I was at Gartner Summit in Las Vegas last week after missing the prior year. One thing that struck me this year was the increased dialogue around changes IT organizations need to make in their people and processes in order to prepare for both the convergence of IT infrastructure and the move to cloud. Now I know that analysts have talked about the area of IT operations management for some time but what was different was that customers were talking about it too.
At Cisco Services, we’ve had an increasing number of customers asking us to help them better align their people and process to take full advantage of Cisco’s innovative data center technologies. This growing interest in change was on full display at Gartner Summit, as both analysts and customers were discussing what change would mean to them.
So what are some of the things you should consider to get your IT organization best prepared for change? First, you need a leader committed to changing the way your IT runs. The CIO at Seattle Children’s Hospital, Drex DeFord, says he started by re-setting his organizational purpose, identifying patients as their customers, not employees. He then focused his strategy on removing complexity from his IT organization, not just on the technology side but in his people and processes as well, to allow IT better flexibility to understand and deliver against their customers’ expectations.
Greg Ferro and Ethan Banks from PacketPushers.net have released another in-depth podcast, this time on how to create scalable cloud networks with VXLAN. VXLAN, if you recall, is a multi-vendor effort to increase the number of logical networks that can be created within a cloud environment, and overcomes the challenges of using VLANs when separate tenants and application instances all need their own logical domains. Read More »
I finally took a leap of faith and had LASIK surgery done recently, and without a doubt it’s been a life changing decision. The daily hassle of glasses and contacts are gone, and my vision is now 20/15…it’s like going from regular TV to HiDef! Of course these benefits came with a cost, requiring investments both financial and mental. The financial cost was easy enough thanks to no interest payments, however the mental cost required a careful weighing of risk vs reward and a bit of blind faith (no pun intended). In the end, trust in the technology and the doctor, and the belief that I could find my happy place for 15 minutes to endure the procedure was enough to take the leap. Looking back it was one of my better life decisions.
Shortly after my procedure I was on site at a customer who was implementing a Vblock, and Cisco was engaged for UCS optimization services to follow up the install. For those new to integrated infrastructure solutions, a Vblock is a pre-integrated and tested infrastructure stack with various components across compute, network, and storage. My favorite component hands down is the Cisco Nexus1000 This product replaces the VMware vSwitch functionality with a feature rich Cisco switch powered by NXOS, which this particular customer had no knowledge of. Well, I’m a huge fan of the product, and I knew they would be too once they came to understand it’s use cases and capabilities. I gave their network and server admins a 4 hour overview covering everything from architecture to troubleshooting. The light bulbs went on and they were exchanging smiles about 10 minutes into the presentation when I started talking about the non disruptive operational model and VN-LINK concepts. One of the network admins interrupted me and said “ are you telling me I can get clear vision to the VM level without the hassle of dealing with these guys” as he pointed at the closest server admin. I immediately thought of my new eyes and chuckled at the thought that server admins apparently were as annoying as glasses or contacts to deal with on a daily basis.
The USS Cisco took off for the Gestalt IT Networking Tech Field Day 2 with Captain Omar Sultan (see picture below, courtesy of techfieldday.com), Data Center Solutions Sr. Marketing Manager, at the helm. Tech Field Day networking industry experts gathered on the bridge, cleverly disguised as the Cisco Cloud Innovation Center (CICC) Lab, for an informal, no-holds-barred conversation on recent Nexus portfolio announcements, the continued march towards automated provisioning of cloud services and ever-evolving VM networking technologies.
Captain Omar at Cisco Networking Tech Field Day 2
For those who weren’t at the event or haven’t seen the video recording yet, please excuse my unabashed geekiness, but you’ll have to watch the first minute of the video to get the above reference. As a new member of the Data Center Solutions Marketing team, this is also my first foray into the Cisco blog-o-sphere, so I hope to share some fresh viewpoints on the day’s events.
Several things were made very apparent during the Tech Field Day session:
This week Cisco is announcing the ASA 1000V cloud firewall, a product that we previewed at VMworld last month and in an earlier blog post. This video provides a very high level introduction to our latest virtual security product.