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Providing the Right Platform is Sometimes All it Takes

Change is the only constant. Except that it isn’t; constant that is. We are seeing changes to IT services, infrastructure, eco-systems, and business models, with consequent demands and expectations that we have not witnessed before. Cisco is responding to all of this with new technologies for the DevOps community, including APIs, development tools, training and more, all of which I discuss below.

The Economist likens this to the Cambrian era that saw the multiplication of life forms that populate our world today: “… this time is … different, in an important way. Today’s entrepreneurial boom is based on more solid foundations than the 1990s internet bubble, which makes it more likely to continue for the foreseeable future.”

What has made this possible, which the Economist illustrates with a variety of examples, is the ubiquity of communications and open source platforms in a “cloud” environment. The Economist lists these elements:

  • …snippets of code that can be copied free from the internet, along with easy-to-learn programming frameworks (such as Ruby on Rails).
  • … services for … sharing code (GitHub) …
  • … “application programming interfaces” (APIs), digital plugs that are multiplying rapidly …
  • … “platforms”—services that can host startups’ offerings (Amazon’s cloud computing), distribute them (Apple’s App Store) and market them (Facebook, Twitter).
  • … the internet, the mother of all platforms, which is now fast, universal and wireless.

What has also changed is that the IT stack is, in effect, collapsing. The “separation of concerns”, that kept the network infrastructure distinct from the applications running over it, is being whittled away. In October 2013 we teamed up Read More »

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What is Infrastructure Programmability?

The programming of network resources is not just a trend, but also a way to future-proof IT and business needs.

This blog series examines how infrastructure programmability is providing a faster time to competitive advantage and highlights the differences between programmable infrastructure and traditional infrastructure, and what programmability means for your entire IT infrastructure.

To read the second post in this series that discusses benefits of network programmability, click here. To read the third post in this series that discusses how IT leaders can embrace this change, click here.

The proliferation of devices and applications has increased the complexity of traditional IT infrastructure. The complexity arises from manually managing the infrastructure box-by-box that is slow and error-prone.  The adoption of cloud computing has compounded the problem with on-premises and off-premises resources. As a result, IT leaders have to allocate critical resources to maintain and troubleshoot these systems. In a recent whitepaper, Zeus Kerravala indicated that 83% of IT budget is used to simply maintain the current operating environment. This leaves precious few resources to invest in business-enabling innovation.

At the same time, business leaders are demanding their IT infrastructure to provide them with a faster time to competitive advantage. Quick time to market is paramount in a world where a new competitive advantage might only last a few months or even weeks. And, as if these challenges are not enough, new cyber-attacks not only threaten innovation but can also threaten the organization itself.

Infrastructure programmability is providing a faster time to competitive advantage.

Infrastructure programmability is providing a faster time to competitive advantage.

Programmability to the rescue

Infrastructure programmability provides the ability to control and change the functions of IT infrastructure. Let’s take a closer look.

Read More »

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Two Resources on Nexus Programmability

April 28, 2014 at 4:50 pm PST
Class is in session

Class is in session

As I start to explore more and more information about Software-Defined Networking and Programmability in the Nexus portfolio, I’ve been fortunate that there have been a lot of people helping me learn along the way.  I thought I’d share some of these as it gave me a bit more insight into some of the more holistic perspectives that I’ve been trying to get my head wrapped around lately.

I’m still starting off at a rather high level, though I’m spending more and more time getting deeper into the tech. Every once in a while, though, I need to look up and make sure that I’m swimming in the right direction. It’s really easy to get mired in the details and forget the bigger picture. Read More »

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Driving New Network Programmability Talent Needs

Over the past year, we saw the idea of software-defined networking (SDN) become an integral part of IT conversations globally. As this technology evolves, the term “network programmability” can be used to capture the idea of opening up the network.

The Cisco Global Cloud Index predicts that two-thirds of all workloads will be processed in the cloud by 2017, and more than two-thirds of all data center traffic will come from the cloud. Companies building enterprise private clouds, public clouds and hybrid clouds will need qualified talent to optimize their cloud deployments for maximum efficiency.

Read More »

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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”

 

 

 

 

 

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