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Paradigm Shift with Edge Intelligence

In my Internet of Things keynote at LinuxCon 2014 in Chicago last week, I touched upon a new trend: the rise of a new kind of utility or service model, the so-called IoT specific service provider model, or IoT SP for short.

I had a recent conversation with a team of physicists at the Large Hadron Collider at CERN. I told them they would be surprised to hear the new computer scientist’s talk these days, about Data Gravity.  Programmers are notorious for overloading common words, adding connotations galore, messing with meanings entrenched in our natural language.

We all laughed and then the conversation grew deeper:

  • Big data is very difficult to move around, it takes energy and time and bandwidth hence expensive. And it is growing exponentially larger at the outer edge, with tens of billions of devices producing it at an ever faster rate, from an ever increasing set of places on our planet and beyond.
  • As a consequence of the laws of physics, we know we have an impedance mismatch between the core and the edge, I coined this as the Moore-Nielsen paradigm (described in my talk as well): data gets accumulated at the edges faster than the network can push into the core.
  • Therefore big data accumulated at the edge will attract applications (little data or procedural code), so apps will move to data, not the other way around, behaving as if data has “gravity”

Therefore, the notion of a very large centralized cloud that would control the massive rise of data spewing from tens of billions of connected devices is pitched both against the laws of physics and Open Source not to mention the thirst for freedom (no vendor lock-in) and privacy (no data lock-in). The paradigm shifted, we entered the 3rd big wave (after the mainframe decentralization to client-server, which in turn centralized to cloud): the move to a highly decentralized compute model, where the intelligence is shifting to the edge, as apps come to the data, at much larger scale, machine to machine, with little or no human interface or intervention.

The age-old dilemma, do we go vertical (domain specific) or horizontal (application development or management platform) pops up again. The answer has to be based on necessity not fashion, we have to do this well; hence vertical domain knowledge is overriding. With the declining cost of computing, we finally have the technology to move to a much more scalable and empowering model, the new opportunity in our industry, the mega trend.

Very reminiscent of the early 90′s and the beginning of the ISPs era, isn’t it? This time much more vertical with deep domain knowledge: connected energy, connected manufacturing, connected cities, connected cars, connected home, safety and security.  These innovation hubs all share something in common: an Open and Interconnected model, made easy by the dramatically lower compute cost and ubiquity in open source, to overcome all barriers of adoption, including the previously weak security or privacy models predicated on a central core. We can divide and conquer, deal with data in motion, differently than we deal with data at rest.

The so-called “wheel of computer science” has completed one revolution, just as its socio-economic observation predicted, the next generation has arrived, ready to help evolve or replace its aging predecessor. Which one, or which vertical will it be first…?

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Behind the WiFi Network @ Mobile World Congress 2014: Site Surveys

In my last blog I discussed setting the stage in preparation for the Wi-Fi network for Mobile World Congress 2014 which supported more than 80k devices over a span of 4 days. Today I’ll talk about one of the many site surveys we conducted at the Fira Gran Via to ensure the success of our high density network.  Full details in the white paper here.

High Density Wi-Fi deployments and site surveys go hand in hand. Pre-installation and post-installation site surveys account for the most effective way to identify the contours of your RF coverage and eliminate potential multipath distortions, hidden nodes, and other coverage issues. Special attention was given to the large keynote auditorium halls in order to keep a check on the additional RF coverage needs to accommodate the high density of users packed in a very close range.


View of inside the Hall-4 Keynote Auditorium (23000 sq ft) before the Facebook keynote session

Site Survey analysis used to measure the RF coverage in Hall-4 keynote auditorium

Site Survey analysis used to measure the RF coverage in Hall-4 keynote auditorium

The Hall-4 auditorium was one example of such a high density area with the 2000 person capacity area had a peak connection of 1924 concurrently connected Wi-Fi devices distributed across 16 Cisco APs while the Facebook keynote was in progress, with a max load of 530 Mbps of internet traffic. To avoid an RF overlap, the ceiling mounted APs above the auditoriums were converted to monitor mode. Using the final pre-keynote site survey data, the RF profile for the Hall-4 auditorium was tweaked, and RRM automatically optimized the coverage to the desired degree by adjusting the Tx power levels. Read More »

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How To Fast Track to Fast IT – The ACI Keynote

On Wednesday May 20, at 8:30am join us for Fast Track to Fast IT: Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure keynote (GENSK-1109).  This keynote features some of the heavy hitters in Cisco strategy talking about the direction of Cisco’s Enterprise Networks and Data Center technologies. 

Speakers include Robert SoderberySoni Jiandani, and Scott Clark who are, respectively, SVP/GM Enterprise Networking Group, Cisco, SVP Insieme Networks, and VP Advanced Services, Data Center and Cloud Architecture, Cisco.  Check it out in person or online!

Software Defined Networking (SDN) holds the promise to transform IT operations across data center, access, wide area networks (WAN) and the cloud. Cisco’s approach to SDN, Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), takes SDN a step further to provide an architectural framework to address these operational challenges and more.

What if you could deploy enterprise applications in hours, not weeks? What if you could manage and roll out enterprise applications that incorporate network and security policies in real time? What if you had visibility and control across your entire enterprise infrastructure – to provision, deploy, monitor, optimize and troubleshoot easier, faster, and more securely? With Cisco ACI, you can have all this – and more.

Find out how by joining Soni Jiandani, SVP Insieme Business Group, Rob Soderbery, SVP/GM Enterprise Networking Group, and Scott Clark, VP of Cisco Services, as they provide an overview on Cisco’s ACI strategy, roadmap and solutions. Hear directly from customers deploying these solutions. See how Cisco ACI deploys application-centric policies to simplify infrastructure operations by mapping enterprise business logic and automating network provisioning across data center, access, and WAN. The result? A simple, smart, secure solution that delivers on the promise of Fast IT.

Hope to see you there!


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Innovation Across the Internet of Things

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 »

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Putting the User Experience First at Enterprise Connect

Today in my keynote at Enterprise Connect in Orlando, I talked about what really matters -- the user experience with collaboration.  And, when you look at the experience that’s offered today, and you talk to end users, you realize today’s tools do not match the way people want to work.

People today want the collaboration experience to be as good on the go as it is in the office. They want it to be simple, incredibly intuitive and work across just about any device they care to use, from the boardroom to the browser and everywhere in between.

Our mission is to get amazing yet affordable collaboration into the hands of more people.  We are working on this every day.  Our recent announcement—the single biggest refresh our video portfolio has ever seen—is just one example of how we’re doing that. But, we’re not just looking at how Cisco can change the game. We are always looking at other companies that have a similar mindset and trying to see how we can do great things together.

Today, I had the pleasure of being joined onstage by Rajen Sheth of Google. We announced an exciting collaboration that I think Read More »

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