Cisco ACI: The (SDN) Beat(ing) Goes On
Dec03

Cisco ACI: The (SDN) Beat(ing) Goes On

For the networking industry — which can make glaciers look like Usain Bolt at work — Cisco’s ACI (Application Centric Infrastructure, AKA Software-Defined Networking) appears to be a runaway success. SDN is networking’s version of server virtualization… on steroids, and in the six quarters that Cisco has been selling ACI (as one of its three approaches to SDN), the company has raced to more than 5,000 Nexus 9K and ACI customers, 1,100-plus ACI customers (that’s more than 100 new customers since the end of October) and almost 50 ecosystem partners. Now the company, which has made a number of ACI announcements recently, is at it again, with a flurry of new enhancements, including beefed up security and Docker support. The announcements will appeal to both N9K switch and non-N9K customers, as well as non-Cisco customers, especially those focused on cloud automation and security, said Srini Kotamraju, Director, Product Management, Cisco. Network automation is a huge opportunity, the company said. “Customers tell me that only five to ten percent of their networks are automated today,” said Soni Jiandani, SVP at Cisco, in a prepared statement. “They are eager to adopt comprehensive automation for their networks and network services through a single pane of management, while improving security for east-west traffic, multi-cloud traffic and bare metal applications in a consistent manner.” Cloud automation and security may be the low-hanging ACI/SDN fruit, but open source and containers are generating a lot of interest too, added Cisco’s Mike Cohen, Director, Product Management. “We are seeing a pretty strong shift by customers interested in open source… (and) containers”. The datacenter and enterprise “In-Use” SDN market is expected to hit $1.4 billion this year, almost double last year’s numbers. “New SDN use cases continue to emerge, and the first half of 2015 was no exception with the establishment of the software-defined enterprise WAN (SD-WAN) market,” said Cliff Grossner, Ph.D., research director for data center, cloud and SDN at IHS. “The data center and enterprise LAN SDN market will be solidified by the end of 2016 as lab trials give way to live production deployments. And in 2017, SDN will move from early adopters into the hands of mainstream buyers,” he said. While Cisco’s numbers appear to put it well ahead of its branded competition, i.e. VMware NSX, the IHS data for the first half of 2015 indicate why this market is so critical to proprietary networking’s 800-pound gorilla: – bare metal switches accounted for 45% of global in-use SDN-capable Ethernet switch revenue; -white box switch vendors, as a group, are #1 in bare metal switch revenue; -Dell owns 100% of branded bare metal switch revenue;...

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The Future’s Looking Bright(er) For Cisco
Jun08

The Future’s Looking Bright(er) For Cisco

SAN DIEGO: It’s been a wild run-up to Cisco Live, June 7-11, with executive shakeups, acquisitions, product announcements and a communications forecast predicting that the future should be very bright over the next few years for networking’s powerhouse. Of course its competitors, alternative technologies, customers and a wonky economy will have their say in just how this will all play out, but as the old saying goes, so far, so good. Named as John Chambers replacement on May 4 (to be effective July 26), incoming CEO Chuck Robbins is wasting no time putting his stamp on the organization with sweeping management changes. Last week he named the 10 members of his leadership team (with more to come): Pankaj Patel, EVP, Chief Development Officer; Kelly Kramer, EVP and Chief Financial Officer; Rebecca Jacoby, SVP, Operations; Francine Katsoudas, SVP, Chief People Officer; Hilton Romanski, SVP Chief Technology and Strategy Officer; Karen Walker, SVP, Chief Marketing Officer; Chris Dedicoat, SVP, Worldwide Sales; Joe Cozzolino, SVP, Services; Mark Chandler, SVP and General Counsel; and Dr. Ruba Borno, VP, Growth Initiatives and Chief of Staff. “Our strategy is working, and with the leadership team I’m announcing today, I’m extremely confident we will move even faster, innovate like never before, and pull away from the competition,” said Robbins, in a prepared statement.  “This is a remarkable team, with a diverse set of experiences, expertise and backgrounds to accelerate our innovation and execution, simplify how we do business, drive operational rigor in all we do, and inspire our amazing employees to be the best that they can be.” His former bosses, co-presidents Rob Lloyd and Gary Moore will leave the company late next month. Padmasree Warrior, Chief Technology and Strategy Officer, and Edzard Overbeek, SVP of Services, will move into strategic advisor roles, effective immediately and stay through the transition, although Warrior is rumored to be on her way out too. Wim Elfrink, EVP for Industry Solutions and Chief Globalisation Officer, will retire effective July 25. Cisco was also quick to act in making sure departing executives did not come back to haunt them by joining their competitors. Moore and Lloyd reportedly signed separation agreements and general releases from Cisco effective July 25, which included a one-year noncompete agreement, saying they will not work for a total of 29 competitors or risk losing benefits. The list includes: AWS, Arista Networks, Dell, Ericsson, HP, Juniper Networks, Microsoft, Nokia, VMware, Check Point Software Technologies, FireEye, Fortinet, Symantec and Palo Alto Networks. A day prior to the executive shuffle, Cisco announced it intends to acquire Piston Cloud Computing, which will ‘help accelerate the product, delivery, and operational capabilities of Cisco Intercloud Services, according to...

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EMC Redefines Opportunity, Storage and Itself (3of3)

Like most other vendors, EMC uses its annual analyst summit (held last week in Boston) to provide IT industry analysts an overview of the company’s business, its performance during the previous calendar year and its view of the road ahead. But the company also does some things quite differently than its peers, particularly as regards the participation of senior executives. For example: To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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HP: The Human Side of Innovation

Acquired organizations and products can certainly benefit acquiring companies, especially in terms of delivering near-immediate commercial opportunities. But at the same time, the human side of innovation – the executives, engineers, developers and business line employees who initially develop, launch and then keep fledgling technologies aloft – can provide equally valuable or even greater, long-lasting benefits. That certainly seems to be the case in HP’s efforts to bolster its Cloud group, Helion Portfolio and OpenStack involvement. That doesn’t mean that such deals are necessarily, let alone automatically successful. Despite the best of intentions, new professional relationships don’t always grow and flower as planned. In spite of good will and hard work, carefully planned journeys don’t always reach their hoped for destinations. But overall, in acquiring Eucalyptus and in hiring both Martin Mickos and Mark Interrante as SVPs of HP Cloud, the company is underscoring the importance of open source and OpenStack in cloud evolution, and placing bets on executives whose experience in those areas is likely to deliver significant benefits over the long term. It should be noted that no wager is a sure thing, but in Mickos and Interrante, the odds seem to be on HP’s side. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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One OpenStack to Rule Them All: Bare Metal to Clouds

At VMworld 2014, VMware announced its easy-to-install OpenStack distribution, VMware Integrated OpenStack. This got me thinking, as normally OpenStack refers not just to the OpenStack distribution but to a specific underlying hypervisor as well, usually KVM. However, we know that OpenStack works equally well on KVM, vSphere, Hyper-V, and Xen, as it is more of a cloud management layer than a hypervisor. We should probably never lose sight of that little aspect of OpenStack: it is not a hypervisor. As an open-source management stack, it is possible for it to manage cross-hypervisor with a few modifications to its components. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in The Virtualization Practice...

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