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New Year, New Challenges, New Successes: SDN Bringing Agility, Security and TCO to Campus and Branch Networks

Before recently taking on a new role as Cisco’s vice president and general manager of Software-Defined Network (SDN) with the enterprise networking group, I served as the vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Unified Access portfolio and led the expansion of the Catalyst 2k, 3k and 4k series product line, which has seen a lot of growth and developed a strong customer base over the past couple of years. Cisco invests heavily in R&D for these products, and has introduced many innovations improving security, application visibility/control, energy savings and converged wired and wireless infrastructure over the past few years.

But as I shifted into my new role and looked back at some of the new Unified Access solutions we introduced alongside our system architecture, I saw a curious disconnect: in some cases, it was getting more difficult for our customers to quickly take advantage of our new innovations.                                                                                                         

At Cisco, we design products to make customers’ lives easier and more productive. Not to gather dust because they’re too hard to figure out!

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Hands On with SDN in Milan

January 26, 2014 at 11:49 pm PST

Those of you who follow me know that one of the milestones I have for SDN is when we start turning those unicorns into plough horses.  While I don’t think we are quite there yet, the partner demos you can check out on the floor in Milan show that we are certainly moving the needle with SDN: Read More »

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Summary: Next Gen IT Predictions: 2014 and Beyond

2014 will be a year that builds on the momentum of mobile, cloud, the Internet of Things (IoT) and the Internet of Everything (IoE). How can your organization realize value from today’s new model for IT?

Here’s my take on the trends we will see over the next twelve months:

  1. Increasing urgency to manage our zettabyte-driven world.
  2. The need for hybrid cloud adoption.
  3. A revolution in software and new IoE platforms.
  4. The rise in thinking about security holistically.
  5. The Internet of Me finally arrives: real personalized, mobile, cloud-based experiences.
  6. The Internet of Everything is happening now.

If you think technology has infiltrated your life, just wait. You can feel the potential for monumental change as we begin to interconnect the physical and virtual worlds.

Read the full blog: Next Gen IT Predictions: 2014 and Beyond to learn more about each trend and discover how your organization can realize the benefits of the Internet of Everything.

Next Gen IT Predictions : 2014 and Beyond from Cisco Business Insights

 

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Next Gen IT Predictions: 2014 and Beyond

In my travels, I am fortunate to see new and interesting innovations, emerging technologies and trends. Of course, the growth of mobile and cloud technologies continues to shape our work and lives. 2014 will be a year that builds on the momentum of these trends, along with IoT, with more connected people, processes data and things than ever before.  Here’s my take on the most significant things we’ll see in 2014.

Next Gen IT Predictions : 2014 and Beyond from Cisco Business Insights

 

1. Increasing urgency to manage our zettabyte-driven world.

The proliferation of mobile devices, streaming video and explosion of applications has meant that global IP traffic has exploded more than 4x in the past 5 years. IP traffic will again triple over the next 5 years. In 2013, we generated a momentous 1.2 zettabytes of new information and 70 billion apps were downloaded. Wireless traffic will exceed wired traffic and video-on-demand traffic will nearly triple in three years.

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Is ACI Really SDN? One Point of View to Clarify the Conversation

January 22, 2014 at 10:00 am PST
rose

Would SDN, by any other name, still smell as sweet?

Perhaps I’m in the minority that is still frustrated by this, but as a marketing person who is tasked with explaining technology and solutions to customers and prospects, I feel hamstrung by a lack of a widely agreed upon definition of what is and is not “SDN” still. This usually comes up in discussions about our new Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), and how it compares to traditional SDN concepts, as well as alternative approaches, such as overlay networks advocated by VMware.

The topic came up again this with a NetworkWorld article in which the head of VMware’s network virtualization business is now saying, “SDN will never happen” (our rebuttal). Well, what is happening, if it’s not SDN? Or just because the technology has evolved, do we need to create a new term just because some early assumptions the industry made have changed?  As we start out a new year, I thought it a good time to try and reframe the definition, and look at how the trends in SDN may be shaping up to extend the concept into new areas.

Why do customers need SDN?

By early 2012, there was so much hype and expectations around Software Defined Networking, focused on the ability to “program” the network, that real customer use cases and the killer SDN app was lost in the conversation. But what slowly emerged, that is driving all the investment, pilots and product designs is a much better way to manage the data center and cloud network, and to automate IT tasks so that the infrastructure could respond dynamically to rapidly changing business conditions and requirements. The “intelligence” to make all that happen is moving from the network devices and device management consoles, to centralized policy-management platforms, orchestration tools and cloud-managers.

What’s caused the biggest evolution in SDN is the realization that very few organizations really have the desire, skills and incentives to write a new class of applications to a published API to program the network. These users are outlying use cases compared to the vast majority of organizations just looking to automate IT tasks, accelerate application deployment, make their cloud networks more flexible, and better align their IT infrastructure with business requirements. The focus has shifted from SDN being an open API/controller platform, to a platform capable of hosting a myriad of orchestration and IT workflow automation solutions that drive customers to their end goal. To that end, ACI is meeting all those objectives, and in more advanced and innovative ways than earlier SDN approaches.

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