I have just come back from the Gartner Data Center conferences in London and Las Vegas where I got to witness the increasing relevance of Cisco in the data center. The critical role of the network to enable the world of many clouds has becomes evident, and Cisco continues to establish itself as an innovator in the server market.  Our vision and solutions really grabbed the attention of the analysts and customers at a level that I certainly didn’t see last year.
Data center consolidation, server virtualization, and converged infrastructure continue to be chief concerns among decision makers.  Emerging topics such as fabric –based infrastructure, hybrid cloud, and network programmability were definitely the focus of numerous presentations and endless conversations.

Cisco continues to innovate on all these fronts, and we had a lot of progress to present to the audiences in London and Vegas.

Three Insightful Conversations 

I’d like to share with you three conversations I had at the Gartner DC Conference in Las Vegas. Two are with the sales and engineering leaders for Cisco Data Center, Frank Palumbo (@fpalumbo) and David Yen, and the third is with one of our partners, Siki Giunta from CSC, who participated on a panel on Cloud that I moderated.

Frank Palumbo on convergence, virtualization, network programmability, and SDN

In the first conversation, Frank Palumbo, VP Global Sales, reports some of the major concerns of the IT organization.  Our conversation covers:

  • The new role of the “cylinders of excellence” — servers, network, storage and security teams — when the goal is to implement a convergence infrastructure;
  • The benefits of deploying unified computing in environments where virtualization coexists with “bare-metal” workloads; and
  • Network programmability and SDN.

David Yen on the evolving data center

My second conversation was with David Yen, Cisco SVP & GM, Data Center Group, who gave a great presentation to more than 600 attendees called “The Evolving Data Center:  Past, Present, and Future.”

David — who brings in-depth knowledge of IT technologies from his years working with Sun Microsystems, Juniper, and Cisco – provides new perspective on the evolution of the data center.
In his presentation David explains how the convergence infrastructure, on the one hand, and network programmability, on the other hand, reshapes the data center landscape to make the world of many clouds possible.

Cisco has a unique position in this evolving data center as a key player in network, security, storage access, virtualization, and now servers with Unified Computing.  In fact, the combination of Unified Computing, Unified Fabric, and Unified Management with the technologies of recently acquired companies such as Cloupia represents a terrific value proposition for companies looking to deploy cloud infrastructure.

On the topic of the network programmability, David insisted on the importance of going beyond SDN (Software Defined Networking) to really embrace Cisco ONE (Open Network Environment) which offers the flexibility to choose between different deployment  models – based on platform API’s, or  a controller software, or  a virtual overlay network. This very realistic vision guarantees to our customers the opportunity to use hybrid implementations and build upon existing infrastructure with investment protection.

Watch this dialog with David Yen in Las Vegas to discover the role of the new data center and what drives Cloud computing infrastructure deployment evolution:

Cloud Supply and Demand: The Customer Perspective 

To illustrate the range of sourcing options that Cloud brings to IT shops, I moderated a panel at Gartner DC Las Vegas on the topic of  “Cloud Supply and Demand: The Customer Perspective” with Siki Giunta, CSC Global VP Cloud Computing, and PayPal’s Ryan Carrico, Advanced Technology and Research Team.

I invite you to watch this dialog with Siki Giunta. CSC is positioned by Gartner in the top right corner of their IaaS “magic quadrant” so Siki’s perspective is one you won’t want to miss:

For Siki, three major success factors for an enterprise -class cloud offering are security, scalability, and global reach.  This differentiation is made possible through the CSC-Cisco partnership and Unified Data Center solution.

Growing momentum of data center evolution

As these three conversations reveal, data center evolution is gaining momentum.

And the network is increasingly important as a critical element in the evolving data center making possible converged and fabric-based infrastructure, hybrid clouds, and network programmability.

Stay tuned for more info and insights from Cisco on data center evolution…we’re working hard with our partner ecosystem to give you the solutions and tools you need!

More Information

To watch the complete presentations on YouTube

David Yen ‘The Evolving Data Center : Past, Present and Future ”
You can also download David’s slide deck  here 

Giuliano Di Vitantonio’s panel on “Cloud Supply and Demand : The Customer Perspective”
ou can also download Giuliano’s slide deck here


Giuliano Di Vitantonio

Vice President

Data Center and Cloud Marketing