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Looking for Action? Cisco ACI at Citrix Synergy 2015 or Disney World – or Both

What attracts me to Orlando In the hot and humid month of May this year? There are numerous synergies from the Disney World to Orlando’s pristine nature that enhances my experience there. But the one I am really looking forward to this year is the Citrix Synergy 2015, a premiere event for Cisco Data Center Professionals and its Customers and Partners. After a hiatus of two years, I am happy to be back at this event, this time leading the Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) strategy and showcase how ACI integrates with Citrix’s NetScaler, a market leading Application Delivery Controller (ADC) solution.


The theme this year at the event centers around software-defined workplace and how it enables companies find new ways to work better. Cisco ACI aligns very well with this theme given that ACI is a market leading software defined networking (SDN) solution.


Citrix Synergy Event 2015 is particularly exciting to me as our joint Cisco ACI and Citrix NetScaler solution has picked considerable customer momentum since its introduction into market last year. Woolworth, DU and several other top customers have given testimonials recently on their positive experiences with ACI-NetScaler joint solution, and I look forward to hearing more of these at this event. In addition, the visionary keynotes, technology training, access to industry’s top thought leaders and the customizable agenda and experience makes Citrix Synergy a valuable investment of my time year after year.

Where should you start? There is no better place than Mark Templeton’s keynote, to start the Synergy expereince. Mark kick-starts the proceedings on May 12 by sharing his unique perspectives on how Citrix is leading the transition to the “software-defined workplace” where true mobility transformation occurs, giving businesses and people new ways to work. Mark will cover areas of innovation across the Citrix portfolio, including product and solution updates with strategic partners like Cisco in virtualization, mobility, networking, cloud and more. Be ready for a few sneak peeks and surprises.


After the keynote, the world of solutions beckons you with a  glittering collection of technology showcase from industry-leading vendors, and I want to welcome you to the Cisco booth #202 where it is action unlimited. This year we are offering solution demos and Mini-Theater presentations featuring Desktop virtualization, Networking and SDN, Mobility, and Cloud technologies to name the highlights.



Cisco ACI – Citrix NetScaler joint solution features prominently at the Cisco demo Pod and the Mini Theater this year. Stop by our booth and get a live demo from our experts, and learn how to automate deployment of NetScaler L4-L7 services using ACI policy framework.  In fact, we can give you a modular walkthrough of the solution whether your interest centers around the ACI Fabric or Cisco APIC policy controller or Citrix NetScaler. In addition, we can provide you quick overview presentations at our Mini theater that runs round the clock. There will be daily presentations on the ACI-NetScaler joint solutions and I hope the theater experience will complement the insights you gain via demos. We also have white-boards to dive deeper into cross-architectural discussions, should you decide to explore further. There is never a dull moment at our Cisco booth this year as Cisco UCS with Citrix desktop virtualization, DAAS and Mobility demos offer a rich treat of latest in technology innovations from Cisco and its Partners. The Cisco Mini Theater also feature NetApp, Nimble and Nvidia partner presentations as Cisco and Citrix truly bring the best-of-breed solutions for different market segments so customers can choose specifically based on their Data Center needs.

There are other exciting engagement opportunities for you to explore ACI-NetScaler solution at the event.  Check out Session SYN 212, “Update on NetScaler and Cisco Integration” on May 13, 11 AM at the Valencia Ballroom A.  Raj Gulani, a power packed Citrix dynamo, will deliver this session and many of your questions about SDN, Application demands on infrastructure will get answered. So, I’d recommend this as a must-attend.

And my good friend Mike Brennan from my UCS marketing days is presenting at the Cisco sponsored session on the topic “Architecting your next generation workspace with Cisco & Citrix”. If you can spare an hour the afternoon of May 13, I’d suggest you attend this session in room W135B. Mike brings unique perspectives from a design and deployment perspective and has authored several Cisco CVDs on UCS-Citrix desktop virtualization solutions.  If you somehow have to miss this timeslot, Mike is doing another breakout on May 14 with Rob Briggs at the Citrix sponsored session on the topic, “Architecting Innovation with Cisco and Citrix”. There are also hands-on Labs, Geek sessions, and Citrix Innovation awards for attendees to take advantage of to get a broad experience.


