Tag: Cisco

Cisco buys Container X

Cisco Kid Cisco has just written a cheque for the 18 month-old container management specialist ContainerX.

The outfit put its first product into the channel in June so it does not seem that Cisco is waiting for it to get established. ContainerX has switched off product downloads, webinars, and product support.

ContainerX’s technology is  a turnkey container platform designed for enterprise IT to administer as easily as they’ve administered VMware vSphere or Microsoft HyperV over the years, with dev and ops self service. Enterprise IT can set up the platform in under 60 minutes, integrate with various enterprise infrastructure aspects including storage, network, orchestration, LDAP etc, create pools with resource limits, for various dev/ops teams to self service,  the company wrote on its website.

Writing in his bog, Cisco’s Rob Salvagno said the technology that gives Cisco “enterprise-class container management” across various target platforms. The ContainerX team will join Cisco’s Cloud Platform and Services Group led by vice president Kip Compton.

According to ContainerX’s site, the software can manage bare metal, virtual machine, Windows and Linux systems on public or private clouds.

Salvagno said the technology will give Cisco the ability to develop its own “comprehensive cloud-native stack” for container users.

It is not clear how much the Cisco Kid paid for Container X.

 

Cisco warns ransomware scams are targeting enterprises

Cisco Kid Cisco’s Midyear Cybersecurity Report (MCR) is warning that ransomware is a specific threat which is is becoming more widespread and potent.

The report said that the ransomware creators are focusing more than ever on generating revenue and are now targeting enterprise users in addition to individuals.

“These direct attacks are becoming increasingly efficient and lucrative, generating huge profits. Our security researchers calculate that ransomware nets our adversaries nearly $34 million annually,” the report said.

The report said that it is time to improve the odds at handling this type of attack.

At the moment asymmetric attacks are outpacing responses. Attackers’ innovative methods of exploit, persistency, shifting tactics, and ability to operate on a global level create an ominously complex and moving target

“Our research shows that adversaries are now exploiting vulnerabilities in encryption, authorization, and server-side systems, using ‘malvertising as a service’ to infect web users, well as tampering with secure connections like HTTPS. This final example alone has users thinking incorrectly that their connections are secure, leading to a false sense of security and making it increasingly difficult to determine if a connection has been compromised,” the report said.

Cisco writes a cheque for cloud-lock

Cisco Kid Networking Tsar Cisco has written a $293 million cheque for cloudy security outfit CloudLock.

CloudLock provides cloud access security tech, and analytics on user behaviour and sensitive data for cloud services.  Cisco said that the acquisition will close in the first quarter of fiscal year 2017 and the  CloudLock team will join Cisco’s Networking and Security Business Group.

It will be ruled by Senior VP and general manager David Goeckeler.

Cisco Corporate Development’s Rob Salvagno said the acquisition will boost security for companies seeking to migrate to the cloud. In fact Cisco is buying rather a lot of cloudy security outfits lately.

It bought Lancope for $452 million, the Portcullis Computer Security for an undisclosed sum, and OpenDNS for $635 million.

 

 

Nutanix shows a different sort of channel plan

Nutanix-Product-Shot-3US outfit Nutanix has decided to take on an unusual approach to the channel which has got vendors across the pond sitting up and taking notice.

The outfit does not have a three tier program with clip levels and does not pay back end rebates. What it does is sort out an investment strategy with channel partners that will see the company work in lock-step with 40 solution providers globally.

It still has a channel of more than 4,000 solution providers, but these are served through distribution.

Nutanix channel chief of Chris Morgan told  CDN that the company practices the 80/20 rule; it’s just applied mostly to the 20.

“The investment strategy with partners are based on which partners are ready on what we are doing and take it to the customer. Partners can still be transactional with distributors but we are focused on a small number and we want to help them transition their business. What has to happen is they need to break from the past and go to the future,” he said.

Incentives for the 40 partners include a strict deal registration program that ensures price protection. Morgan added that these partners also have the freedom to sell anything else.

The cunning plan appears to be working and putting the fear of god into outfits like Cisco.

Companies reject cloud for fog

Fog.PNGEnterprise CIOs are starting to twig that the cloud is not all it is cracked up to be and are looking at a new buzzword – the Fog –  instead.

One of the problems with the cloud is that many of the services and apps, and data used in critical decision-making are better kept on premise or in smaller enterprise data centres. Cloud goes against the demand for mobility too as the data needs to be kept closer to the machine.

