Every year as QCon San Francisco approaches, I get excited to look at new innovations and learn from bleeding-edge enterprises that are using new technologies to give their companies a competitive advantage. It’s hard for me to believe that 2016 marks the 10th year of this event. And this year’s QCon is shaping up to be a must-attend event. Some of the topics that I find very interesting that we’ll be demonstrating at the event are around deep learning, unikernels, stream processing, serverless, and cloud native (containers and microservices architectures).

Cisco’s theme for this 10th year anniversary of QCon is “Your Partner for Software Acceleration,” which has a very interesting background in how Cisco has evolved and is continuing to evolve as a software company. There are several areas to address in this statement, but first, allow me to level set for a few moments. The definition of a partner I think about is:

A partner is a member in a partnership, an entity in which both the profits or losses of a business or other venture are shared between all members

The above definition means that to be a partner, there has to be vested interest in both parties being successful and there is an implicit expectation that together they will be more profitable than separate.

The other definition I need to clarify is software acceleration as it’s over loaded too often today. Acceleration is defined as:

Increase in the rate of speed of something

In physics, it is defined as the rate of change of velocity per unit of time: a=vf-vi/t. This makes me think about software development velocity measured by sprint duration. Therefore I would define software acceleration as:

Increasing the rate of software delivered

Coming back to the Cisco’s theme, we have been working very closely with our customers to accomplish their business goals in a way that increases the rate at which they can deliver software. We accomplish this through 4 specific areas:

  1. We are contributing to cloud native projects and focusing in the area of integrated tools and the environments for software development and lifecycle management needed to accelerate delivery.
  2. As containers offer a way to isolate applications on infrastructure and remove inconsistent infrastructure environments, conflicts, and server management headaches, they do present a new set of housekeeping challenges and complexities. Cisco offers developers several options to address their enterprise goals. For those who would prefer to run and manage their containers and seeking an open source integrated container management solution, Mantl will offload the management of containers in a datacenter. For those who want to completely offload container management and achieve NoOp, Cisco, along with our software partners, can offer Container Management-as-a-Service (CMaaS) across cloud, fog, and IoT devices.
  3. For IT professionals who are interested in the benefits of OpenStack without the headache of managing and migrating to the latest versions OpenStack, Cisco Metacloud provides Openstack-as-a-Service.
  4. There is also a PaaS aspect for developers enabled by Cloud Foundry through our Pivotal partnership and OpenShift through our Red Hat partnership.

Stop by the Cisco booth (#4) at QCon and see these four areas in action. We look forward to a great show and hope to see you November 7th thru 9th.


Kenneth Owens

Chief Technical Officer, Cloud Infrastructure Services