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Emerging SDN Skills and the Cisco Approach

The Software Defined Networking (SDN) market evolution is having a major effect on networking job roles. New careers in IT are being built, focusing more on complex services and architectures rather than systems.

A recent survey by Cisco found that 71 percent of IT professionals intend on using SDN technology this year for a number of reasons, ranging from creating more programmable networks to simply reducing costs.

With these shifts in mind, new talent needs arise for IT professionals to accommodate evolving industry job roles.

Through the years, market transitions and technology disruptions have introduced IT knowledge gaps. Knowledge of networking fundamentals is no longer enough. Now, network professionals must understand networking systems with integrated security, wireless and voice capabilities. Cisco is leading the charge to provide direction and proper learning paths and resources to help address these challenges.

Listening to our community, we’ve determined new skills and job roles require a deeper understanding of deployments and troubleshooting of SDN architectures, as well as familiarity with SDN specific troubleshooting tools.

Just as we have been all along, Learning@Cisco is investing heavily in creating education and certifications programs to help our community evolve skills in order to continue to be the driving force of innovation in networking.

Watch below as I discuss Learning@Cisco’s efforts around SDN further.

Stay tuned for future updates to our certification and education program at: www.ciscolearningnetwork.com

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Leading the Network Evolution to SDN – Helping You with Your SDN Adoption Strategy

 

If you are following the industry debates around Software Defined Networking (SDN), and are wondering “What really is SDN?”, “How the concepts of network virtualization and network programmability relate to SDN?” and perhaps more pertinently, “What can it do for my business” and “What network problems, indeed what IT problems, could it solve for my organization?” Well, don’t worry, you are in good company. Many customers looking at SDN are asking exactly these questions.  When I blogged the other week on “The Missing ‘S’ in the SDN Debate”, I mentioned I would write again in more depth on the offerings from Cisco Services that would help you identify and benefit from SDN, the next evolution in the network.  Today, then, I will share more information on the “Cisco Strategy and Analysis Services for Open Network Environment (ONE)”, which helps you gain an appreciation of what SDN is, what Cisco ONE is, and how it will help you.  This service has been design specifically to answer the questions above for you, enabling you to optimize your IT strategy to greatest effect.

First, if you are attending CiscoLive in Orlando this coming week (week of 24 June 2013), please do look out for our “Design Centers” in the Data Center Cloud or Enterprise Networks areas of the Cisco booth.  Here you can discuss your SDN and Cisco ONE questions with Cisco Services’ solutions architects, who have already been running strategy workshops with some of the early adopters of SDN and beta customers of Cisco ONE.

 

Cisco Strategy and Analysis Services for ONE

Cisco Strategy and Analysis Services for ONE

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Services – the Missing “S” in the SDN Debate

While I’ve been writing about Cisco Domain TenSM, I’ve been watching the SDN debate evolve in our industry, and I have to say, I’ve had my concerns.  Don’t get me wrong – I personally see SDN as an important and very much required evolution (and note: ‘evolution’ – not ‘revolution’) of the networking industry.  Being able to extract more value from the network – through, for example, a consistent and broad network API – I mean, who wouldn’t be excited about that!  And especially for us in Cisco, with the largest by far networking installed base, the ability to uncover and exploit additional value for our customers from the network can only be a good thing!

As I say, over the past year or two, I’ve been perturbed about lack of discussion across the industry about the adoption and deployment challenges associated with SDN.  There is – bluntly – too much “nirvana” or “marketing promises” out there,  too much focus on the end result (e.g. “look at our use case, wow isn’t it great”) without discussion of steps required for a success, and too little discussion on the costs and challenges of the design and implementation of SDN solutions (e.g. “took us X man years + $M of investment”).  It’s now time to change the discussion.

I was therefore delighted to see Jim Meltzer’s discussion of the issues he was seeing with his clients regarding SDN.

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SDM: Software Defined Manageability

Much has been made of the emergence of Software Defined Networking and the programmable network.  At its core, SDN involves opening up network interfaces in order to make the network programmable and allow for the development of applications.  While some of those applications interact directly with the data plane, determining how individual packets are treated, many applications actually involve what can fundamentally be described as management functionality – automation of workflows, reaction to events, closing of control loops.   A popular example concerns orchestration, in which resources are allocated and state modified so that collectively a service is provided – in many ways resembling a reincarnation of service provisioning in a new context and under a new name.

Of course, management applications and management interfaces have been around for a long time, so what is really new and different this time?  Is SDN simply an exciting new label for a tired old concept? Does SDN obviate the need for traditional management? At the core of these questions are the concepts of programmability and manageabilityRead More »

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Outtakes from #VM13 (Varrow Madness): Cloud Views, Chicken and Waffles, and More

Just back from Varrow Madness 2013 (#VM13) in Durham, NC, a local event for me, and a great opportunity to connect with customers, partners, and cloud knowledge. Here are some highlights.

 Rusty Buzhardt (Cisco), Jason Nash (Varrow), Elijah Stukenborg (Chiquita)

Rusty Buzhardt (Cisco), Jason Nash (Varrow), Elijah Stukenborg (Chiquita)

Really enjoyed an inspirational keynote by VCE President Frank Hauck and the opportunity to learn about some new technologies that are emerging in the Data Center space. Look for upcoming #EngineersUnplugged episodes for some discussions around NetScaler, Flash Virtualization, and more.

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