Cisco UCS Claims Nine World Record Benchmarks with the Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 v4 family

– March 31, 2016 – 0 Comments

Today Cisco announced support for the Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 v4 family on the Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS®).

On the same day as the Intel announcement, Cisco captured Nine world records on industry benchmarks on Cisco UCS to highlight the way in which Cisco UCS can accelerate performance across the data center. As we know, there is no better way to compare performance than by using industry-standard benchmarks, and with Nine new world record benchmark performance results Cisco has demonstrated Cisco Unified Computing System’s outstanding performance and IT productivity across key data center workloads. Check out the Performance Brief for additional information on the nine new Cisco UCS world record benchmarks. The detailed benchmark disclosure reports are available here. The performance leadership across a wide range of workloads provided by Cisco UCS is validated by the nine World records announced today summarized below:

  1. SPECfp®_rate_base2006 – Best 2-socket x86-architecture result
  2. SPECint®_rate_base – Best 2-socket x86-architecture result
  3. SPECint_base2006 – Best 2-socket x86-architecture result
  4. SPECjbb®2015-MultiJVM – Best 2-socket x86-architecture result for critical jOPS
  5. SPECfp®_base2006 – Best 2-socket x86-architecture result
  6. TPC Express Benchmark HS (TPCx-HS)- Best performance and price/performance at the 1-TB scale factor
  7. TPC Express Benchmark HS (TPCx-HS)- Best performance and price/performance at the 10-TB scale factor
  8. SAP Sales and Distribution (SD)- Best 2-processor, 44-core, 2-tier result
  9. SPEC®OMPG2012 – Best 2-socket x86-architecture result

 Cisco’s world-record-setting benchmark results also demonstrate dramatic performance improvements over the prior- generation Intel® Xeon® processor E5 family. Cisco’s results demonstrate the degree to which Cisco UCS servers with large memory configurations deliver the power of the new Intel Xeon processor E5 v4 family. Compared to Cisco’s previous-generation servers powered by the Intel Xeon processor E5 v3 family, Cisco’s new servers demonstrate dramatic improvements in raw CPU power as well as business and parallelized application performance.

Cisco UCS with the Intel® Xeon® processor E5-2600 v4 family delivered up to 127 percent better performance over the prior generation Intel® Xeon® processor E5 family as shown in the graph below:

LE-56601-PB-Broadwell-Results (3)

Performance Improvement Compared to Previous Generation Cisco UCS Servers (Percent)

It is interesting to note that although all vendors have access to same Intel processors, Cisco UCS unleashes their potential to deliver high performance to applications through the power of unification and performance optimization. Cisco UCS integrates industry-standard x86-architecture blade and rack servers with networking and storage access into a unified system. Automated server and network configuration let you quickly and easily deploy new applications, repurpose existing servers, and scale applications with configurations that are compliant with your IT standards.

The architectural advantages of a single cohesive system optimized for virtualized environments coupled with the industry leading benchmark performance results makes the Cisco Unified Computing System an “infrastructure platform of choice” to provide industry-leading performance in your data center. For additional information on Cisco UCS and Cisco UCS solutions please visit Cisco Unified Computing & Servers web page.

