It’s no secret that enterprise data centers are in a state of transformation – they always are. There’s a constant need to scale data center operations to meet the seemingly insatiable demand for connection and throughput speeds, as well as the number of concurrent sessions. In fact, experts anticipate that these performance demands will increase by as much as 30X over the next few years. While that statistic alone is remarkable enough, that’s just part of the story. Adding to the dramatic changes is the trend toward virtualization – with over half of all workloads expected to be virtualized by next year; and the fact that employees currently use an average of more than three mobile devices to access enterprise networks.
All of these trends are fundamentally changing data center operations today. And while the obvious impact of these changes is the need for performance scalability to meet the increasing demands, they also inherently change how data centers are secured. It’s this second impact that is often overlooked. While security is certainly important to data center administrators, it isn’t their only concern. Oftentimes their primary focus is maintaining business-IT alignment and avoiding chokepoints that can degrade performance and jeopardize their SLAs. As a result, security is frequently put on the backburner while the entire operation continues to upscale – opening the door to the perfect storm for a major security breach.
Unfortunately, most security products are “bolted on” as an afterthought, so they’re not capable of meeting the robust and dynamically changing needs of enterprise data centers. But Cisco handles security very differently than the rest of the industry. By leveraging the SecureX Architecture, Cisco security solutions are built into the network fabric. 70 percent of the world’s Internet traffic and 35 percent of the world’s email traffic flows through Cisco networks, putting Cisco in the best position to see and proactively protect against threats before they affect customers’ networks. Cisco gains intelligence from throughout the network to enable more informed security decisions, and has used that intelligence to integrate security throughout the network infrastructure to provide comprehensive policy enforcement.
To this end, today Cisco made a series of product announcements that help provide modern data centers with what they need to remain secure, while enabling them to meet their business needs:
- Cisco ASA Software Release 9.0, which is a major release of the core operating system which powers the entire line of ASA security appliances, adding data center-class performance and next-generation firewall capabilities
- The Cisco ASA 1000V Cloud Firewall, a new multi-tenant edge firewall that uses the same base ASA code that runs the physical ASA appliances, but is optimized for virtual and cloud environments
- Cisco IPS 4500 Series Sensors, a new series of standalone enterprise-class IPS appliances that provide up to 10 Gbps of IPS throughput in a single blade –four times the performance density of the closest competitor
- Cisco Security Manager 4.3, which delivers several important capabilities for up to an 80% improvement in operational efficiency, as well as northbound APIs that enable customers to more efficiently deploy comprehensive security solutions
With these new product announcements, in addition to the rest of the SecureX Architecture, Cisco makes security a deployment decision, just like the rest of your network, with consistent security that enables policies to work throughout hybrid environments – physical, virtual, and cloud. Because we’re part of the network fabric, rather than a bolted-on point product vendor, we deliver security when, where, and how you need it to deliver a flexible, comprehensive security solution. As a result, Cisco can provide high levels of network security, while enabling enterprise data centers to maintain business-IT alignment and avoid chokepoints that can degrade performance and jeopardize SLAs. And since we enable one layer of security policies to work throughout the hybrid environment, we provide a high level of security while significantly decreasing complexity.
For more information, please visit http://www.cisco.com/go/securedc.
Tags: ASA, cloud, data center, firewall, network security, security, Virtual Security Gateway, virtualization
We all know that the virtualization and cloud megatrend is a game changer for data centers, leading to profound shifts in everything from IT services and business models to architectures. Business benefits include reduced capital investments, new revenue growth opportunities, and the greater efficiency, agility and scalability demanded by globalization.
Enterprises have held back from making the transition to virtual and cloud environments primarily because of the inherent security risks and concerns.
Targeted attacks and security breaches are getting more sophisticated. The Verizon Security Threat Report for 2011 showed that 3.8 million records were stolen in 2010, and 94% of this data came from servers (an increase of 18%).
As security concerns are the primary barrier to making this transition from virtualized data center to cloud, we must rethink how security fits in to these new architectures and develop new security tools to ensure the secure transfer of information.
For enterprises to confidently seize the business benefits offered by data center virtualization and the cloud, security must be seen as the art of the possible, not as a hindrance.
Watch below as I explore the challenges and leading practices for securing virtualized environments today, and into the future.
Please join me also for a special webcast “Defending the Data Center “ today at 10:00 am PDT /1:00 pm EDT /17:00 GMT – To watch register here
Tags: Cisco, CSO, cybersecurity, data center, information security, John Stewart, security, virtualization
Are you making last minute plans for VMworld? Filling out your agenda, and realizing there just isn’t enough time to take it all in? This year like last, will be packed with valuable sessions, labs, keynotes, and the like, but before we get to the shenanigans taking place there, let me share something hot off the presses.
Just this week, we posted a brand new study, conducted by Cisco’s Customer Business Transformation Team, sharing their analyses of two customers who’ve deployed the Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) Smart Solution. More specifically, they looked at the savings associated with the migration of user workspace (traditional desktop along with a traditional TDM phone) to a fully virtualized workspace delivered via Cisco VXC endpoints (phone replaced with VXC 6215 delivering unified voice, video and virtual desktop), underpinned by Cisco Unified Data Center.
The tangible impacts are progressively revealed in incremental stages of implementation as customers go from:
Incremental Savings Derived from Implementing VXI at Various Stages
A big contributor to the cost savings is not just the evolution of the telephony and video solution, but also the underlying data center infrastructure leveraging Cisco Unified Data Center, built on Cisco Unified Computing System.
