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Cisco Live 2011 Industrial Intelligence Day Customer feedback – “A Great Success”

July 13, 2011 at 11:54 pm PST

Cisco Live’s first ever “Industrial Intelligence Day” focusing on manufacturing and industrial customer needs was judged a great success according to the feedback  given at the sessions in Las Vegas this week. In an action packed day attendees heard about trends in network convergence between business IT and Industrial plant networks, and how standard Ethernet IP protocols were becoming prevalent in industrial and control networks.

As Master of Ceremonies, I had the pleasure of introducing Alan Cohen, Vice President, Global Public Sector & Industry Solutions. Alan kicked off the day talking about the care-abouts of executives in Manufacturers and how Cisco is addressing them. He used real-life customer examples such as Coca-Cola, General Motors, GE, Continental Tire and Anglo Platinum. Alan expressed how Cisco was helping these customers address the challenges of  Growth, Market Transitions, Innovation, Risk and Goverance.  This set up a good interactive environment for Bryce Barnes and John Parello to introduce Energy and Sustainability for the manufacturing sector. Bryce pointed out that 35% of all energy usage in the world is consumed by manufacturing industry and we added that that figure goes over 50% if you include the transportation and distribution of those manufactured goods and materials.

After watching John Chamber’s Insightful Keynote, delegates returned to hear Paul Didier and Chris Haley (both Cisco) and Gregory Wilcox (Rockwell Automation) talk about the status and trends for wired LANs including resilience and security with a fascinating presentation on Motion from Gregory. That was followed by wireless strategies from David Wolf and Scott Friberg from Cisco talking about wireless innovations and real-world testing where wireless is now deemed appropriate for time critical applications. Then delegates went to the main tent for a thought-provoking session. Read More »

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Become Cloud-Powered with Context-Aware Networking

Context-Aware, Cisco Borderless Networks Accelerate the Adoption of Cloud services

According to a recent Cisco Enterprise customer poll, 50% of those surveyed are interested in deploying some type of cloud infrastructure – whether it is public, private, or a hybrid.  According to Forrester, (“Sourcing Groups Prepare For 2011 — Cloud Is Key Initiative 11/10”) Cloud adoption is already over 25% in North America, and continues to grow in Europe.

There are many reasons for migration to Cloud, including application portability on any device, business agility to deliver services and expand into new business models, and operational simplicity.

While many headlines talk about the Cloud, there is little mention of the role of the network in enabling Cloud services.

As organizations move to the cloud, and the varied devices and connection types accessing private and public cloud services,  they become prone to malware or Web vulnerabilities.  There’s also the risk of data loss. Ultimately, IT is faced with “can the network secure these connections, users, and data in a manner that ensures reliability and seamlessness?”  It is no wonder that a Forrester blog cited  that Security is the #1 barrier for cloud adoption.

Another concern is network performance. 83% of CIOs considered performance a top
concern for cloud services in an IDC Enterprise panel.  Management of virtualization has also become more complex.  According to an Enterprise Strategy Group study,  44% of  IT consider virtualization to have a major impact on network and server management.

The Cloud-Powered Business announcement today highlights for customers how the network is delivering solutions to break through these barriers to Cloud adoption: Security and Performance.

In this short interview, Praveen Akkiraju, SVP/GM of Services Routing Technology Group will discuss how Cisco is enabling organizations to accelerate adoption of cloud services by extending Borderless Networks to deliver secure, reliable, and optimized cloud services, “The Critical Role of the Network in Supporting Cloud-Based Solutions”.

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Best of Times, Worst of Times: Is Virtualization in the Data Center a Problem or an Opportunity?

As I travel the world, I ask my customers two simple questions:

First, are you virtualizing your data center? (Universally the answer is yes.)

Second, have you deployed any virtual security solution? (Universally the answer is no.)

Wow. How can this be? Does a virtual data center not need security? Not a chance. It needs security more than ever. Most customers are confining their virtualized infrastructure into secure zones, or virtual local area networks (VLANs). That’s useful for a first phase, but excessive VLAN segmentation holds us back from achieving the efficiencies of the utility computing model—and it also gets really complicated really quickly.

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Why a Good Enough Network Isn’t

Some vendors and analysts contend that the network just connects boxes and all you need is a tactical infrastructure, capable of addressing current requirements. But with all the challenges today around security, plus mounting evidence that the winners in today’s market are those that are differentiating themselves with innovative customer experiences, I can’t help but ask, “why?” The tactical, ‘good-enough’ network is not only shortsighted; it’s potentially harmful. A disrupter? Yes, but not the desirable kind.

Building a forward-looking network that can evolve through today’s business challenges into the future is not pie in the sky. In fact, it’s a smart business decision that can ultimately save lots of IT dollars while beefing up your capabilities and security. More importantly, it’s key to creating a platform that doesn’t give out on or frustrate your end users—employees, customers, and partners.

At Cisco Live, I stopped for a quick chat about the next generation network.  Listen in, below:

To learn more about the Cisco next generation network, go to cisco.com/go/borderless. In the meantime, though, please share your thoughts. What stands in your way when it comes to building a smart, strategic network?

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Bitcoin Security Architecture: A Brief Overview

Bitcoin is an emerging technical and economic phenomenon, based upon a self-published paper by Satoshi Nakamoto. Many sites have taken notice of Bitcoin and have published some very thoughtful “what is Bitcoin,” “How-to get started” documentation. But the resources available to address Bitcoin are few, and primarily oriented toward enthusiasts, casual hobbyists, or those interested in making and securing a profit off of Bitcoin generation (“mining”). In this post, we make an effort to extend the Bitcoin security body of knowledge, but from an organizational perspective: what are the risks associated with adopting Bitcoin, intentionally or unintentionally.

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