Now Cisco, Dell, Microsoft, Intel and ARM, as well as researchers at Princeton University, are betting that the future of enterprise computing will be a hybrid model where information, applications and services are split between the cloud and the fog. Cisco came up with the name “fog computing” you can probably tell.

Cloud based data centres are huge and are working ok for now. But when, and if the IoT appears on the scene things are going to get messy.

When everything from cars and drones to video cameras and home appliances are transmitting enormous amounts of data from trillions of sensors, network traffic will grow exponentially. Real-time services that require split-second response times or location-awareness for accurate decision-making will need to be deployed closer to the edge to be useful, something which would cause the cloud to break.

The only thing which will save the cloud really is increased technology,  or coming up with a hybrid approach to data. That will enable distributed fog networks in enterprise data centres, around cities, in vehicles, in homes and neighbourhoods, and even on your person via wearable devices and sensors.

If this sounds like the old “distributed computing” over “Centralised computing” debate which happened as the Internet was starting to arrive, it pretty much is. What Cisco is suggesting is incredibly complex networks.

Huawei scores Britannic contract

huawei-liveBritannic Technologies has snubbed traditional networking bigwigs and given a £1 million networking contract to Huawei.

The comms VAR is introducing software-defined infrastructure and networking across all its datacentres. The job went out to tender and Huawei cleaned the clock of Cisco and Juniper.

Britannic said that Cisco was knocked out earlier and the choice was between Juniper or Huawei. While Juniper is renowned in the carrier space, Huawei spends more on R&D, has a better roadmap and seems to know what it is doing for the next 15 years, Britannic said.

The contract includes a new optical backbone between datacentres, and an  SDN-powered infrastructure across all the core.

Despite hacking off the Americans, Huawei is doing well. Its Enterprise Business Group saw 2015 revenues hike 44 per cent to $4.25 billion with 76 per cent of that generated by channels and partners. The Chinese firm now claims to have 300 distributors and VARs and a further 8,000 tier-two channel partners globally.

Britannic is a Gold reseller partner of Huawei and also a Platinum partner of Mitel and is a big name in cloud and managed services.

Cisco unveils DNA

DNA_000046710792_640Networking outfit Cisco is launching of an extensible and software driven architecture for digital business solution, Digital Network Architecture (DNA).

Cisco DNA is part of the company’s datacentre based Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) technology by extending the policy driven approach and software strategy throughout the entire network.

Cisco enterprise products and solutions senior vice-president, Rob Soderbery, said this extends it from campus to branch, wired to wireless, and core to edge.

Cisco DNA is part of the Cisco ONETM Software family which his supposed to simplify software-based licensing, and helping with investment protection and flexibility.

Soderbery said that Cisco DNA was built on the principal of virtualising everything that moves to allow organisations freedom to run any service anywhere, independent of the underlying platform – physical or virtual, on premise or in the Cloud.

DNA is designed for automation to make networks and services on those networks easy to deploy, manage and maintain, fundamentally changing the approach to network management.  It also has pervasive analytics to provide insights on the operation of the network, IT infrastructure and the business.

He said service management can be delivered from the Cloud to unify policy and orchestration across the network.

It also integrates Cisco and third party technology, open APIs, and a developer platform to support an ecosystem of network-enabled applications

IP PBX and unified comms market – here’s Microsoft!

maxresdefaultBeancounters at IDC claim that Microsoft has become a “head-to-head competitor” in the IP PBX and unified comms (UC) space.

Apparently Vole is taking advantage of the fact that traditional players’ have had a slow reaction to changing adoption patterns.

In the first quarter of 2011 and the second quarter of 2015, Microsoft tripled its market share from 4.8 percent to 15.5 percent in EMEA. This made it a “head-to-head competitor “with Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, Cisco, Aastra and Unify which have been the kings of the space for years.

With more than 15 per cent market share, Microsoft has become the fourth-largest player, IDC said.

IDC’s report said: “This is not a random rise of a vendor/ The companies that had dominated the EMEA IP PBX and UC platform market come from equipment- and on-premise-focused backgrounds. They were too slow to react to the rapidly changing adoption patterns in the market, and Microsoft seized the opportunity.”

Cisco releases new tool in cloudy push

Cisco Kid Desperate to provide a better cloud package, Cisco has released a new monitoring tool.

