Cisco Live! 2012: Day 2
Day 2 of Cisco Live started out with more of the same – more video screens, more knowledge, more networking and more . . .bike tricks?
Cisco provides unique entertainment
The key part of day 2 was the keynote address by John Chambers, who speaks with a dynamic passion with which it is incredibly difficult not to get swept away. His speech noted the direction that Cisco perceived the IT sector was moving, specifically a change from IT to Business Technology, as IT becomes more ingrained in business processes. He focused on the concepts of any device, anywhere connecting to anything. He also foresees an “Internet of Things” as more and more devices become IP enabled. Everything from Coke machines (with the ability to download new flavor options, broadcast a short video advertisement in exchange for providing limited wireless access) to heavy machinery will be part of the next generation of the internet. As always, Cisco leads the pack in a number of different markets. Routing and Switching seem almost a given at this point, but unified communications and the x86 markets seem destined to become part of the Cisco machine.
Waiting for John Chambers to begin
For me, the most exciting part of the keynote was the demo portion this year did not disappoint. One of the biggest announcements at Live! was the introduction of the UCS-E blade. This is a server blade that can be installed in the ISR2 router platform. Now one can easily integrate server resources in a branch office – particularly useful in a VDI based solution so that local desktops are not tied to upstream internet connectivity. Cisco demonstrated the ease of using UCS and LISP to move VMs from the data center to the branch and back with limited interruption.
What is LISP, you might ask? LISP is a next-generation routing protocol that functions similar to local number portability in the cell phone space. Basically an IP address is correlated with a location, which can then be changed in a database on the fly. Another way to think of it is DNS for IP addresses. Here is a presentation that I did about a year ago on the concepts of LISP. The major use cases of LISP in the enterprise surround VM mobility and transparently linking IPv4 and IPv6 islands – so that people can put off the migration to IPv6 a little longer.
I also managed to check out the World of Solutions – the demo area for sponsors and other assorted vendors. There is a big push towards the VBlock architecture, creating a method to easily deploy data centers of almost any scale. It seems that training budgets have been slashed, as traditionally educational vendors take up a large portion of the floor, but the majority of those types of folks are now on side streets and not in prime real estate. Who were some of the larger vendors on display?
I know that cloud is an overused term, but we must be ready to adjust to the new way of doing business. I’ve spent a large portion of my time speaking with former colleagues, customers and new friends about their adoption of cloud architectures and it seems like almost everyone has integrated some aspects of the cloud into their environments. Creating an abstraction layer between resources and requirements has driven virtualization to the forefront of the industry and most “cloud” environments are evolving that concept. It is time to stop thinking of the network as individual things and more as a platform to accelerate business.
Keep tuned for more updates from Cisco Live!