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Improving Military Operations with Smart and Connected Bases

As more people, process, devices and data become linked together through the Internet of Everything (IoE), the benefits from those connections become more widespread. While IoE is often discussed in terms of the future, it is already helping employees more effectively perform their jobs, turning cities into energy- and cost-saving urban centers and redefining how state and federal government agencies serve their constituents.

Both personally and professionally, connecting the unconnected is changing daily life. This is no different in the defense and intelligence community, where IoE technologies are improving military operations at home and around the world. In fact, one of the best examples of IoE’s influence can be seen through the creation of smart and connected bases.

Bases are the hub of everyday life for millions of military servicemen and women around the world. They function like small cities, with everything from residences, hospitals, office buildings, police stations and more. Bases are vital to the everyday operations of our military and require significant investment to maintain their infrastructure and functionality. IoE connected technologies are helping daily processes and life on a base run more efficiently. Smart and connected bases save money, reduce wasted time and free up personnel to perform more mission-critical tasks.

For example, RFID sensor systems can support security at base entrances. These sensors can read an RFID tag on approaching cars to identify active duty service members. The guard on duty will receive an automatic signal notifying him or her that those vehicles are approved for automated entry, allowing service members to be admitted onto the base at an automatic gate kiosk. This reduces required manpower at the gate, decreases wait times during rush hour and allows security forces to focus on unidentified and unregistered vehicles that may pose a threat or require entry assistance.

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On-Demand Video Can Transform the Way our Police Departments Train

While we most often think of the Internet of Everything (IoE) as transforming public safety forces out in the field, change can actually begin before an officer is even leaves the station. Classroom training for officers is crucial, enabling them to stay safe and perform at the highest level out in the field. Current events highlight just how important good training is, ensuring officers know how to act in all situations and act as good example of public safety in their communities. The problem is that police officers work on shift schedules, which makes it extremely difficult to get everyone in the same room at the same time for training.

How do police departments guarantee their officers are trained at the highest level despite this scheduling issue? Video training. Police departments and training officers can use video to produce high-quality educational training tools that can be viewed online at an officer’s convenience. On-demand video recording tools like Cisco’s WebEx are straightforward and easy to use, and allow educational materials to be accessed anywhere via the cloud. These on-demand video presentations help make sure everyone is receiving the same level of training, improving the way public safety agencies operate before anyone even steps foot in the field.

Here are four more benefits that stem from on-demand videos for classroom training:

1. Reduce the need for trainers to be physically present at all classroom trainings

It’s still extremely important for police departments to conduct live training exercises. But by replacing classroom sessions with video training, training officers’ time is freed up to focus more on live training exercises. This makes certain officers are still receiving the training they need while helping departments operate more efficiently.

2. Eliminate the burden of shift scheduling to accommodate training

Juggling day and night shifts with training schedules is a hassle. Agency leaders have to analyze staffing, pull people off regular shifts, fill those spots with other agents and often have to pay overtime to do so. It also involves paying trainers to be onsite for multiple days. Video training allows officers to stay on their regularly-scheduled shifts, preventing the confusion and difficulty of shifting schedules and allowing officers to access training videos at a time that is convenient for them.

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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

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Guest blog: DBaaS, Coming to an Intercloud Near You

Today’s guest blog comes to us courtesy of Tesora CEO, Ken Rugg.


The Cisco Intercloud is a pretty amazing demonstration of the power of OpenStack. It will have incredible worldwide reach with 350 data centers across 50 countries. Unlike Microsoft, Amazon, and Google, however, Cisco isn’t building all the data centers itself. Instead it is relying on its telecommunications service provider partners to provide most of that capacity with companies like Telefonica in Spain, Deutsche Telecom in Germany and Telstra in Australia.

Of course, as powerful as this kind of open cloud may be, it’s only going to be as successful as the applications and services that are built on top of it. This is another area where Cisco is pushing to become a leader, starting with a stable of 35 independent software vendors in areas such as big data, Internet of Things, and software development environments.

One important core Intercloud service will be Database as a Service (DBaaS). In this area, they will be deploying the core OpenStack Trove service to provide database capacity on-demand for many popular databases such as PostgreSQL, MySQL, and Cassandra.

If you’d like to learn more about how this service is being implemented and delivered, you should mark your calendar for OpenStack Trove Day, being held on August 25th in San Jose, CA. Dave Lively, Director Product Management for Cisco Cloud will present how Cisco is working with Tesora to deliver DBaaS to Intercloud customers as a native service.

The event is free and you can register here.

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