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OpenStack Podcast #16: Interview with Pere Monclus

At Cisco we’re passionate about networking, and we have a ton of respect for those who are pushing the boundaries in this realm—even when they don’t work for our company.

Case in point: Co-founder and CTO of PLUMgrid, Pere Monclus. He’s actually a former Cisco employee, and his depth of knowledge when it comes to networking–particularly networking as it applies to OpenStack–is formidable. What’s more, he’s got a talent for taking difficult-to-understand concepts and making them easily digestible. In our interview last week he provided a great explanation of how SDN came about and what problems it is trying to solve. He also explained why network virtualization is so complicated compared to server virtualization, why—contrary to popular opinion–OpenStack Neutron is not broken, and why the cloud has forced the rise of global IT infrastructure companies.

Want to take your networking knowledge to the next level? Settle back and listen in. You’re in for a treat.

To see who we’re interviewing next, or to sign-up for the OpenStack Podcast, check out the show schedule! Interested in participating? Tweet us at @nextcast and @nikiacosta.

For a full transcript of the  interview, click read more below.

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Getting Value from Professional Organizations

As a Cisco team member, I’m convinced that the value of professional organizations cannot be understated. It’s understood that employees across various industries have a lot on their plate these days. Data centers, SDN’s or large solutions that help a manufacturing plant to become more “connected” are more than enough projects to keep us busy. However, employees often forget the value of professional organizations that are relevant within each industry. Whether an employee belongs to a professional organization or not, employees must realize the value that these organizations have: professional credibility, influence messaging on a ground level and increasing visibility for Cisco are some of the most important aspects that being involved with professional organizations can bring about.

Professional Credibility

Professional organizations are a place where I can network, learn and help deliver Cisco messaging as well as educate, engage and contact customers through community involvement.  When I first joined Cisco 15 years ago, I regularly attended and presented at monthly users group meetings, but over the years, Cisco’s participation at these meetings has waned and appears to be trending down. Often, I think we take for granted the value of professional organizations, but they provide a standard for professional credibility and give Cisco a broader visibility. As a member of an industry professional organization, specifically the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers (IEEE), I get tremendous value through education and networking.  I know my colleague Rick Geiger, who is on the Gridwise Alliance Board of Directors, would agree. At the local and state level, large impacts are possible as professional association members are able to drive professional credibility, influence agendas and position topics to society members who work or interact with our customer base.

For example, several months ago I received a monthly newsletter promoting a seminar on Software Defined Networking (SDN). One line stated “Software Defined Networking has got Cisco shaking in their boots because it just might completely transform what types of equipment are needed to build a network.  Do I have your attention now?”  Needless to say, I registered and attended – member discount to boot.

Education of members was the primary purpose of the seminar, meaning attendees expected the delivery of neutral, fair and technically accurate presentation on the future of software defined networks.  As I saw it, the presentation on SDN was focused on a Google approach to SDN architecture for data centers, and included a good amount of Cisco bashing. Nonetheless, the seminar provided an opportunity to influence the messaging at ground level and the topics discussed seemed to be informative and beneficial for all those in attendance.

Influence Messaging and Topics at Ground Level

Understanding the messaging and positioning of the local technical mavens presents a golden opportunity to counter and influence at street level. The bottom line, secure all forums to get Cisco’s messaging to our end users.  The IEEE meeting provided a good opportunity to secure a date and timeslot to present Cisco’s SDN and Application-Centric Infrastructure strategies as well as an opportunity to counter any negative perception the audience picked.  As Mike Robinson, Practice Architect states:

“As a member of UTC’s Smart Network Council, I get to collaborate with leading utilities in the United States who are dealing with the industry’s pressing issues. This is hugely valuable. It offers a direct path to decision makers, a seat at the table as they develop their strategies, and it builds trust as a colleague (as opposed to coming across just as a vendor). Also, through UTC I get the opportunity to speak at conventions, periodic forums, and regional meetings.”