 Disclosures

  1. The floating-point throughput performance improvement of 19.3 percent compared the SPECfp_rate_base2006 score of the Cisco UCS C220 M4 Rack Server with the previous-generation Cisco UCS C220 M4 Rack Server, a result that was available on September 8, 2014.
  2. The integer throughput performance improvement of 27.5 percent compared the SPECint_rate_base score of the Cisco UCS C220 M4 Rack Server with the previous-generation Cisco UCS C220 M4 Rack Server, a result that was available on March 5, 2015.
  3. The integer processing performance improvement of 14 percent compared the SPECint_base2006 score of the Cisco UCS C220 M4 Rack Server with the previous-generation Cisco UCS C220 M4 Rack Server, a result that was available on March 5, 2015.
  4. The Java application performance improvement of 127.3 percent compared the SPECjbb2015- MultiJVM critical-jOPS score of the Cisco UCS C220 M4 Rack Server with the previous-generation Cisco UCS C220 M4 Rack Server, a result that was available on September 30, 2015.
  5. The floating-point performance improvement of 16.8 percent compared the SPECfp_base2006 score of the Cisco UCS C220 M4 Rack Server with the previous-generation Cisco UCS C240 M4 Rack Server, a result that was available in December, 2014.
  6. The big data system performance improvement of 11.1 percent and the price/performance improvement of 29.6 percent at a scale factor of 1 TB compared the TPCx-HS results of Cisco Integrated Infrastructure for Big Data and Analytics using Cisco UCS C240 M4 Rack Servers with Huawei FusionInsight for Big Data, a result that was available on September 15, 2015.
  7. The big data system performance improvement of 3.9 percent and price/performance improvement of 13.3 percent at a scale factor of 10 TB compared the TCPx-HS results of the Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure for Big Data and Analytics using the Cisco UCS C240 M4 Rack Server with the previous generation of Cisco’s solution, a result that was available March 22, 2016.
  8. The SAP SD benchmark certification number was not available at press time and when certified can be found on the following web page: http://global.sap.com/campaigns/benchmark/index.epx.
  9. The parallel-processing performance improvement of 28.2 percent compared the SPECompG_peak2012 score of the Cisco UCS C220 M4 Rack Server with the previous-generation Cisco UCS C220 M4 Rack Server, a result that was available on September 8, 2014.
  10. The Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) is a nonprofit corporation founded to define transaction processing and database benchmarks and to disseminate objective and verifiable performance data to the industry. TPC membership includes major hardware and software companies. The performance results described in this document are derived from detailed benchmark results available as of March 31,2016, at http:// www.tpc.org/tpcx-hs/results/tpcxhs_perf_results. asp.
  11. SPEC, SPECfp, SPECint, SPECjbb, and SPEComp are registered trademarks of Standard Performance Evaluation Corporation. The benchmark results used to establish world-record status are based on those available at http://www.spec.org as of September 8, 2014.

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Hyperconverged Infrastructure – Industry Analyst Insights

– March 30, 2016 – 0 Comments

Industry analyst firm, Gartner, expects the market for hyperconverged infrastructure to reach $5 billion by 2019. We’ve pulled together insights from a variety of analyst firms to explain why many customers are interested in this technology.

Customer Benefits Create Demand

Hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) and software defined infrastructure in general address a wide range of customer demands. These technologies have been evolving for several years. They have reached a level of maturity that provide customers compelling reasons to transition from traditional infrastructure and the supporting operational processes. HCI fits into a broader product portfolio providing some distinct advantages. According to a recent blog from analyst firm Forrester Research:

Hyperconverged platforms architect compute, storage and network together as a complete system (whether physical or virtual). Blending ease of use, scalability, and integration into easily consumable webscale building blocks which allows infrastructure and operations (I&O) leaders to spend less time engineering and tuning fundamental infrastructure and more time putting capabilities in the hands of their firms’ customers. (“2016 – Hyperconvergence Solutions with Containers to Become the ‘Norm’”, Forrester blog, 12/29/15)

Many IT organizations consider HCI to be a good alternative as they evaluate options for updating their current server and storage systems. According to reasearch from The Aberdeen Group, 42% of SMBs reported aging infrastructure as their top IT challenge. Hyperconverged infrastructure provides an efficient way of achieving additional savings and efficiencies while upgrading existing infrastructure.

Importance of a Complete Product Porfolio

The hyperconverged infrastructure market has been led by start-ups for the past four years, but they have focused on one product out of necessity. IDC conducted a recent end-user converged systems survey that included questions regarding HCI. The participants were asked the question, “When considering (HCI) vendors, please rate the importance of the vendors ability to offer a complete product portfolio outside of HCI?” More than 70% of the people surveyed indicated the vendor’s ability of offer a complete product portfolio was “very important, we value a vendor’s ability to deliver full breadth of products and services” or “important, we prefer to keep as much with trusted partners” (see Figure 1). This was true in smaller companies of less than 1,000 employees as well as larger ones of more than 5,000 employees (source: IDC Converged Systems: End User Survey Report 2015).

