The data center is at the heart of promoting IT transformation. Mobility initiatives have created a need for increased connections; power initiatives have created a need for greater efficiency; and the increased need for real-time workload processing are driving that change. I see these as “signature” trends in 2013 and also highlighted these in my earlier post this year.Conventional IT security approaches often add complexity and usually impede efficiency gains. What’s needed is an approach that does not introduce latency or require the data center to be reconfigured to accommodate security. Neither should it introduce a myriad of new of tools, new reports, and new processes.
Very few vendors can claim to provide an end-to-end architecture where security is a key programmable element of the underlying data center fabric. This capability not only accelerates the adoption of virtualization and cloud technologies but also mitigates the complexity associated with disparate and siloed security technologies. The benefits are increased business agility backed by assured security posture, strong alignment of business function to security and reduced operational costs. In this paradigm, data center and IT executives will no longer be forced into making tradeoffs between business function and security to ensure newer and more capable services.
At Cisco Live London, one of my data center theater presentations will focus on the benefits of a context-aware and adaptive security strategy. This approach helps accelerate the adoption of virtualization and cloud, which traditional static security models often inhibit. Context-based approaches factor in identity, application, location, device, and time along additional security intelligence such as real-time global threat feeds for more accurate security access decisions.
Neil MacDonald, vice president, distinguished analyst, and Gartner Fellow in Gartner Research has been advocating the benefits of a context-based approach now for some years as outlined in his Gartner blog. Not only does he say that by 2015, 90 percent of enterprise security solutions will be context-aware but in cloud computing environments where IT increasingly doesn’t own key IT stack elements, having additional context at the point of security decision leads to better decisions with risk prioritization and business factors accounted for. Neil MacDonald also co-authored a report, “Emerging Technology Analysis: Cloud-based Reputation Services,” which highlights the value of cloud-based threat intelligence in enabling secure cloud adoption.
As Kevin Sullivan points out in his recent blog, partnerships are an important strategic approach to today’s R&D and innovation. Kevin recommends strategies that industry-winning manufacturers can follow.
Investments in innovation are exciting. They inspire creativity and they fuel our economy.
What an afternoon of innovation looks like at Cisco
I was thrilled to discover that an institute for manufacturing innovation was recently launched in Youngstown, Ohio. This effort embodies a publicly and privately-funded partnership aimed at fueling R&D and innovation. Along with the U.S. federal government, a consortium of impressive manufacturing firms, universities, community colleges and non-profit organizations formed a partnership called the National Additive Manufacturing Innovation Institute (NAMII). They contributed a combined $70M to the Youngstown manufacturing innovation effort.
Motivated resources from a variety of academic, manufacturing and business backgrounds will come together to advance technology and manufacturing. And what will this Youngstown institute focus on first? Additive manufacturing. What is additive manufacturing? It’s the more formal name for 3D printing. And it’s quite cool.