On the face of it Cloud Consumption as a Service, which monitors how employees use third-party software is a bit of a yawn, however it could make Cisco a little more useful to its partners who can flog it on the basis that it will solve a lot of complicated regulations around the privacy of data.

It  helps companies manage software employees might download and use independently, for example email programs like Google’s Gmail or file-storage services like Dropbox.

While the services, which IT professionals dub “shadow IT,” provide convenience for employees, they can create headaches if they expose vulnerability to malware attacks, eat up bandwidth, or fail to comply with laws.

Shadow IT is creating a growing corporate challenge. Most companies with over 5,000 employees estimate around 90 such services are deployed around their computer infrastructure, but the actual number is typically over 1,200, according to Cisco executive Bob Dimicco.

Of those, more than 40 fall in the high-risk category.

Cisco plans to bill monthly at a cost of $1-$2 per employee, will help Cisco expand its offerings in the fast-growing business area of cloud services.

Cisco  has been trying to beef up its offerings catering to the increasingly Internet-based technology culture at many companies. It has introduced products like Cisco Meraki, which controls routing and security over the Internet, and Cisco WebEx, which offers Internet-based video conferencing and similar products.

Many companies, including Cloudability, Netskope and Skyhigh, offer services similar to Cisco’s cloud consumption service, but Cisco says its product goes beyond the others because it offers more details on usage and about each individual third-party app provider, such as if it complies with relevant regulations.

 

 

Cisco leans on programmable networks

Cisco Kid Cisco updated its IOS XR network operating system while adding three additional routers to its portfolio as part of a drive to programmable networks.

Greg Smith, head of service provider marketing for Cisco said that rather than asking service providers to build their own programmable networks, Cisco via its IOS XR is committed to delivering those capabilities as a core part of the operating system.

He said service providers would rather buy these capabilities than build it themselves.

The Cisco network initiative is centred on a set of APIs which model data traveling across the network. There is also a software development kit that service providers can use to more easily expose network services to developers and their customers.

Cisco expects service providers to use these tools to create self-service portals through which end customers can provision network services in minutes instead of the several weeks.

Developers could use them to build applications that use those network services through the APIs that Cisco is releasing in its operating system and the announced software-defined Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) networking architecture.

Smith said that the cunning plan is to insert these technologies into the existing tool chain of service providers, because they don’t have a lot of real-time insights into the network.

To help facilitate the deployment of those services at scale, Cisco this week also unveiled the Cisco NCS 5000 Series, which can be configured with up to 40-80 10GE ports and 4 100GE ports, a Cisco NCS 5500 Series that provides up to 288 routed 100GE ports for WAN aggregation, and the Cisco NCS 1000 Series, which provides access to 100/200/250G-bit wavelengths over distances exceeding 3,000km with existing fibre.

Smith claims that Cisco is the only provider of network infrastructure capable of unifying local and wide area networks at that distance.

Avaya creates midmarket channel programme

avaya logo Avaya has started a new midmarket programme for a ‘limited number’ of Avaya Connect channel partners.

The imaginatively titled Avaya Midmarket Select Programme enable partners to offer Select Engagement Packages of services and products specifically aimed at the midmarket.

Avaya has been worried that the midmarket has been tricky – particularly when it comes to Unified Communications. Fully integrated solutions, which rely hardware and software sit at one end of the market while cloud only packages are parked at the other with little for the middle ground.

Avaya says that it already has more than a dozen channel partners already signed up in the US, Canada and Europe, and has now opened the programme to others. Partners must meet requirements for training, expertise, business plans and growth targets.

The company said that the programme will dramatically reduce the total cost of ownership (TCO) for purchasing, deploying and supporting midmarket solutions.

The packages offers a complete stack of enterprise-class solutions such as unified communications, contact centre, video, networking, mobility, and professional services.

Avaya’s roots are in proprietary hardware, but it appears to be successfully using commodity hardware and standards-based software. It recently launched it’s own software-defined networking architecture earlier this year, rivalling solutions from both Cisco and VMware.

Ericsson and Cisco create global tech partnership

webhomes-our-work-ciscoEricsson and Cisco have announced a global business and technology partnership which will offer routing, data centre, networking, cloud, mobility, management and control, and global services capabilities.

It is a pretty powerful combination. They already are partners, with a combined 56,000+ patents, $11 billion of research and development investment, and more than 76,000 services professionals serving customers across more than 180 countries.

Apparently this new announcement will be supported by multiple agreements that include commitments to network transformation through reference architectures and joint development, systems-based management and control, a broad reseller agreement, and collaboration in key emerging market segments.