Figure 1: Response to IDC Survey Question Based on Size of Company

HCI IDC Survey Question by Company Size

Flexible Scaling

Most of the first generation hyperconverged products adopted an appliance approach, so systems were implemented on a single server type that scaled by stacking the systems in a linear fashion. IDC also conducted a survey regarding the adoption of hyperconverged infrastructure with IT executives. In response to the question, “What do you see as the major challenges of hyperconverged?” the top response was “must scale compute and storage together” (Source IDC Integrated Systems: Executive Interviews 2015).

We spoke with over 100 customers, as we were developing our requirements for a hyperconverged solution, so we understood customers wanted greater flexibility to scale HCI. Cisco HyperFlex Systems™ allow you to scale compute and storage resources independently.

Keep the Management Simple

Customers emphasized the need to reduce complexity. They wanted to avoid establishing another island of technology in their data center to manage. HCI needed to be an addition to the product portfolio that fit seamlessly into a broader management architecture.  This requirement was affirmed by Zeus Kerravala, the founder and principal analyst of ZK Research,  in his recent article,

Cisco’s unique differentiator is that it can move hyperconverged from being a standalone technology to being part of a larger converged architecture where converged and hyperconverged systems can be managed through a single, policy driven console offered via Cisco Enterprise Cloud Suite. (“Cisco flexes some data center muscle at Partner Summit 2016”, Zeus Kerravala, Networkworld, 03/01/16)

Cisco HyperFlex Systems are next generation hyperconverged infrastructure. They leverage all the benefits of the Cisco UCS management platform, including the broader partner ecosystem Cisco has developed over the past six years. HyperFlex also includes storage efficiency functionality, such as deduplication and compression, through the HX Data Platform.

If you’d like to get additional insights regarding hyperconverged infrastructure from an independent analyst firm, download the 451 Research report, “Considerations for the Next Phase of Hyperconverged Infrastructure”.

Ken

For more information: www.cisco.com/go/hyperflex

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The Next Era of Networking Has Arrived! #CiscoDNA #CiscoChat on April 4th

– March 29, 2016 – 1 Comment

“Digital disruption will displace nearly 4 of the top 10 incumbents by industry over the next five years.*” It’s loud and clear – the digital era has arrived, with technology playing a pivotal role in today’s business strategy thanks largely to mobility, cloud, analytics, and IoT. Organizations in this digital transformation need to evolve their networks to adapt to growing business needs, since the network connects all things digital.

Don’t get left behind in this digital transformation. You can increase cost efficiencies through automation, protect your business with better security, and gain insights through analytics. The new Cisco Digital Network Architecture delivers on this with an open, software-driven approach, enabling the business flexibility and agility that both IT and Line of Business leaders now need.

Join us for the next #CiscoChat moderated by @CiscoEnterprise with Mark Montanez, CIS_218_CiscoChat_Networking_Twitter_Final@MarkMontanez Cisco Distinguished Consulting Engineer, from the Cisco DNA Architecture team and Zeus Kerravala, @zkerravala,  Principal Analyst of ZK Research to ask your burning questions on anything and everything Cisco DNA on April 4th at 10 am PST.

This is the tweetchat for you to wax on about software-defined networking (SDN) in the enterprise, controller-based networks, virtualization, cloud, network device programmability, network-enabled applications, the hardware behind DNA, and more. You won’t want to miss this!

* “Where to Begin Your Journey to Digital Value in the Private Sector – Economic Analysis 2015-2024”, report by Cisco and IMD.
See what the industry press are saying about Cisco Digital Network Architecture, #CiscoDNA, here
See the #CiscoDNA Overview videos here
For  #CiscoDNA education, go here

 

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    Looking forward to this. Getting Mark and Zeus both at once talking about #CiscoDNA is a rare treat.

Fulfilling Your WAN Resolutions with Cisco DNA and the IWAN App

– March 29, 2016 – 1 Comment

We’ve been talking about WAN automation and SD-WAN for some time. Now, with the recent introduction of the Cisco Digital Network Architecture (#CiscoDNA), it is part of a much broader and more comprehensive architecture for networking.

