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3 Secrets to Going Digital from Flex’s CIO

What are the secrets to a successful digital transformation? We’re exploring that in our Going Digital podcast hosted by Peter High, President of Metis Strategy, Author and Keynote Speaker. Peter recently interviewed Gus Shahin, the Chief Information Officer and Senior Vice President of IT at Flex (formerly known as Flextronics) to understand their success. Note – this transcript has been edited due to space limitations.

Flex manages supply chains and manufactures products for companies – from large OEMs like Cisco to startups. They procure, manufacture, distribute, and repair products for their customers with about 100 factories in 40 countries.

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Machine Intelligence In The Workplace: The Next Big Thing

It isn’t every day that I publicly disagree with a man who won the Turing Award and was on a first-name basis with Albert Einstein.

But today I respectfully will.

On January 24, an incredible man named Marvin Minsky died. He was one of the fathers of computer science in general and artificial intelligence in particular. I never met Mr. Minsky, but I share his passion for AI. The concept of superintelligence fascinates me. Yes, we’ve got a lot to figure out. There are so many HAL-like dangers we need to dodge. The work is really fascinating and if you want to read some really interesting work by Minsky take a look at his Society of Mind.

In eulogizing Minsky, the BBC linked to one of the last interviews this pioneer granted—a piece in the MIT Technology Review. Be sure to watch the video; I guarantee it will be four minutes and five seconds you will not regret.

The nit I’d like to pick with Mr. Minsky comes at the halfway point. Read More »

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The Internet of Things Is Not Always So Comforting

Over the past few years, the Internet of Things (IoT) has emerged as reality with the advent of smart refrigerators, smart HVAC systems, smart TVs, and more. Embedding internet-enabled devices into everything presents new opportunities in connecting these systems to each other, making them “smarter,” and making our lives more convenient than ever before.

Despite the new possibilities, there are major concerns about the IoT which inspire a legitimate question: “What happens if it’s not ‘done right’ and there are major vulnerabilities with the product?

The unfortunate truth is that securing internet-enabled devices is not always a high priority among vendors and manufacturers. Some manufactures do not have the necessary infrastructure to inform the public about security updates or to deliver them to devices. Other manufacturers are unaccustomed to supporting products past a certain time, even if a product’s lifespan may well exceed the support lifecycle. In other cases, the lack of a secure development lifecycle or a secure public portal to report security defects makes it near impossible for researchers to work with a vendor or manufacturer. These problems expose users and organizations to greater security risks and ultimately highlight a major problem with the Internet of Things.

What does this mean for the average user? For starters, a smart device on their home or office network could contain unpatched vulnerabilities. Adversaries attacking the weakest link could exploit a vulnerable IoT device, then move laterally within an organization’s network to conduct further attacks. Additionally, patching vulnerable devices can be complicated, if not impossible, for the average user or for those who are not technically savvy. For organizations that maintain large amounts of IoT devices on their network, there may not be a way to update a device that scales, creating a nightmare scenario.

 

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Cisco Live Berlin 2016, just a week away – A preview

Making a trip to Berlin is always worthwhile. And February is especially notable, as this is when famous movie stars make their way down the red carpet for the international film festival Berlinale. For me, the special draw is Cisco Live Berlin and the opportunity to speak German. A week from now, Cisco Live Berlin will be ready to rock. From a Cisco Data center standpoint ACI, Inter-Cloud, IOT and UCS continue to grab the headlines. In particular, Cisco ACI has established itself as the dominant SDN technology with thousands of customers and a growing eco-system of partners in just one and a half years. In this blog, I am going to present excerpts of what attendees can broadly expect to see and experience at the buzzing event, and I will take you on a tour of how ACI is ready to engage and enrich you.

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Keynotes

At the outset, I’d recommend that you attend all keynotes to understand Cisco’s strategy for emerging technology trends and market transitions. Cisco Execs Jeremy Bevan and Zorowar Biri Singh kick-start the proceedings with an opening keynote on Feb 16 as they discuss empowering customers and employees as companies embark on building a Digital Business in the new era of IT. Don’t miss several technology innovation talks occurring throughout the week.. Cisco Exec Soni Jiandani’s session on SDN/ACI topic is going to be a sell-out. Come and listen to Soni to understand how ACI enables business outcomes like Digital Transformation as well as how Cisco’s innovations, from Applications to ASICs, bring unique capabilities and value to the industry.

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Now I want to segue to ACI specifics. The last year has been phenomenal from an ACI eco-system momentum standpoint. F5 and Citrix, leading ADC vendors, have developed joint solutions with ACI and we have experienced several customer wins and success stories.

ACI Solution Partners

F5 is a platinum sponsor and has a big presence at Cisco Live Berlin this year to delight the attendees. Visit F5 at stand P2 to meet with subject matter experts and watch live demos of F5 and Cisco solutions that enable rapid, secure, and reliable L2–7 services across physical, virtual, and cloud platforms. Attend F5’s technical breakout session BRKSP-2003 for a Technical Deep Dive on F5 BIG-IQ, BIG-IP and Cisco ACI for Applications Deployment. Do not miss F5’s DevNet Zone workshop to learn how to deploy applications configurations with F5 BIG-IP and Cisco Nexus 9000 infrastructure with Puppet. Get a head-start by watching the live panel session video we recorded last month.

