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Extend flexibility in Your Data Center Architecture with the Data Center Fabric.

March 22, 2011 at 3:00 am PST

“Fabric computing is a fixture on the radar screen of many IT groups, driven by the increased penetration of virtualization and prospects for cloud computing.As virtualization penetration increases, IT organizations will deploy virtual machine (VM) mobility, which will demand more attention to a fabric-based infrastructure that better integrates server, storage and networking for greater agility and faster time to deploy.”  Based on this observation, Gartner George J Reiss and Andrew Butler organized recently a survey to evaluate which vendors are the most credible and ready to address the challenges of virtualization and cloud computing.

Cisco pioneered the vision of Ethernet-based “Unified Fabric” for the data center and has been shipping products to support that vision for over three years. Subsequently it introduced Unified Computing and Unified Network Services, all of which have formed the building blocks for Cisco’s Data Center Fabric.  Competitors have validated Cisco’s vision by scrambling to deliver their own versions of the Fabric.

On March 30th starting at 9:00 am PST, Cisco executives and experts , partners and customers  will supplement this Fabric vision and showcase its evolution, while bringing multiple proof points to bear. And in a pure Cisco spirit, to enrich a very open conversation, we invited the Senior Analyst Andre Kindnesss from Forrester Research who wrote recently about “The Dark Horse In The Datacenter Fabric Race?” and the Program VP Data Center Network Services Cindy Borovick from IDC to share their vision.

If you want to be among (or amongst) the first to know what’s cooking at Cisco, this is your chance ! This event will be live and we hope to hear from you.

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From Telco Tragedy to Recovery in 28 Days

By Steven Shepard, Contributing Columnist

As companies grow large, we have a natural human tendency to declare them incapable of getting out of their own way. We see them as slow, inefficient and plodding dinosaurs surrounded by fleet-of-foot small companies that are so much more capable of getting things done — because of their apparent smallness.

And while there are certainly large companies that suffer from bigness, there are also quite a few that demonstrate amazingness, if you’ll allow me to make up a word (for agility, beyond compare). One of them? The mighty, much criticized Bell System, created in the transition zone between the 19th and 20th centuries.

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Evolving the Data Center to Private Cloud

All too often, vendors talk about products or features when customers really want solutions and “how do I get there?” models for evolving their business. Cloud Computing is a topic that definitely falls into the latter category because it isn’t a single piece of hardware or software, but rather it’s a new way to align business needs with technology capabilities.

For many companies, Cloud Computing represents both an opportunity and a challenge. From an opportunity perspective, it potentially represents a chance to leapfrog your competition by leveraging technology as a core driver of new business models. This would create a compelling business differentiation and it’s most likely what every CIO will be talking about in 2011. From a challenge perspective, it introduces some new types of change that your company will need to address, such as:

[WARNING] It’s very possible that this post could get slightly lengthy, so if you’d like the cliff-notes version, check out Cisco’s Enterprise Private Cloud homepage and click on the short video at the top. 3 minutes could save you months or years on your Cloud Computing strategy.
Evolving the Data Center to Private Cloud

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The Benefits of a Virtualized Approach to Advanced-Level Network Services

Advanced-Level Services
Advanced-level network services are a necessity for a scalable virtualized data center and a key to cloud service delivery. These services provide application acceleration and server load balancing to improve user productivity, and ensure optimal resource utilization, and they monitor quality of service. They also provide security services that can isolate applications and resources in logical zones in virtualized data centers and cloud environments to ensure regulatory compliance and reduce risk of data breaches.

Deploying Services
While enterprises have been adopting server virtualization and cloud computing in order to realize the benefits of reduced server sprawl, reduced operating costs, and greater levels of application availability, they are doing so while struggling with inflexibility in the underlying network. Deploying advanced-level network services in a virtualized data center environment is challenging. It has been done using dedicated hardware in static network topologies. This does not provide the flexibility to support virtualized workloads, and as a result organizations are challenged to support on-demand virtual machine (VM) provisioning, workload mobility, and public or private cloud deployments. This limits organizations’ ability to efficiently deploy new applications, increases operational costs, and acts as a roadblock to adoption of virtualization and cloud computing.

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Cisco, Service Providers Aim to Reinvent the TV Experience With “Videoscape”

Coming soon, to you – The next-generation TV experience.

It’s called Videoscape.    

It’s a comprehensive TV platform for service providers.  It combines digital TV and online content with social media and communications applications to create a new, immersive home and mobile video entertainment experience.

And it’s from Cisco.

Announced today, Videoscape is an open platform that utilizes the cloud, the network and client devices to deliver new video experiences on the next-generation Internet.  Cisco introduced five product families that work in conjunction with its portfolio of network products and technologies.

  • The Videoscape media gateway for the integration of voice, linear and online video, high-speed data, Wi-Fi and network traffic routing.
  • The Videoscape IP set-top box, engineered to support all forms of video – pay TV, broadcast, premium channels, VoD and online — to new Web 2.0 applications.
  • Videoscape software clients that extend the Videoscape experiences to a wide variety of home and mobile devices, from connected TVs to tablets, smartphones and more.
  • The Videoscape Media Suite which offers full life-cycle content management offering service providers the ability to efficiently and cost-effectively manage and publish content across multiple screens.

For consumers, Videoscape offers:

  • Access to vast entertainment content sources, including broadcast, pay TV and online, that integrates the Internet, social media, communications and mobility. 
  • Ease of use
  • More sources of video to your screen
  • More social and interactive features
  • More choices for content on the go
  • Cisco quality of experience

Check it out!

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