And we’re not the only ones saying it…for example, Dan Conde from the ESG Research company wrote in his recent blog “ESG research has shown that automation can equally benefit enterprises in areas of (a) agility, (b) meeting SLAs, and (c) achieving consistency in configuration. DNA systems such as Intelligent WAN automation helps to relieve much of the tedious work.”

So now with this broader DNA context, I wanted to circle back and see how far you have progressed on those WAN Resolutions we introduced a while ago:

  1. Zero-touch deployment: Discover and configure new devices automatically with the IWAN App. Eliminate manual intervention, save time, prevent errors, and easily deploy new sites in only minutes.
  2. Automated site provisioning: Configure a typical IWAN topology with IWAN App, based on your specific business policies and goals, without manual inputs of code.
  3. Dynamic business policy: Categorize applications and group into business policies easily. Apply those policies network-wide, ensuring consistent global configuration.
  4. WAN monitoring and management: Review and monitor the status of all IWAN sites and devices to quickly recognize and diagnose problems. Access relevant information quickly.

The IWAN App enables IT to accelerate your transition to hybrid WAN and realize the benefits of Software-Defined WAN (SD-WAN). What this means for you and your organization: lower costs, simplified IT, increased security, and optimized application performance. At the same time, your deployment of the IWAN app helps you towards a more complete Cisco DNA enabled network that will continue to get simpler to manage, become more secure and most importantly, enable your organization’s digital journey.

Want to see more? Contact your Cisco sales team or channel partner team now to find out more about what Cisco IWAN and network automation with APIC-EM can do for you.

Find out more about Cisco’s Intelligent WAN solution here.

If you are on the sales and partner team, click here for more information.

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    Zero Touch deployment is the key to IWAN APP.
    APIC-EM is the next best thing in orchestrating your network.

    IWAN APP = APIC-EM = Cisco Rocks

Deliver GPU-Accelerated Virtual Workstations from the Data Center

– March 28, 2016 – 0 Comments

It’s that time of year again!  April 4th kicks off NVIDIA’s GPU Technology Conference (GTC) in San Jose California.  If you’ve never heard of GTC or wonder what goes on at a “Graphics Conference”, you might be surprised by the breadth of technology and solutions that surround this event.  With everything from self-driving cars, gaming, deep learning/machine learning, and artificial intelligence, there is no shortage of exciting and cutting-edge technologies on display.

Deep Learning

For the 3rd consecutive year, Cisco will be present at GTC.  Wondering what Cisco has to do with deep learning?  A lot more than you might think!  Hugo Latapie, Cisco Principal Engineer, will be presenting a session on Deep Learning at the Edge of the Network. Check it out and stop by our booth to talk to Hugo about the cool things Cisco is doing in this area.

Virtualizing Graphics-Intensive Applications

To meet the demand for business agility, companies are turning to virtual workstations to increase flexibility for their workforce and accelerate business transformation. This is happening across a wide range of industries. Take the Corona-Norco Unified School District for example. It is replacing physical computer labs with virtual workstations that can be delivered to students anywhere, any time on less expensive end devices.

Cisco also works with application vendors to deliver validated solutions for deploying highly specialized 3D applications virtually. We have solutions for the PTC Creo Suite (Manufacturing) and Esri ArcGIS Pro (geospatial mapping) among others.  By the way, we will be showing a virtualized deployment of Arc GIS Pro in our booth and John Meza from Esri will talk about how they implemented their virtual development environment in a session on Tuesday.

Cisco UCS and NVIDIA GRID

Cisco UCSCisco offers a complete infrastructure solution that provides an exceptional graphics experience for delivering virtual applications and desktops. It is based
on the Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) platform and NVIDIA GRID technology. New to our product line this year are NVIDIA GRID 2.0 products; especially the new TESLA M6 MXM GPU which brings graphics acceleration to our VDI workhorse the UCS B200 M4 blade server. This provides UCS customers a wide range of configurations to support any VDI deployment needs they may have. And for customers who need a dense GPU configuration we support the Magma ExpressBox 3600-AB on our UCS C240 M4 rack servers for VDI deployments. And further extending our relationship with Magma we added support for TESLA K80.  With up to 8 x TESLA K80 GPU on a single UCS C240 M4, the most demanding GPU compute problems are no match for Cisco UCS!  Make sure to stop by the Cisco booth to see, touch and learn more about our GPU support for VDI and Compute solutions and speak with our experts.

