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Cisco and Microsoft – Simplifying Scale-Up Cloud for Service Providers

As service providers strive to provide choices to their customers, we have made great progress in providing them with new ways to deliver cloud services. We’re helping them intelligently address all cloud opportunities with a portfolio of cloud solutions that meet customer requirements – for all types of cloud delivery models. That is why we are bringing the next level of simplicity, choice and value to our service provider cloud partners by partnering with Microsoft to deliver a next generation cloud architecture – the Cisco Cloud Architecture for the Microsoft Cloud Platform.

This new cloud architecture for scale-up enterprise workloads and applications is designed to enable service providers to easily offer IaaS/PaaS and SaaS in a single platform with a life-cycle approach to service delivery and policy management. Most importantly, it allows service providers to lower Read More »

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“Standing Room Only” in the Service Provider Booth at Cisco Live Milan 2015

Written by Igor Dayen, SP Product and Solutions MarketingIgor Photo

If you had a chance to join us at Cisco Live Milan last month, thank you very much for making this another exciting event for all of us. If you missed out being there in person, let me give you a brief summary of the highlights. Milan is the main industrial, commercial, and financial center of Italy and a leading global city where the EXPO 2015  will take place. What could be better than such a city to host the Cisco Live 2015 event!   It proved to be fertile grounds for driving innovations with our service provider customers and partners.   Our exhibition was structured to tell the story of the fddOpen Network Strategy by presenting over 15 technology and business demos.    We also brought the newest routers and switches with us to showcase the latest innovations that service providers can start deploying today.   Last but not least we have teamed up with the DevNet area where attendees could get their hands on developing applications and learning on virtualization, orchestration, and automation.  Our service provider booth of the Cisco Campus in the World of Solutions was very busy: “standing room only” and so many insightful conversations were conversations around the NFV (Network Functions Virtualization) and the SDN (Software Defined Networks), as pillars for delivering cloud services and an automated networking handling respectively, have matured significantly and are ready for prime time. Read More »

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Cashing in on Software Defined Network (SDN)

When it comes to software-defined networking (SDN), much of the buzz is on reducing networking complexity and costs. Those are good but can SDN help you make money along with saving money?

Simply, yes! Here are three ways we can look at achieving that:

  • Repurpose existing services onto a SDN making them more flexible at a lower cost – you can achieve higher margins and/or expand your market reach. Read More »

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Will Software Defined Networking Actually Happen?

As a writer for the IT media, conference speaker, and co-host of the Packet Pushers podcast, I cover emerging networking technologies often. The new tech that comes across my screen ranges in value from “I can’t believe that got funded,” to “Why has no one thought of this before?” and everything in between. As a big idea, software defined networking (SDN) seems to generate about that same range of responses from network engineers. Some networkers think that SDN is an extraordinary technology that’s going to change the world of IT. Others see SDN as yet another in a long string of quirky networking ideas that never gained acceptance. In fact, as I’ve read responses to my SDN-related content over the last few years, I believe that more folks are in that latter camp. SDN is a fad. SDN is a buzzword. SDN will go nowhere useful. SDN will eventually fail to have a universal impact.

I understand the cynicism. After all, for a long time, networking had lapsed in an innovation coma, with nothing especially exciting coming along to really shake things up. Yes, Ethernet’s gotten faster. And that BYOD thing got everyone excited a couple of years ago. But for the most part, we design, build, and operate networks the same way today that we did fifteen or more years ago. The core underlying protocols have grown up or had new knobs and levers added, but generally speaking, if a networker of the past fell out of a time warp and into a design project today, it wouldn’t take them too terribly long to catch up. Read More »

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Is ACI Really SDN? One Point of View to Clarify the Conversation

rose

Would SDN, by any other name, still smell as sweet?

Perhaps I’m in the minority that is still frustrated by this, but as a marketing person who is tasked with explaining technology and solutions to customers and prospects, I feel hamstrung by a lack of a widely agreed upon definition of what is and is not “SDN” still. This usually comes up in discussions about our new Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), and how it compares to traditional SDN concepts, as well as alternative approaches, such as overlay networks advocated by VMware.

The topic came up again this week with a NetworkWorld article in which the head of VMware’s network virtualization business is now saying, “SDN will never happen” (our rebuttal). Well, what is happening, if it’s not SDN? Or just because the technology has evolved, do we need to create a new term just because some early assumptions the industry made have changed?  As we start out a new year, I thought it a good time to try and reframe the definition, and look at how the trends in SDN may be shaping up to extend the concept into new areas.

Why do customers need SDN?

By early 2012, there was so much hype and expectations around Software Defined Networking, focused on the ability to “program” the network, that real customer use cases and the killer SDN app was lost in the conversation. But what slowly emerged, that is driving all the investment, pilots and product designs is a much better way to manage the data center and cloud network, and to automate IT tasks so that the infrastructure could respond dynamically to rapidly changing business conditions and requirements. The “intelligence” to make all that happen is moving from the network devices and device management consoles, to centralized policy-management platforms, orchestration tools and cloud-managers.

What’s caused the biggest evolution in SDN is the realization that very few organizations really have the desire, skills and incentives to write a new class of applications to a published API to program the network. These users are outlying use cases compared to the vast majority of organizations just looking to automate IT tasks, accelerate application deployment, make their cloud networks more flexible, and better align their IT infrastructure with business requirements. The focus has shifted from SDN being an open API/controller platform, to a platform capable of hosting a myriad of orchestration and IT workflow automation solutions that drive customers to their end goal. To that end, ACI is meeting all those objectives, and in more advanced and innovative ways than earlier SDN approaches.

Read More »

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