Citrix is a platinum sponsor at Cisco Live Berlin.. This year , Citrix has a signifcant presence in the partner area. Key activities at the booth include joint solution demos featuring UCS-XD/XA with ACI, ACI-NetScaler, ACI POC on Github, Cisco APIC-EM among other major ones. Furthermore, David Potter and Raj Gulani from Citrix are doing a breakout (BRKSP-2006) on the topic, “Citrix and Cisco Alliance – Delivering the best load balancing, virtual desktops and application delivery with Cisco ACI”.  For your benefit, we also have a detailed white-board video illustrating various ACI and Citrix NetScaler deployment scenarios. There are many other exciting activities to offer, which you can check out at the Citrix Booth P3.

Demos and Theater Presentations at WOS

At the World of Solutions (WOS) this year, SDN/ACI, UCS and Cloud take center stage in the Data Center category. There are multiple demos showcasing ACI innovations. I want to draw your attention to key ones like security and micro-segmentation, Multi-Hypervisor support, and ACI integration with Cloud Management Platforms.  We also have a ”Meet the Engineer” program, which gives you the opportunity to engage with a Cisco engineer in a 1:1 conversation focused on your unique questions and challenges.  Click here to setup a 1:1 session. Finally, you have access to our subject matter experts staffing the booth demos. They will give you a real-life demo and explain how these are relevant to your needs.

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So stop by the WOS to explore new technologies and get answers to your unique questions.

In addition to the hands-on demos, we also have round the clock mini-presentations at the WOS Cisco Education Zone mini-theater. This year we have several exciting ACI theater topics namely “Secure and Accelerate your Applications with policy-based L4-L7 services”, “Network Analytics – Key Use Cases for Applications, Automation, and Operations”, “Open NXOS / Programmability Solutions”, plus many more. If you are hard pressed for time, these sessions are ideal given their short duration nature.   They will give you a quick overview on innovative features and architectures of Cisco ACI. Check our WOS Theater roster in the agenda handout.

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Breakout Sessions

To your heart’s delight is how I’ll describe Cisco technical breakout sessions. Yes, we have more than 300 breakouts from industry recognized experts at the show. ACI breakouts feature prominently, and the legends of the ACI domain including Carlos Pereira, Ranga Rao, Lilian, Maurizio, Thomas Scheibe all are presenting stimulating sessions.. Search the session catalog to pick your choice sessions. I recommend Carlos’s breakout BRKVIR-2931 which takes you on an end-end journey of ACI. Also TECDCT-2002, a day-long technical session by ACI big guns Thomas, Azeem et al will give you an end-end view of the evolving Data Center fabric. Marketing Director, Craig Huitema is doing a session PSOSDN-2002 that focuses on how to speed up business by simplifying Data centers with ACI and Nexus. ACI thought leader Harry Petty  is doing a Panel session PNLACI-2201 same day with fellow Cisco experts and Customer Thomas Raabo on how to build Data Centers with ACI.  You are in for a double treat on Feb 17.

Social Networking

As a Cisco Live attendee, you benefit from the opportunity to interact with your peers, Cisco staff and partner technical experts in both structured and informal settings. Our Welcome Reception and Customer Appreciation Event are the highlights of the week’s social calendar. Read more on the Social Events & Networking Onsite section. Our social media online communities provide year round access to like-minded individuals as well as valuable content, news and updates. We’d love it if you would join the conversation.

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I can go on and on, but I’d never be able to cover all of the excitement in store. There is so much more you can explore on your own, and our Meet and Greet ambassadors will be happy to assist you at the show. As for me, if time permits, I plan on acquainting myself with some of the legendary artworks in Berlin’s 100 plus Museums. Safe travels and a happy Cisco Live.

Related Links

www.cisco.com/go/aci

www.blogs.cisco.com/datacenter

ACI-F5

ACI-Citrix

http://www.ciscolive.com/emea/

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Join us at Distributech 2016!

DistribuTECH 2016

We’ll be at DistribuTECH for the seventh year in a row on February 9-11 at the Orlando Convention Center. Meet us in Booth #2047 to learn how we are working with our partners to help utility companies worldwide lower costs and deliver more services on a single, intelligent, and secure platform.

Visit our booth to demo our expanded portfolio:

We'll be ready for you in Florida

A preview of our booth demo

Industrial Cybersecurity: Detect and prevent both internal and external attacks on process control systems, and remediate cybersecurity incidents.

Collaborative Solutions: Reduce the impact of natural disasters on the grid with incident response and workforce enablement solutions. Help first responders collaborate by unifying command and control communications.

Substation Gridblock: Securely manage millions of endpoints over multi-vendor, multi-technology, and multi-service utility communication networks.

Field Area Networks: Address advanced metering infrastructure, distribution automation, and remote workforce management over a single multi-service IP network platform.

Cisco IOx: Develop your own smart applications to capitalize on the power of fog computing. We are enabling developers to create IoT applications such as data aggregation, control systems, and access control – and have them run on edge network devices. Our industry-leading networking operating system Cisco IOS makes this possible together with Linux, the leading open source platform.

In addition to our demos, Read More »

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