Stop by Cisco Booth 304 at GTC

We are also pleased to host our partner, Citrix, in our booth. Citrix will demonstrate the latest remote graphics solution powered by Cisco and NVIDIA. Come experience the power of Citrix HDX 3D PRO running on the flexible Cisco UCS platform. This demo will cover HDX 3D Pro user experience, Citrix HDX Framehawk with GPU support and HDX USB device redirection to support additional USB drawing tools used by professionals.

We will also be showing our new Cisco HyperFlex hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) solution in the booth. Cisco HyperFlex is the first end to end HCI solution that combines compute, networking and next generation storage.

So come see us at booth 304 to discuss how we can power your applications with GPU-enabled Cisco UCS and attend our sessions on virtual workstations and deep learning on Tuesday April 5th at 3:00 PM and 4:30 PM respectively.

 

This blog was written in collaboration with Shawn Kaiser, Solution Architect at Cisco

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3 Reasons 10 Million Is A Big Number

– March 28, 2016 – 0 Comments

 

numbers10 Million is a big number. How big? To put it in perspective, 10 million minutes is a bit over 19 years…Which is about 15 years longer than it took the Nexus 3000 to reach 10 million ports sold.

Said differently, the Nexus 3000 is the Top of Rack switch of choice for lots of customers. Indeed, customers have purchased over 10 million Nexus 3000 ports in just 4 1/2 years of shipping. This is a major milestone for the Nexus 3000 since it is a number very few products attain, and to do so in less than 5 years is testimony to the value its providing.

Consider this – Nexus 3000 switches alone accounted for more data center 10/40/100G fixed ports than shipped by any other vendor during the past 4 1/2 years. Something else to consider is that the Nexus 3000 is based on merchant silicon. Switches based on the same merchant silicon are available from lots of different vendors.   So, if we combine these 2 facts – 10 million ports shipped and the use of merchant silicon – we arrive at the conclusion that the Nexus 3000 is the merchant silicon switch of choice for customers.

This is interesting for two reasons:

  • Cisco offers choice: Cisco provides the option of buying switches based on custom ASIC’s, which have their own set of benefits, or buying switches based on merchant silicon. (See this excellent IDC paper for more on Cisco’s new custom ASIC’s and their benefits.)
  • Cisco is essentially the largest “brite box” (i.e. branded white box) vendor in the data center market.

Since the same merchant ASICs are used by many switch vendors, what makes the Nexus 3000 the better choice?  There are multiple reasons, but let’s highlight 3 here:

  1. Best in class support model
  2. Feature capability and agility
  3. Open, programmable operating system

1. Best in class support model providing a single spot to rapidly solve problems

Most customers – including those who want merchant silicon – want a switch pre-loaded with a network operating system and an effective, comprehensive support model. There is a very small subset of customers who are interested in buying commodity hardware, then loading software on top of it, and integrating hardware and software. However, that model simply does not work for most people running networks. That’s why the Nexus 3000 offers a best in class support model, from start to finish, from sourcing to the Technical Assistance Center. Customers want a central point of contact that will solve their problems quickly. Cisco and the Nexus 3000 provide this.

2. Feature capability and flexibility

The Nexus 3000 has numerous features that provide differentiation. Many customers depend on heightened visibility for effective operations and troubleshooting. The capabilities of features like Nexus Data Broker help to address this.  For example, for customers in the finance vertical, it allows them to filter all incoming and outgoing traffic to their suite of analytic, risk and compliance tools. Flexible connectivity is another reason customers are buying Nexus 3000s.   Our latest Nexus 3232C offers an even broader array of speeds than before with 1/10/25/40/50/100G, as well as copper/fiber cables & transceivers (including Bidi) to suit any DC connectivity need. Other key features Nexus 3000 customers leverage involve API’s and integration with DevOps tools, which are covered below.

