change and respond to a wide variety of disruptive changes. I remember PictureTel ISDN videoconferenchqdefaultes on the IBM PC. Then came  IP video conferencing in the early ’90s.  Things picked up 1991, when Microsoft launched Windows Media Player 1.0.

Though Windows Media Player and Microsoft Multimedia Extensions arrived without much fanfare, they ushered in the ability to record and playback audio, and display high-performance graphics on the desktop PC — a feature, prior to that time, reserved for high-end graphics workstations such as the Commodore AMIGA.

But these capabilities were the foundation that led to video streaming in 1995. And, as we know, the future of the Internet, and the network, would never be the same.  (Obligatory Rick-roll omitted)

Today, I watch younger generations (such as my own children) take for granted the networks that are all around them. Social media as we know it was (and is) clearly fueled by our endless appetite to create and share content with the whole world.  Unlike the Internet of the 1990’s, today, you can do it all from the palm of your hand. Read More »

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Developing a new angle on an established relationship

Over the past few years, Cisco and Intel’s collaboration has extended into the realm of Internet of Things, allowing the strength of each organization to bring the industry as a whole, forward. In the Internet of Things, devices need applications, analytics, network connectivity, security, storage, and computing power.  The partnership of Cisco and Intel offers comprehensive solutions working alongside several ecosystem partners.

Recently, during Cisco Live in San Diego, CA, we jointly showcased innovative IoT solutions and highlighted our collaboration on NFV:

  • A smart city demonstration, featuring Legos and Fog Computing, was on display in the Intel booth showing how easy it is for cities to implement IoT solutionsLego Smart City
  • Carlos Morales presented a captivating “Pre-Zen-tation” on Fog Computing, elaborating on how companies can extend the cloud to the edge
  • A highlight during the show was partaking in a #CiscoChat with Brad Haczynski, Intel’s Global Account Director, Sales and Marketing Group, encompassed around making IoT and IoE tangible with the power of collaboration. brad and jaishree

Read More »

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Fog Can Help Shape the Future of IoT

Whenever I hear about a serious train accident, mugging or shootout on the streets of a city, my thoughts often turn to Fog Computing.  The same is true when I too am stuck idling in a traffic jam or at home and there’s a power outage during a winter storm or a summer heat wave.


Why do I think about Fog Computing?  Well, my job at Cisco is to not only identify the latest disruptive Internet of Things (IoT) technologies, but also to validate where they might be applied to improve overall quality of life..  Whether it’s drones, artificial intelligence or robotics, my passion is to accelerate the art of the possible.


Lego Smart City shows what is possible

Consider Fog Computing.  Fog extends cloud computing to the edge of the network.  This provides a virtualized platform for compute, storage and network services between devices and data storage centers in the cloud.  Because of its low latency, location awareness, real-time interactions and wide geo distribution, Fog Computing can sense and respond to situations in the real physical world almost instantly.

The speed and power of Fog to connect people, data, processes and things opens up a new world of practical solutions.  For example, Fog Computing, when combined with sensors and wireless networks, can immediately alert the train operator as soon as there is trouble on the tracks, such as a slow-walking pedestrian or a stalled vehicle.   With Fog, energy loads can be automatically re-balanced or re-routed to alternative sources during spikes in demand or low availability.

In a Smart+Connected Community, acoustic sensors deployed around streets that are connected to Fog Computing infrastructure can identify gunshots, perpetrators, victims, accidents, or even cries for help with high accuracy while also alerting appropriate authorities.

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Fog Computing: Bringing Cloud Capabilities Down to Earth

When we think of “cloud” we think of a vast collection of compute, network, and storage capabilities that resides somewhere high above us—a massive repository of functionality that can be accessed from anywhere and any device with enough bandwidth to handle the data flow.

With practically unlimited power and scalability, cloud technology has been a key enabler of the Internet. But the Internet of Things (IoT) demands something more. IoT is a broad collection of sensors, cameras, smartphones, computers, and machines—all connected to and communicating with applications, websites, social media, and other devices. To maximize value, much of the data generated by these “things” must be processed and analyzed in real time. For example, sensors and cameras in and around a large retail store may continuously collect data about customer volume and traffic flow. The store can derive some value from all this data by sending it back to the cloud to analyze long-term trends. But the value is multiplied if the system can process the data locally, in real time, and then act on it immediately by sending more cashiers to the check-out line just before a surge in customer traffic.

This sort of real-time, high-bandwidth application requires a new distributed cloud model that brings cloud networking, compute, and storage capabilities down to earth—to the very edge of the network. My friend Flavio Bonomi has worked tirelessly with both academia and other industry partners to advance the concept of fog, inspired by the way the San Francisco fog extends the cloud to the ground. Fog computing creates a platform—what we call a fog node—that provides a layer of compute, storage, and networking services between end devices “on the ground” and cloud computing data centers. Fog is not a separate architecture; it merely extends the existing cloud architecture to the edge of the network—as close to the source of the data as possible—to enable real-time data processing and analytics. Read More »

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The Best Service Humanly Possible

Sitting in traffic the other day, I tuned off my Peter Frampton Spotify channel and started to listen to New York area local AM radio. The president of a mortgage business came on in an advertisement. He ended his pitch with the tag line “I promise you the best service humanly possible”.

This caught my attention. At one time I would have viewed this as a very positive statement. But is this still the case?

Consumers consistently cite the “indifference of one person” as a key reason they leave a supplier relationship. (Source: TARP).

The contact center industry has long counted on non-human software applications to attempt to emulate human interaction. This could be as simple as “if-then” routing schemes to sophisticated avatars which emulate human engagement (just “Ask Jenn” at Alaska Airlines – Read More »

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