The parties have also agreed to discuss FRAND policies and enter a licensing agreement for their respective patent portfolios, enabling unfettered joint innovation and providing certainty for customers of both organisations. Under the deal Ericsson will receive license fees from Cisco.

Teams from both organizations will also begin working on a joint initiative focused on SDN/NFV and network management and control.

Hans Vestberg, President and Chief Executive Officer, Ericsson said in a statement that the partnership will focus on service providers, then on opportunities for the enterprise segment and accelerating the scale and adoption of IoT services across industries.

“For Ericsson, this partnership also fortifies the IP strategy we have developed over the past several years, and it is a key move forward in our own transformation,” he said

Apple does business market deal with Cisco

Cisco Kid The Fruity Cargo Cult Apple is trying to get businesses to buy its shiny toys and has signed a deal with Cisco to make it happen.

Apple already has a deal with IBM, which was supposed to get its sales teams a foot in the door in a market which traditionally looks for value and function over style.  However that arrangement has not produced the sort of sales that Apple had hoped.

Jobs’ Mob has finally realised that after years of having comedy networking technology, it needs to get something a little better to connect its shiny toys, before businesses will take it seriously.

The deal will see Apple and Cisco working together to make the mobile gadgets work better on corporate computer networks running on Cisco gear.

Apple hopes that this will encourage businesses, which traditionally have steered toward BlackBerry and Microsoft devices, to spend a fortune buying Apple when they could get something cheaper.

Cisco said that an employee in the office using an iPhone to video-conference a colleague abroad automatically would get a faster internet connection than someone streaming a game on ESPN.com.

Someone who has most of his contacts on an iPhone will be able to access the same phone book from landlines. And several Cisco apps, such as the collaboration tool Spark, will run smoother on Apple devices.

Cisco Chief Executive Chuck Robbins said in a blog post said that what makes this new partnership unique is that our engineering teams are innovating together to build joint solutions that our sales teams and partners will take jointly to our customers.

It is a turnaround from Cisco. Cisco and Apple had fought over the “iPhone” trademark before agreeing to its joint use.

Apple hopes that more businesses will turn to iPads, just as tablet sales are dropping in favour of bigger smartphones.

Cisco redesigns its UK channel

Cisco Kid Cisco is making changes to its UK channel infrastructure and bringing all its partner teams together.

Writing in his bog, managing director of commercial & partner sales in the UK, Richard Roberts, said the changes were part of the rapidly evolving marketplace.

“All elements of our Partner team will be brought together in one organisation to drive synergies and focus, The Commercial team will also be consolidated into a single, focused, centre of sales excellence.”

Angela Whitty is taking over the UK Partner organisation. She has been working with Cisco’s UK&I Services business for almost two decades.

The current director of UKI partner and commercial sales, Sean Collins, has joined Roberts’ team to focus only on UK commercial customers.

“Sean’s team will be totally focused upon further quickening our growth in this critical market alongside our Partners,” he wrote.

Adam Grennan the country leader for Ireland, will be brought into the UK fold.

Cisco has been cutting staff. More than 400 employees from its Nexus 7000 data centre have gone and there are rumours that half the staff at Ubiquisys may be axed, and there are now rumours the Intucell acquisition may be facing an uncertain future

 

Cisco tells analytics to get more evil

1682942-dr.evilCisco’s head of digital transformation and analytics has told his marketing minions to stop using analytics to get brand awareness and concentrate on making more dosh.

Writing in his bog,  Pascal Lendermann said that the “the primary responsibility for the Cisco marketing organization (sic) has shifted from brand awareness to revenue generation”.

In other words everyone knows who Cisco is, it is time to encourage people to sell more of its gear. He also thinks it is better to focus on web-based marketing, which is cheaper, than prime-time television advertising.

If you visit the Cisco website, the outfit will apply analytics to put you in front of something to buy as quickly as possible.

If Cisco’s can tag you as owning a Catalyst switch or you have a license that’s up for renewal, it should guide you better to a “Click here to issue invoice” button.

“Cisco IT is using big-data analytics to predict which solutions each online visitor is likely to be interested in. Cisco IT plans to collect, store, and analyse this customer data from various sources to identify clusters of interest, such as Cloud, Data Center, Switches, and Social. Our data sources include search history, webinar registrations, company demographics, and the solutions that other people in the same company are also researching”, Lendermann said.