3.Open, programmable operating system with NX-OS

The Nexus 3000 series provides a wealth of programmability options, creating a very open environment so as to integrate smoothly into orchestration, automation and management tools of choice. You can use tools like NX-API (built into the Nexus 3000’s NX-OS) to basically auto generate chunks of code leveraging Python scripts. This is quite useful if you are a network engineer just learning scripting. Or maybe you are much more comfortable with a Bash shell than a NX-OS CLI prompt. If you’re used to using tools like ifconfig or ethtool on servers, you can use the same tools – and many more – on the Nexus 3000.  For a bit more on some of the programmability tools (which are available across the Nexus portfolio) here are a few references:

For these, and many other reasons, the Nexus 3000 series switches are celebrating this milestone of 10 million ports shipped. With the recent addition of the Nexus 3200 series using Broadcom’s Tomahawk ASIC, the success is bound to continue. Many thanks to all the customers who have helped the Nexus 3000 hit this milestone so quickly.

Thanks to Thomas Scheibe @thomas0002 for his contribution to this blog.

Photo credit: pixabay.com

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Fog Computing : Pushing the Edge of Possibility

– March 28, 2016 – 0 Comments

I was fascinated recently when I read about the detection of gravitational waves for the first time ever. “With this discovery”, the article states, “invisible objects in the universe may soon become visible”. That’s the exact analogy I use when I describe Cisco’s implementation of Fog Computing, or IOx as Cisco refers to it. IOx opens up a new level of visibility in networking infrastructure and decision-making by pushing application logic and data analytics to the network edge. And, just as LIGO (the ruler used to measure the gravitational waves) changes how we measure gravitational forces, IOx changes how we process data.

Why do we need intelligence at the edge? Cisco forecasts that there are going to be 50 billion connected “things” or “devices” in the “Internet of Things” world by 2020. Most of these devices are at the edge of the network and can generate zettabytes of data. So, a traditional two-layer IoT architecture that connects the devices and things directly to cloud, where the IoT application logic resides, presents two big challenges. The first is these applications have strict latency requirements; the devices, often geographically distributed, are connected through low bandwidth uplinks and moving large data to and from cloud impacts it adversely. Second, it costs to send and receive so much data to and from the cloud.

It is, therefore, more optimal to employ a combination of cloud computing and edge computing to industrial IoT solutions. The application logic residing in the data center or cloud could focus on long-term data processing, central aggregation and historical analysis of data. The application logic residing in the edge, closer to the IoT devices, could then focus on performing analytics at the edge itself, making real-time decisions and optimizing the bandwidth by intelligently reducing the data before it is sent to cloud. The compute capability that is inherent in the edge network devices can itself be used for performing this edge processing and analytics.

1

In order to provide a comprehensive and customer-focused experience, the engineering team engaged with multiple customers spanning several industries and geographies and derived many forward looking requirements including ease of remote manageability, security, edge analytics, multi-tenancy and the need for a policy based application life cycle. Cisco understands that the IoT market’s growth is mandated upon enabling verticals to develop their own applications in their domains that ultimately help end customers. With IOx, we provide a software platform that helps organization develop, manage and deploy applications to the edges. The platform supports device orchestration and analytics at the edge devices. The platform hides network heterogeneity and complexity from developers, essentially eliminating the mismatch between a developer’s preferred language and the IOx development environment by providing a web-like development experience.

Like with the recently-detected gravitational waves opening up the cosmos in a whole new way, the most exciting aspect about data processing at the network edge is that it opens up a world of new possibilities that simply couldn’t be achieved if all of the raw data had to make a trip to the cloud. The promise of IOx is resulting in a new class of edge applications being built for use-cases as diverse as city governance, retail, heavy industry, mining and transportation to name a few.

