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Use SDN Strategically – and NOT as a “Band Aid”

December 17, 2013 at 10:55 am PST

hammer nut

The other week I attended the “Software Defined Networking 2013” conference in London.  This is a UK-based event for the discussion of SDN, OpenFlow and Network Virtualisation Solutions from a strategic perspective.  There were quite a few interesting perspective s I picked up at this conference.  In particular, the conference for me reinforced the potential of SDN – but if you apply it to the wrong problem, you may not get the return you hope for!

Top of mind for me, then, coming out of this conference was a demo of “What SDN Can Do For You” from one of our competitors.  At best, the phrase “using a sledge hammer to crack a nut” comes to mind.

The demo came from our friends in Palo Alto, who once (boldly but incorrectly!) predicted  that “Cisco UCS would be dead a year after launch”. They gave a SDN-focused demo that, when I “peeled back the onion”, didn’t demonstrate a compelling SDN use case.  Rather, it convinced me that if you have this particular problem as illustrated in their demo, you don’t need SDN: you need a new vendor!

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Summary: An Innovative Infrastructure to Capture the Value of the Internet of Everything

The Internet of Everything (IoE) is no longer a prediction. It is reality. As I think about the infrastructure needed to truly capture its value, I immediately think the network needs to be:

  • Agile
  • Intelligent
  • Secure

Why are these qualities a necessity for a thriving programmable infrastructure? Simply, it will allow enterprises to be ready for today’s business needs and tomorrow’s new business models.

Business Insights 12 11 13

Organizations must be able to quickly, intelligently and securely leverage their infrastructure to keep pace with business transformation driven by emerging cloud and mobile technology.

Today’s world is dominated by what Gartner Vice President David Cearley calls the “four powerful forces: social, mobile, cloud and information.” An infrastructure must increasingly demonstrate it can add value to the business, by rapidly and securely rolling out new services, apps and capabilities in a connected world.

Read the full article:  An Innovative Infrastructure to Capture the Value of the Internet of Everything

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An Innovative Infrastructure to Capture the Value of the Internet of Everything

As the saying goes, the constants in life are death and taxes. We all know there are more than those two, including change and its counterpart, disruption. Business success will result from responsiveness and adaptation that will happen at a rate and with intelligence that we’ve only begun to get our heads around.  And, most CIOs I speak with are asking about how they can adapt and scale their infrastructure to be prepared as the Internet of Things evolves into the Internet of Everything.

Learn how your infrastructure can be intelligent, flexible and secure during constant business transformation. Click on each interactive tile to discover relevant facts.

Learn how your infrastructure can be intelligent, flexible and secure during constant business transformation. Click on each interactive tile to discover relevant facts.

This change brings big implications for IT. The role of IT is changing, in the face of cloud and mobile apps, and the growing understanding that every company is a technology company. From the consumerization of IT to what Gartner Vice President David Cearley calls the “four powerful forces: social, mobile, cloud and information,” IT must increasingly demonstrate it can add value to the business, by rapidly and securely rolling out new services, apps and capabilities in a connected world.

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SDN and Network Programmability

In this video, Cisco Distinguished IT Engineer Jon Woolwine and I discuss Cisco IT’s approach to Network Programmability and SDN, describing some SDN-related use case solutions currently in development. Read More »

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SDN Reflections on the London Gartner Data Center Conference – Part 1

December 6, 2013 at 4:58 am PST

Last week I was in London for the Gartner Data Center Conference.  As always there was a wide range of interesting topics being discussed, all very useful.  Working in Cisco Data Center Services, I am interested in many data center topics, however this year I was interested to hear perspectives on SDN, how the market is evolving, and how the attendees -- including many senior IT practitioners -- are considering SDN adoption.

London's Big Ben at Night

London’s Big Ben at Night

From a Cisco perspective, we were showcasing the recently launched Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), which generated a lot of interest.  There is growing awareness among our customers that ACI could do for networks and applications what the Cisco UCS has done for the server market (with UCS server profiles in the latter proving a good analogy to help customers understand the potential of ACI).

So what were some of my key takeaways from the SDN discussion I heard here?  And what were the questions that in my view are still not being discussed sufficiently across the industry?

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