Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Data Center and Cloud

Summary : The “Next Gen ” Network Engineer

April 15, 2014 at 4:34 pm PST

The industry has been buzzing over the past years around Next Generation of Software Defined and Application Centric networks. If you missed that, it means that you were probably on planet …Zircon  (?).

Colin LynchIn his recent blog, Colin Lynch  @UCSguru and Cisco Champion  talks about the skills that network engineers will need in order to design, support and deploy these new networks.
Colin designs and deploys large data centers for a Gold Partner in the UK, and is CCIE#7064 as well as holding certifications in VMware, EMC and NetApp. His Blog is http://ucsguru.com which covers all Datacenter topics but focuses on Cisco UCS.  Recently Colin participated to a lively Cisco Champion  podcast with Insieme/Cisco Joe Onisick  @jonisick  on ACI and Nexus 9000.

When recognizing that the traditional networks will not go away overnight , giving ample room for people with the current skill sets, Colin explains what he sees happening, and the course of actions he already took . “I’m certainly no programmer, but I see having basic programming competency as the next skill required to remain in that band of “High Demand” networking professionals.”  A reality that many other network engineers start to embrace

CommonwealthClubA reality that Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior  @padmasree emphasized at a recent NPR broadcast for the Commonwealth Club of California, as she highlighted the importance for the new generation of  professionals to learn a programming language . Listen to Padmasree’s  speech  on “The Business of Innovation : Today and Tomorrow”

Without necessary being amongst those who tend to think “that not being able to code could well be the next definition of literacy” as Colin questions  in his blog , more and more network engineers seems to take this steps , including Bill Carter @billyc5022 , who shared also  his new skill sets in a recent blog  Cisco is bringing together networking and programming  .

To better understand Colin’s point of view and discover what are his first steps to be ready for this new breed of networks,  read his blog  The “Next Gen” Network Engineer”  . Tell us what are your first steps , if any.

You may want also to check this video with Colin debating with Hal Rotenberg @harl9000 on the very same topic  “ACI and Traditional Networking”

 

 

 

 

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Cisco Partner Summit Day 2: The Pace of Change

March 26, 2014 at 8:15 pm PST

With day one of Cisco Partner Summit covering the Cisco Partner Ecosystem, day two opened with the Magnetic Poets and a performance that included the entire audience. Partners were able to open day two of the event by performing with the band, via their own mobile devices.

Bruce Klein, Cisco SVP of Worldwide Partner Organization, then took the stage and talked about the continuing level of excitement this week. He kept things brief, since he wanted partners prepared for a different format for the General Session on day two this year. This morning’s session featured five Cisco executives speaking for 15 minutes each, focusing on the subject to be covered in an afternoon business transformation sessions.

We were able to catch up with partners to hear their perspectives on the 15 minute talks from today’s General Session. Here’s what they had to say:

Read on for a full recap of day two of Cisco Partner Summit. Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

Technology- The Paintbrush Enabling the New Manufacturing Renaissance

Welcome to the New Manufacturing Renaissance driven by a collage of sensors, robots, servers, clouds, tablets, machines, people and …things. The Internet of Everything (IoE) is serving as the canvas that connects and integrates all those “things.”  Over the last few years we have been inundated by industry pundits and scholars predicting the efficiency gains, value opportunities and innovations that can be obtained from the IoE revolution.  In fact, Cisco estimates the manufacturing IoE value opportunity is $4.2 trillion over the next 8 years.

Forward thinking CTO’s  understand that technology plays a significant roll in enabling this renaissance.  In a recent Industry Week article, our CTO, Padmasree Warrior, made the following observation:

“At this point, we believe that every company, big and small, is essentially becoming a technology company,” Warrior says. “Technology has become implicit and embedded in every business process today — the supply chain, manufacturing floor, automation and IT: They are all driven by technology and data analytics, not just operational expertise.

This renaissance is accelerating now thanks to the convergence of a number of technology trends: the low cost and accessibility of Big Data associated with cloud computing; the plummeting cost of electronic sensors, microprocessors and other components that can be used to make machines more adept; and advances in software and communications technology that make it possible to manage manufacturing with a whole new level of precision and enable new forms of collaboration.

Convergence has to not only occur  between  Information (IT) and Operational (OT) Technologies , but also within the C-suite.  The CTO’s primary responsibilities are evolving to become more tightly integrated and aligned with the enterprise’s business and operational goals. The result is optimized business processes, enhanced information for better decisions, reduced costs, lower risks and shortened project timelines.

Sujeet Chand, chief technology officer at Rockwell Automation adds,

“The role of the CTO is no longer just to enable technology.  Our role is to use that technology to help move the business forward.  It’s all part of the convergence between IT and OT,”

Chand explains.

“To really get value from that convergence, you’ve got to highlight what value is going to be derived. You don’t want to connect manufacturing to IT for the sake of connecting manufacturing to IT or put all kinds of real-time data into the cloud for no reason.”

The New Manufacturing Renaissance is creating a wave of technologies and ideas.  The revolution threatens to shatter long-standing business models, upend global trade patterns and surpass the radical gains and innovations brought forth by the Industrial Revolution.

Has your organization evolved and embraced the opportunities afforded by the IoE revolution?  Is your CTO driving business relevance through the innovative use of technology?  Have you broken down organizational silos to foster a true innovation culture throughout the manufacturing value chain?

The technology is mightier than the paintbrush.