3

The newly announced Cisco Digital Network Architecture, or DNA as we like to refer to it, provides an open, extensible and software-centric platform for all things digital, including IOT. A central element of Cisco DNA is Evolved Cisco IOS XE, which among other things supports application hosting and edge computing, so that IOx-based micro-services can be hosted virtually anywhere in the network, on virtually any platform. IOx accelerates innovation in IoT by enabling BYOI (Bring Your Own Interface) and BYOA (Bring Your Own Application) creating the ability for apps to become “network aware”. Similar to the notion of big data platforms, which brought compute to storage, processing IoT data at the edge is about bringing compute to the network. The edge is pushing the limits of networking excellence and we invite you to join our journey.

 

#CiscoDNA #digitaltransformation #IOx #IOT

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Cisco: Helping Banks Help Customers

– March 25, 2016 – 0 Comments

AR48586

How many times have you been at an ATM and wish that you had a bank teller to help you?

In Malaysia, customers that use the Bank Simpanan Nasional (BSN) now have the luxury of getting their banking done at an ATM but also having that human touch. That’s because BSN is employing virtual teller machines (VTM) to assist customers with their transactions.

And Cisco is a big part of this partnership.

A VTM is a lot like a typical ATM, except bank customers have the option of talking to a teller who appears on a TV screen located above the VTM. Customers can ask the tellers anything from simple account inquiries to which banking products should be used when it comes to a loan. With over eight million customers and 400 branches, BSN began this program at branches with less traffic so those tellers can assist colleagues at busier branches.

Making sure that the virtual tellers connected with their customers was Cisco’s job. The solution included the Cisco Catalyst 2960X and 3850 Series switches as well as Cisco UCS sever as the main hardware components. Adding Cisco software like Cisco Business Edition 7000 platform with Cisco Jabber and Cisco DX650 provided the infrastructure for the voice and video feeds.

BSN has been happy with the Cisco partnership.

“Cisco was with us every step of the way—from strategic business concept to the technical design and implementation,” said Mohd Kahlil Omar, Vice President, Information Technology at BSN. “They actively collaborated and partnered with our organization at all levels to make sure the project was successful.”

A new Cisco technology and success? That’s a partnership you can take to the bank!

To read more about this Case Study, click here.

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Double Click: Sup6T Software Services for Digital Business

– March 24, 2016 – 0 Comments

The digital transformation of business is fueled by several megatrends – Mobility, IoT, Analytics and Cloud. First, mobile traffic is expected to exceed wired traffic by 2017. Second, IoT devices will triple by 2020. Third, 75% of all companies are planning to, or are already, investing in Big Data. Fourth, 80% of all companies will primarily use SaaS by 2018. Thus, to go digital, businesses will be focused on three priorities: simplify and automate processes, empower workforce efficiency and innovation and personalize customer and citizen experiences.

But this digital wave creates new questions: How do you make it easy to provision and scale? How do you build a resilient network? How do you secure the network? How do you gain visibility into the network?

The new Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Supervisor Engine 6T offers several software services designed to address these questions.

Automation: the Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Supervisor Engine 6T supports Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller Enterprise Module (APIC-EM). This replaces complex manual network operations such as provisioning with the click of a button. It is implemented as a software application (like PNP, UCI or PATH) packaged as a virtual machine on a UCS server.

apicem

The software application communicates through RESTful API’s to APIC-EM, which then communicates with network devices through CLI, OpenFlow or the OnePK API’s, exposing network intelligence for business innovation. This offers the ability to run the same commands on any Supervisor Engine 6T within your network without worrying about details such as IP Address, logins etc.

Visibility: Flexible Netflow collects and measures data allowing network devices to become a source of telemetry and monitoring. A wide range of packet information for IPv4, IPv6 flows can be tracked including IP Addresses, Ports, Multicast and Layer2 VLAN entries amongst others. This is due to product capabilities such as new Layer2-Layer7 fields, scalable flow monitors, customizable policies with Embedded Event Manager and a broad collector ecosystem. Key use-cases for such visibility include: real-time network monitoring, application and user profiling, network planning, security detection & classification, accounting & billing, troubleshooting, data warehousing and mining. The next-generation Supervisor Engine 6T supports up to 1M Netflow entries offering superior visibility into your network infrastructure.

Security: A threat-centric security model is based on three stages within the attack continuum – before, during and after. ‘Network as a Sensor’ means that Cisco Lancope StealthWatch can be used to detect anomalies affecting the environment.

