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.
The increasing diversity and complexity of traffic traversing the Internet of Everything today can be imagined as a three-dimensional collection of intersecting highways of different kinds (e.g., corporate WAN, Internet, mobile, Wi-Fi, cellular, cable, cloud), with a wide array of vehicles (e.g., PCs, tablets, smartphones) carrying various types of passengers (e.g., data, voice, video, email, SMS, Web). Emerging traffic from the new category of machine-to-machine communications is scaling exponentially and introducing new policy triggers.
In this new environment network operators must become master traffic controllers to deal with all of the volume, diversity, and complexity. The most innovative and forward-looking experts are aggressively looking into providing more open programmatic access to their network functions and services. The goal is easier and faster control, in order to make them more agile, flexible and application interactive while at the same time optimally aligning costs with potential new revenues.
Cisco ONE Building Blocks: Controllers and Agents
Software Defined Networking (SDN) plays a key role within Read More »
For those of us in large enterprises, it’s easy to feel lost in the sea of employees. With the rise of mobility, virtualization, and BYOD, many of us in the tech industry work from home, other offices, or even other countries. Because of this, many of us miss the chance to build good relationships with other team members. People with good work relationships are more productive, and tend to stay around longer.
Recently, my team had a major re-org, and helping new team members feel at home has been on the forefront of my mind. Here are some tips I am following to build a happier, healthier, and even more efficient team: Read More »
In April the largest conference for Oracle users, outside of Oracle OpenWorld, occurred in Denver. With 6000 attendees “Collaborate”, the annual Oracle user conference sponsored by IOUG (Independent Oracle User Group), OAUG (Oracle Application User Group) and Quest International, is one of the best events For Oracle users, whether it is Oracle Database or any of the other Oracle software products, to learn, network, share and teach. Oh, and have some fun too.
But for companies like Cisco who exhibit and sponsor Collaborate, it is also a great chance to informally “take the pulse” of the Oracle user community. The questions they ask and the sessions they attend provide a clear indicator of where Oracle users are headed, what the trends are and and where they are putting their efforts in the future. Here is what I discovered at this year’s Collaborate.
So unlike past conferences, the Oracle community is actively looking at
a) Virtualization for their Oracle infrastructure, including Databases and
b) Preconfigured/prevalidated hardware solutions (sometimes called converged infrastructure solutions) instead of just the old DIY custom system approach for hardware.
To me these are both major changes in the mindset of those using Oracle Database and applications. And the implications are significant. As virtualization permeates the large Oracle install-base (largest business software vendor), the hypervisor vendors will see significant growth and many operational aspects of Oracle infrastructures will change and improve. That virtualization push includes Oracle who is making inroads with their dramatically updated Oracle VM (virtual machine) product.
The move towards pretested hardware solutions is also a major directional shift which should drive an increased focus on reducing software and database upgrade/version cycle times and downplay the need to do extensive hardware testing. In today’s environment of “do more with less”, pretested hardware solutions may be a great way to help the Oracle IT team address that conundrum.
Can Cisco help with these trends towards more Oracle virtualization and pretested hardware configurations? The answer is a resounding YES! With our storage partners EMC and NetApp, and our software partners Oracle and VMware, we have developed an extensive array of pretested/prevalidated solutions with hypervisors (Oracle VM and vSphere), storage (EMC and NetApp) and software (Oracle Database and applications) all running on Cisco UCS servers and Cisco networking. For more information on Cisco’s Oracle solutions and to see the available Cisco Validated Designs (CVD) for Oracle, go to Cisco.com/go/oracle
Coming up in my next blog, more on the move to virtualize Oracle database and applications.
Desktop Virtualization On Your Terms – Flexibility and Choice with Architectures That Fit
I recently had the opportunity to host several customers in a roundtable discussion, exploring their experiences in deploying desktop and application virtualization, the challenges encountered, and the benefits they’ve reaped. It was an engaging dialog with organizations spanning mid-market, enterprise to large service provider environments deploying either Citrix XenDesktop or VMware Horizon View desktop virtualization software. In case you missed it, you can check out the event here. I mention this because it provides a valuable backdrop to some important news Cisco is sharing today, centered on helping IT organizations (like those I met with) more quickly achieve success in VDI.
Over the last few years, Cisco UCS has rapidly established itself as a leader among competitors with a much longer history in the server marketplace. Why is that? If you talk with anyone who’s implemented UCS in their data center, they’ll instantly tell you about the operational streamlining and simplification that UCS Service Profile Templates offer, the value of a unified data center fabric for LAN and SAN, and the performance derived from a platform that was purpose built for highly scalable, virtualized environments.
It should be no surprise then, that when organizations evaluate their options for server infrastructure to host virtual desktop workloads, the same UCS core value proposition extends nicely to desktop virtualization – the benefits of which are multiplied, in fact, given that virtual desktops can consume infrastructure resources and capacity in unique ways compared to other mission critical enterprise applications. We’ve therefore seen great response from our customers (as demonstrated in our webinar/panel discussion) when it comes to the fitness of UCS in hosting virtual desktops.
What we’ve come to find through our customer’s experiences, is that the vendor marketplace has traditionally taken a one-size-fits-all mentality around VDI architectures that either forces organizations to overspend CAPEX on approaches that are tuned for much larger environments, or wrestle with an economized approach that results in poor desktop user experience. Clearly, there’s a spectrum of IT implementation use cases that apply, when we’re talking VDI. Persistent desktops vs. floating, SAN in place vs. greenfield, one-hundred seats vs. tens of thousands, etc. so one size will never adequately fit all!
For this very reason, we’re expanding our portfolio of desktop virtualization solution architectures, along with the ecosystem of technology partners who are helping us accelerate the path to VDI success for environments of all sizes. While Cisco enjoys a strategic relationship with NetApp and EMC, we’re now offering desktop virtualization solutions that also include technologies from partners such as Nimble Storage, Nexenta, Atlantis Computing, Fusion-io, Tegile and others in process.
With these partners’ technologies come new capabilities that exploit key trends in the VDI and data center marketplace, including the proliferation of flash-based storage solutions, and appliance based approaches that mitigate the need for embedded SAN infrastructure and expertise (especially in smaller environments). Additionally, unlike our competitors who are narrowly focused on their own storage portfolio, Cisco can offer our customers the flexibility and choice they desire in selecting the storage technology and solution for VDI, that best fits their environment.
I encourage you to learn more about this exciting new portfolio of architectures by checking out the assets below.