I was going to paste a nice graphic from the analysis here, but that would be a spoiler, and I’m so not about spoiling stuff, so download the full document >> here <<
Now onto the shenanigans, I mean, VMworld…
If you’re exploring desktop virtualization, and more closely thinking about specific use cases you’re trying to address, like mobile power users, or business process outsourcing, this year’s event will be especially valuable to your organization.
Cisco and VMware have teamed up to deliver an holistic solution approach for organizations seeking to better empower mobile users to become truly untethered from the confines of their brick and mortar office. These users are not solely defined by the need to access apps and data on a myriad of device options, but on the ability to collaborate with peers, partners, and customers, using enterprise-grade real-time communications media. I blogged about it here. Similarly we’ve plowed considerable focus into the use case of Business Process Outsourcing (BPO), one which bears increasing relevancy as businesses seek to leverage a global talent pool to handle functions like customer service, tech support, payroll, etc. These environments depend on an extensive WAN infrastructure and uncompromised collaboration and communications, delivered securely.
So, what’s being served up at VMworld this year, from VMware and Cisco that will help you navigate these opportunities? Here’s what:
2:30pm – SPO3336, “A Healthcare Provider’s Perspectives on Going Beyond VDI with Unified Workspaces”, Moscone West, Level 3, Room 3007 – check this session out to hear from a major regional healthcare provider who’s implemented Virtual Workspaces, reducing IT OPEX, while improving clinician workflow
Are you going to the Steve Herrod keynote? I can’t reveal details here, but if you’re not familiar with the Cisco UCS Express Solution for virtual desktops and simplified branch office infrastructure, you don’t want to miss this! Not only that, but our own TechWise TV Guys (Jimmy Ray Purser and Robb Boyd) will be there, and to call it entertaining would be an understatement! FYI – there’s a specially prepared music video involved, way better than Carly Rae Jepsen, so please vote for them!
All week long!
Visit Cisco at Booth 1213 – why you ask? Well like last year I’m sure we’ll be in excellent proximity to the afternoon drinks/food reception, but besides that:
- See the Business Process Desktop and Mobile Secure Desktop with VMware View, built on Cisco VXI, in action!
- Learn about how Cisco Unified Data Center delivers a simplified, more scalable solution with consistent performance, for virtual desktop workloads
- Attend our theater presentations on Cisco VXI, as well as our Ask-the-Experts whiteboarding area where you can fire-off your questions (of course with drinks and food from the reception in hand).
If you’re going to be at VMworld, definitely stop by and say hi. (If not, it will likely be a very quiet, productive week at the office for you – so it’s a win-win either way I guess)
Tags: desktop, vdi, virtualization, VMware, vmworld, vxi
VMworld 2012 is around the corner, and like the past years , Cisco as a key player in the word of network, virtualization and now servers with the Unified Computing Systems, is a sponsor .
In the following days you will read on this blogs a series of information on our participation . But I encourage you to check today the following website to have a good overview of what we will present in terms of demos on our booth (#1213) , but also what are the key sessions we are leading . Visit here
Amongst the numerous solutions, I know for a fact (based on the numbers of readers of our blogs), that VXLAN is a very compelling topic. So I invited Han Yang to introduce his session:
Best Practice for deploying VXLAN with Cisco Nexus 1000V and VMware Cloud Director
INF–NET2373, Tuesday August 28 5:00 pm – 6:00 pm
If you want to know more about VXLAN, please check the recent blogs on this topic by Gary Kinghorn and Omar Sultan:
Read More »
Tags: Cisco, cloud, virtualization, vmworld, VXLAN
In my previous blog, I talked about how virtualization is picking up momentum in the healthcare industry and how this is resulting in simplified clinical workflows and providing nurses and physicians with fast access to the applications and information they need to support positive patient outcomes. In this blog, I would like to touch on one of the key areas where virtualization has made a significant impact – desktop virtualization.
Hospitals frequently use shared dictation terminals to host their clinical dictation applications. As doctors complete multiple patient rounds, they make their way to one of these dedicated workstations, plug their personal microphone into the workstation, and dictate their notes from their previous rounds. The delay between completing rounds and dictating patient data is inefficient, but more importantly, it creates the potential for errors. Access through shared and dedicated workstations also tethers the clinician to specific terminals that can only be used when the doctor is in the clinic. For example, there is no easy way to access clinical reference imaging applications when the doctor is away from the clinic and wants to quickly review images for a specific patient. Instead, the doctor must either call a peer at the hospital to review the images, or incur travel time to go to the hospital.
Finally, although the shared workstations distributed across the clinics and hospitals are centrally managed, the software operating on each workstation can quickly drift away from its original configuration as users install specific applications not hosted by the data center or use the workstation in other ways that compromise the original “golden image.” As a result, every workstation and application that a caregiver uses can behave differently. A hospital’s IT group can potentially spend most of its time chasing repetitive workstation issues and errors, as well as managing different instances of almost applications. IT administrators constantly face the challenge of unwanted installations, as well as the incompatibility between images from one shared workstation to the next. Upgrading desktops and applications can be a difficult task, requiring many hours of effort on each workstation.
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Tags: Cisco, Clinical Workflows, healthcare, vdi, virtualization, vxi