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Cisco Identity Services Engine can then translate this “visibility” and “detection” to actionable feedback for the network, which could range from proper segmentation to threat remediation. Since the security group within Cisco TrustSec becomes the common classifier for network devices; customers can leverage the Network as an Enforcer concept to simplify security operations, automate remediation based on detection and secure their investments.

Resiliency: An architectural approach to resiliency comprises the following components: upgrade management, operational resiliency, network resiliency, link resiliency and infrastructure resiliency. Resiliency-based software features on the Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Supervisor Engine 6T include Bidirectional Forwarding for static routes and logical interfaces, Flexlinks, Virtual Switching System, 16-way Layer 3 load balancing, and configuration rollback amongst others. Such features are meant to provide deterministic and automated recovery and simplify network design by eliminating spanning trees and first-hop redundancy protocols.

Software services on the Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Supervisor Engine 6T create value throughout the various phases of the digitization journey – from base automation in existing deployments to complete software control through policy-based automation for greenfield scenarios.

As you can tell, the new Cisco Catalyst 6800 Series Supervisor Engine 6T offers the optimal combination of simple, smart, scalable and secure network services for the next-generation campus.

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How Will You Transform Your Network into a Digital Platform?

– March 23, 2016 – 0 Comments

As long as I’ve been in this business, I’m still amazed by today’s technology and all of its new and exciting possibilities. There are smartphone apps that enable schools to send reports on your kids’ daily progress. There are apps to help you track your physical activity. Netflix dynamically analyzes terabytes of data to give you a customized list of entertainment recommendations. I can store the novel I’m reading or my favorite music “in the cloud,” and later on, seamlessly pick up exactly where I left off from any of my personal devices.

As an IT leader, just imagine being able to offer similar capabilities to your internal clients to help them run their businesses—enabling new offerings to attract customers and keep the ones you have—all while beating your competitors to market and fending off disruptors in your industry.

Companies like Netflix, Amazon, and Apple illustrate the rewards of exploiting the opportunities presented during market and technology transitions. On the flip side, it’s been well documented how Blockbuster, Borders Books, Kodak, and many others have failed to make the transition during major market shifts.

There are substantial challenges for any organization attempting to make a successful transformation in this age of digital disruption and emerging new business models, but the rewards are huge: new businesses, new revenue streams, competitive advantages, and much more. Technologies such as mobility, the Internet of Things, cloud computing, and digital analytics are ushering in new opportunities and presenting fresh challenges. As you realize the digital value of your business, it’s a perfect time to reflect on how you’re preparing your network—and business—for the future.

 “Tinkering and Short-Term Fixes Aren’t Enough”

First, realize we’re in a new game now. Digitization requires IT functions to be thoroughly transformed. As described in the McKinsey Report Reinventing IT to Support Digitization, it requires increasingly sophisticated approaches to scaling to meet new markets, increase reliability, and achieve time to market as businesses compete on how quickly digital innovations get to consumers.

There’s been no shortage of networking solutions to address these growing demands on IT, such as SDN and countless others. Until now, no company has pulled it all together into a total solution.

Why You Need Cisco DNA

Cisco Digital Network Architecture (Cisco DNA) is an open, extensible, software-driven architecture that helps you transform your network into a digital platform. You’ll be able to allocate resources dynamically to meet ever-changing network demand for applications while becoming more agile, scalable, and able to move faster for competitive advantage.

That means faster business data for precise decision making and a simplified, more automated network that can quickly meet new business requirements and identify threats. Cisco DNA paves the way for an adaptive network that operates at digital speed.

Your Next Steps Toward Digital Transformation

You may still be wondering: How does all of this come together?  Where do I start?

Cisco Professional Services can help your digital transition with a complete array of tools that use the Cisco DNA platform for full architectural transformation. Cisco helps global clients on their digital transformation by advising, implementing, and managing solutions. We’ll help you develop the network platforms you’ll need that are highly flexible and work for you, so you can rapidly deploy digital services.

Are you doing all you can to prepare your network for digital transformation to succeed in this new economy? Let Cisco help you.

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