As I write this blog, I just learned that the Cisco APIC has been adjudged the “Best of Interop 2015” in the SDN category. It is very timely, and a fitting testimonial to compliment the rapid customer adoption of ACI.  Cisco ACI-Citrix NetScaler has gained significant market traction and several customers in process of deploying the joint solution.


The Cisco ACI-Citrix NetScaler solution is a key pillar of the Cisco-Citrix strategic relationship. In the past year, the joint solution has recorded several milestones in the form of customer proof-points, customer deployments and endorsements and Open standards initiatives such as NSH and Opflex at the IETF. Citrix NetScaler is committed to a robust roadmap in evolving the solution with ACI and stay tuned for more news from us at future events.

In closing I want to touch on the entertainment scene.  A customer appreciation event is scheduled for Wednesday May 13, at the Howl at the Moon Piano Bar and we look forward to seeing you there. The final night party on May 14, is another Citrix specialty as we all unwind, connect with friends, and experience an exclusive night for Synergy attendees only at Universal Studios Florida. I look forward to meeting you all in person next week.

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OSPod #30: Edgar Magana of Workday

If there was an award for “The Nicest Guy in OpenStack” my vote would be coin toss between Edgar Magana from Workday and Tim Bell of CERN. Actually, Sean Lynch, Metacloud Co-founder is right up there, too, but since he’s technically my boss’s boss, he’s inelgible for my vote. But I digress….

Edgar’s story begins with his “low income” upbringing in Mexico, to an interest in computers, a PhD in Computer Science in Barcelona, and a great career as an authority on OpenStack at Workday. The most difficult part of Edgar’s journey? Learning English!

This episode was certainly one of the most pragmatic shows we’ve done. I expected to hear a bunch of enthusiam about OpenStack Neutron, but that wasn’t compeletely the case. Edgar, formerly of Cisco, shared his opinion on the readiness of Neutron for large-scale production workloads and where OpenvSwitch falls short (40-50 nodes, in case you’re wondering.) Edgar believes that from the operator perspective, Neutron still has shortcomings and more must be done to simplify networking for developers and operators.

Edgar was also kind enough to share information about how he and others have transformed the team at Workday to take advantage of the agility that cloud provides. Through training, labs, and bringing departments together, Edgar is biulding a private cloud suitable for scaling and deplying Workday’s data-sensistive applications. We closed out with Edgar’s willingness to build diverse teams—something Edgar is passionate about since he has one daughter and another on the way. (Congrats!)

If you follow Neutron, SDN, or networking in general, don’t pass this podcast up!

You can follow Edgar on Twitter at @emaganap and find his OpenStack sessions (including a use case session) here.

Jeff and I are headed to Vancouver! Check out Jeff’s sessions, my sessions, and follow @openstackpod to catch the Summit Minicasts of OSPod.

See past episodes, subscribe, or view the upcoming schedule on the OSPod website.

For a full transcript of this podcast, click “Read more,” below

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Don’t be Bewitched by the Switch – What You Need to Know when You Evaluate Solutions

It’s undeniable that the biggest convergence happening in the access layer is Wired/Wireless. Today, we’re no longer forced to treat wired and wireless any differently when it comes to network visibility and management. However, the unification of Wired/Wireless doesn’t come without its own challenges and complexity.

As we’ve seen with the latest switching announcement at Interop 2015, there is a lot of noise in the marketplace and customers and partners increasingly need to cut through this to achieve their IT goals and meet today’s increasing demands on the network and the demands of tomorrow.