Tags: , , , , ,

Cisco expands the SAP Competency Center in Walldorf in a big way

The Cisco SAP Competency Center expanded its presence at the SAP Partner Port in Walldorf  Germany on November 11, 2013.

Walldorfcombo

Watch the video of Padmasree Warrior, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer for Cisco and Vishal Sikka, CTO and Executive Board Member for SAP as they welcome those that attended the opening of the Competency Center and talk about the Cisco/SAP relationship as is matures and about the exciting solutions we have already established together and about the upcoming solutions that we are engineering.

PadmaVishal

Competency CenterThe expanded Competency Center will house Cisco pre-sales, benchmark and performance testing and certification engineers. The performance and certification tests are all running on the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) server platform using the Intel x86 Xeon chip set. These tests are integrated with the latest storage solution vendors such as EMC and NetApp.

Cisco specialists in the Center are connected with their SAP counterparts to provide the optimal service, support, and solutions to joint customers. In addition this Competency Center is equipped with hardware and software so that customers may bring their data into the Cisco Competency Center and test their data in a Proof of Concept setting.

Our Competency Center covers a very wide list of solutions including SAP HANA, HANA Enterprise Cloud, Suite on HANA, SAP on Vblock, SAP on FlexPod, Precision Marketing, and Sybase ASE.

The Cisco SAP Competency Center will also be used for specific customer briefings as required.

Cisco continues to find additional way to service SAP customers whether on premise or cloud. The expansion of this Competency Center is another way to show customers that Cisco is investing in providing quality solutions to those customers who have made the decision to select the Cisco UCS platform for SAP.

For more information on the Cisco SAP partnership and solutions visit our website
http://www.cisco.com/go/sap

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

Limitations of a Software-Only Approach to Data Center Networking

To learn more about Application Centric Infrastructure,
join us for a special webcast with John Chambers and Soni Jiandani
on November 6th at 10:30 am EST/7:30 pm PST/15:30 GMT.
Register here

I want to address some questions about VMware’s NSX virtual networking announcement that have been asked of us by the media and social Web commentators in the past few days. Specifically, they have asked  why Cisco did not announce support for NSX and whether the announcement changes the long-standing strategic relationship between our two companies.

First, let me be clear: VMware is an important partner to Cisco, and we expect to continue our close collaboration around private cloud and desktop virtualization.  As we outlined yesterday in a joint news release about Cisco and VMware’s mutual customers, thousands of organizations rely on our combined innovation in their businesses each and every day and I look forward to continued success in this area.

While we share a common vision for private cloud and desktop virtualization, there are significant differences in our visions over the future of networking.

Network virtualization is important. We both agree on that. In fact, over the past several years, we have delivered game-changing innovations in this area particularly with the Nexus 1000v and more recently with NFV solutions, both of which are key elements of the Cisco ONE portfolio. Today, more than 6,000 Nexus 1000v customers benefit from the flexibility delivered by our virtual networking technology.

However, a software-only approach to network virtualization places significant constraints on customers.  It doesn’t scale, and it fails to provide full real-time visibility of both physical and virtual infrastructure.  In addition this approach does not provide key capabilities such as multi-hypervisor support, integrated security, systems point-of-view or end-to-end telemetry for application placement and troubleshooting.  This loosely-coupled approach forces the user to tie multiple 3rd party components together adding cost and complexity in day-to-day operations as well as throughout the network lifecycle.  Users are forced to address multiple management points and maintain version control for each of the independent components.  Software network virtualization treats physical and virtual infrastructure as separate entities, and denies customers a common policy framework and common operational model for management, orchestration and monitoring.

Cisco has a different strategy and that is embodied in the Application Centric Infrastructure.  Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) is an innovative secure architecture that delivers centralized application-driven policy automation, management and visibility of physical and virtual networks.  It’s built upon a fabric foundation that delivers best-in-class infrastructure by combining hardware, software and ASIC innovations into an integrated system.

The architecture provides a common management framework for network, application, security and virtualization teams — making IT more agile while reducing application deployment time.  It’s built for multi-tenancy ensuring proper isolation and detailed telemetry of SLAs across different consumers of the infrastructure while also providing a consistent security policy across both physical and virtual applications.  ACI allows IT teams to offer a public cloud experience and economics to their customers while maintaining the associated SLAs and performance requirements for the most demanding business applications.  It’s an open programmable architecture with a comprehensive set of APIs that enables the broadest ecosystem of datacenter management and L4-7 services.  Finally, ACI enables comprehensive investment protection by leveraging existing IT teams’ skillset and infrastructure to lower overall TCO.

I recently wrote a blog post about how Network Virtualization is a Different to Server Virtualization as we think about the next chapter of networking.  It’s key to remember that underutilized compute resources created the opportunity for server virtualization. Underutilization is not a problem in the network. In fact, server virtualization is pushing the limits of today’s network utilization and driving demand for higher port counts, application and policy-driven automation, and unified management of physical, virtual and cloud infrastructures in a single system.  Businesses today are looking for more from their investments as they turn on new services and applications more quickly, in a way that is easier to manage and that can scale with applications needs.

We believe that delivering those benefits requires the flexibility of software coupled tightly with the performance and scalability of hardware and ASICs. That’s what we’re delivering with our Application-Centric Infrastructure vision and throughout the entire Unified Data Center portfolio.

Stay tuned for some exciting news from us in this area in the next few months.

Tags: , , , , , ,