Broader Visibility for Cisco

Cisco will also have an opportunity to drive thought leadership to influencers – Mavens and Sales specialists who will attend the upcoming session I secured. Account managers, engineers and other members of the sales team should make it a priority to get engaged with professional organizations, user groups and other community influencers.

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Summary: Top 10 ICT Trends in 2015: are you ready for digital transformation?

By Kevin Bloch, Cisco Chief Technology Officer, Australia and New Zealand

One of the best parts about my job is that I get to spend a lot of time listening to some very smart people, both internally within Cisco and externally. As we touch so many parts of the global technology industry and market, it puts me in a fantastic position to see what’s coming down the track. So, each year around this time, I take the opportunity to offer some predictions for the year ahead (which, incidentally, is Cisco’s 30th birthday).

It will probably come as no surprise that the biggest theme you’ll hear about this year is digital transformation, which is essentially underpinned by the Internet of Everything (IoE). In the next twelve months, enterprises will spend more than $40 billion globally, designing, implementing and operating the Internet of Things (IoT). Already thirty-eight percent of technology spend is outside of IT.

Read the full Top 10 ICT Trends in 2015 blog and feel free to provide any feedback.

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Milan, Please Meet Open Network Architecture for Service Providers

By Igor Dayen, SP Product and Solutions Marketing


When I look at the sky, I see an infinite number of stars. It is a moment of inspiration when I gaze at the sky in hope of spotting something miraculous. Looking at the Telecom industry and its new innovations, I feel the same. A new star is rising almost every day. Well … to find Cisco innovations and its stars look no further: the Service provider booth at Cisco Live Milan 2015 is bringing everything that you every wished to see under the stardom of the service provider. Please let me take you through the “starlog” of innovations and demos that will be available for you to engage in and learn about how they advance your business.

Stardate 2015. You may know that the Cisco NVI forecast predicts significant traffic growth and Moore’s Law has never failed us. Therefore Cisco’s service provider strategy is to stay ahead of the curve and deliver SP solutions to Read More »

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ACI Delivers Operational Simplicity

Let’s start this blog with a hypothetical scenario. Suppose you’re the CIO and you’ve committed to your CEO and the Board of Directors that your company will execute an innovative new strategy to delight your customers directly through their mobile devices  and leverage the cloud to service them at scale.  You are 90% complete in your development and you just need to complete your final beta and production readiness testing to roll it out to production when you learn your leading competitor is going to beat you to the market with their own application next month.

Is your cloud infrastructure really as agile as you believe? Will the physical infrastructure scale with the load?  Will you be able to secure your application and data from threats?  Can you rapidly deploy a production application across servers, networks, and storage infrastructure securely?

During Cisco’s Data Center webcast Jan 13, we’ll walk through the hypothetical use case above and then see how Day 1 operations for configuration and deployment can be addressed in real life by customers and enabling vendors.

Episode 1: An Impossible Deadline

day1 (click to play)

We’ll look at Day 2 operations and learn how important application visibility across physical and virtual infrastructure is to meet the most stringent uptime requirements.

Episode 2: The Needle in the Haystack


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Finally, we examine the challenges of de-commissioning applications securely while maintaining compliance.

Episode  3: Operation Clean Up


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DCJoin us during the webcast as we hear from ACI customers who will share their production experiences with ACI and  how it impacts their day 1 and day 2 operations.  Hear ACI ecosystem partners who will share how they collaborate through ACI’s open policy model to simplify application delivery, security and orchestrate open clouds.

Make a note on your calendar for January 13th at 9 AM PST/ 12 EST  and see  Is your Data Center Ready for the Application Economy? (Register Here!).

The video on demand will be accessible through this same link.


If you are traveling to Cisco Live in Milan, Italy; please come to my session  PSODCT-2455 “Simplify Day 0, 1, and 2 Operations in Application Centric Data Centers” on Jan 29th from 1:15PM — 2:15PM to learn how operations like tenant on-boarding, creating applications containers and self-service catalogs, application monitoring and troubleshooting can all be simplified with application policy driven automation.

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