Earlier this week, HP made false claims about our Catalyst 4500E switch. To help you out, here is what you need to know about Cisco switching and, specifically, our Catalyst 4500E switch:

  • As the world becomes increasingly more digital, there is an elevated need for a flexible and scalable network to address rapid shifts in technology use and its associated traffic. We’ve seen tremendous demand for our modular switches that supply the best flexibility for this change. In fact, Cisco has the industry’s most widely deployed modular access switches with a modular PoE port share that just reached an all time high of 81.5 percent.
  • To tackle the biggest convergence in the access layer, Catalyst 4500E supports built-in wireless controller capabilities and delivers common intelligent services across wired and wireless for security and policy, application visibility and control, network resiliency, smart operations, and more.
  • Cisco’s Catalyst Multigigabit (mGig) technology available across the access portfolio including the Catalyst 4500E can prepare customers’ access switches for the next wave in wireless, 802.11ac wave 2 by delivering speeds beyond 1 Gigabit on existing Category 5e cables. This technology also supports PoE, PoE+, and Cisco Universal PoE (UPOE) so you don’t need to install new electrical circuits to power your access points.
  • Cisco’s modular access switch portfolio offers backward compatibility with up to three generation of line-cards providing unmatched investment protection – 2x in terms of number of years over other vendors.
  • A key operational consideration for IT is to maximize uptime and provide seamless code upgrades. In Service software upgrades (ISSU) have been available on Cisco’s 4500E portfolio for almost a decade
  • The Catalyst 4500E has unmatched scale to meet the needs of a customer’s network and future proof for an influx of new devices – 25X route entries, 16X multicast entries & 42X Security/QoS entries when compared to other vendors.
  • As IoT trends upward, more “things” connect to the access network and it is key that the network is able to scale to meet these needs – Cisco offers 33 percent more scale in terms of POE+ ports and 50 percent more POE+ scale for redundant power deployments to connect more users, devices and things. Additionally, Cisco supports UPOE, which future-proofs our customers for upcoming applications requiring more than 30W/port.
  • Security is a top of mind for our customers and Cisco offers a complete end-to-end solution with support for MacSec, Cisco TrustSec, Identity Services Engine and Flexible Netflow, providing the best in class network encryption, segmentation and networking sensing solutions.
  • The Catalyst 4500E is designed for supporting rich media services with its superior multicast scale and design. Cisco Catalyst 4500 is designed to support hardware accelerated multicast with deep buffers. The Cisco Catalyst 4500E accommodates up to nine times larger data bursts, delivered to otherwise loaded output ports, without loss.
  • Cisco Catalyst 4500E supports a multitude of capabilities that support IT simplicity and smart operations. Examples: Simplified provisioning with Plug and Play, Simplified configuration of switches & interfaces with AutoConfiguration and Interface templates and faster troubleshooting with embedded wireshark, a world-class protocol analyzer.

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SDN – A Cisco Champion’s perspective

Software defined networking (SDN for short) is going to be an important technology that will change the way we do networking. But what is SDN today and even more important, what is it going to be?

When you start reading about SDN as a network engineer, you ask yourself what your future job will look like. Will you still be a network engineer as we know you today, or a network developer, with a focus on scripting and programming your network? In my opinion, the reality will be somewhere in between. But no one can tell you today what impact SDN will have on your daily work tomorrow. Read More »

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Cisco Spring PONC on the heels of a strong OFC insertion

leonard_lunaBy Leonard Luna, Senior Marketing Manager, Cisco Service Provider Solutions

Cisco’s one-two punch for IP Optical Convergence in 2015 began with an impressive showing in March at OFC in Los Angeles, and crescendos with our annual Spring Packet Optical Networking Conference (PONC) being held May 12 -14 in Dallas TX – shaping up to be our most comprehensive and informative PONC ever.

Highlights from OFC

OFC 2015

Day one of OFC could not have started on a higher note – Verizon announced Cisco as a key partner in the deployment of its next generation Read More »

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