Tag: Cisco

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.

 

Cisco kid sees setback in court

Cisco Kid Cisco’s US legal battles with its rival Arista have been suffering from a bad case of not being able to make much stick, at least for now.

A US federal judge has chucked out Cisco’s claims for indirect infringement against its rival Arista Networks that occurred prior to the filing of its patent infringement lawsuit in December, and also one of its wilful infringement claims.

For those who came in late, Cisco filed two lawsuits against Arista alleging the company infringed on a number of its patents and had stolen Cisco copyrighted material. Cisco claims Arista, whose CEO Jayshree Ullal was the former senior vice president of Cisco’s data centre switching business, took 12 “discrete and important” Cisco switching features covered by 14 different US patents to use in its own products.

It also claimed Arista took 500 of Cisco’s command-line expressions from its IOS network operating system to use in Arista’s own EOS software.

At the centre of the scrap was the fact that Arista, unveiled an enhanced EOS product line, EOS+, a version of the operating system with deeper programmability.

US District Judge Beth Freeman decided that the specific facts alleged by Cisco in its First Amended Complaint — which involve marketing made by Arista regarding EOS+ — were not sufficient to support a willfulness claim.

Allegations summarising Arista’s “puffery in sales and marketing” materials was not enough and Cisco had to claim that Arista’s conduct did more than continue selling the alleged infringing product, the judge said.

Because Cisco conceded it was not seeking damages for pre-suit indirect infringement, Judge Freeman directed it to clarify in its amended complaint that the damages it seeks in this regard are only for Arista’s conduct that allegedly occurred after the initial lawsuit.

However if Cisco’s revised claims do not impress the court the case will hardly be dead in the water, but it does weaken things a bit.

 

Blackberry calls in the Cisco kid

hqdefault (2)Troubled smartphone maker BlackBerry has named former Cisco Kid Carl Wiese as head of global sales – a move which is expected to shake-up the company’s channel.

Wiese has spent the past 12 years at Cisco, first heading advanced technology sales and later its collaboration-product sales efforts. Those teams focus on aspects such as security and web conferencing, areas that BlackBerry is trying to expand within.

Wiese, who has previously worked with Apple, Avaya, Lucent and Texas Instruments, will be responsible for driving its go-to-market strategy and global sales efforts.

BlackBerry Chief Executive John Chen said in a statement said that Wiese had extensive experience in enterprise software and emerging technology solutions, which will be instrumental as BlackBerry moves toward stabilising revenue. Or in English, making money again.

The move comes less than three weeks after BlackBerry posted weaker-than-expected sales growth from its software business in the first quarter.

Chen, who set a software revenue target of $500 million for the current fiscal year, has built his turnaround plan around a software growth strategy, hoping sales from device-management software and fledgling areas like the Internet of

Things can replace BlackBerry’s traditional service fee structure and falling revenue from smartphone sales.

BlackBerry declined to comment on whether Wiese’s appointment, which followed his successor John Sims’ exit was tied to weaker-than-expected software revenue growth. But it is expected that he will look to the channel to improve the company’s bottom line.

BlackBerry is also widely expected to debut a new Android-based smartphone this year in an attempt to boost its hardware sales.

Cisco buys OpenDNS

Merge-AheadUS spies’ favourite  target Cisco wants to buy the cloud security company OpenDNS for $635 million.

Cisco was one of the outfit’s investors in a $35 million round in May, 2014.

The $635 million will be paid in cash and assumed equity awards, plus retention based incentives for OpenDNS, according to information supplied by Cisco.

OpenDNS gives Cisco, a network vendor that offers more traditional network edge protection.

The purchase builds on Cisco’s strategy to add a cloud security layer, according to a blog post by Hilton Romanski, who leads business development at Cisco.

Romanski wrote in in his bog: “The acquisition will extend our ability to provide customers enhanced visibility and threat protection for unmonitored and potentially unsecure entry points into the network, and to quickly and efficiently deploy and integrate these capabilities as part of their defense architecture.”

The OpenDNS team will join the Cisco Security Business Group. The deal is expected to be finalized during the first quarter of fiscal 2016.

OpenDNS has over 10,000 paying customers, over 50 million users (through its free service). It runs 24 data centers, and claims more than 2 percent of the world’s DNS traffic with an astonishing 100 percent uptime, according to information supplied by the company last year.
Cisco has indicated it will continue to offer the free version of OpenDNS.

“The OpenDNS free DNS services will not be affected. Cisco is committed to OpenDNS’ consumer and enterprise DNS services. The OpenDNS products will transition into Cisco upon close of the acquisition.”

 

Data centre evolves from snooze to news warns Gartner

darwinBeancounters at Gartner said that thedData centre industry is about to see some rapid change after 15 years of more or less being a snooze.

In its 2015 Magic Quadrant for Data Center Networking report Big G said that emerging innovations like software-defined networking (SDN) and disaggregation switching, and  data centre networking was shaking up the industry.

Unlike in the past, vendor differentiation is shifting toward software — including management, automation and orchestration — compared with hardware.

Gartner Research Director Andrew Lerner, who co-wrote the report said most of the suppliers were the same names as they everywere.  But positions have have changed within the industry.  Arista Networks becoming a Leader and Dell is being more progressive.

The report found that the adoption of and interest in white-box switches over the past year have increased significantly within hyperscale data centres.

Dell twigged to the fact that a white-box or branded white-box was the key and  then Juniper followed, then HP.

There is now a demand for a denser, more highly virtualised data centre to improve agility within networks. Organizations want less proprietary, closed systems than have typically filled the space.

The market leader is still Cisco and has the largest  installed base of any vendor in the quadrant, Cisco is by far the global leader in port shipments and revenue.

Gartner’s report slams Cisco for overlapping, conflicting architectures as well as one of the priciest solutions on the market.

Cisco’s flagship Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) is “less open” than some SDN products, said Lerner, but “if you’re looking for an open solution, they do have a broad portfolio.”

Arista is the fastest-growing vendor in the space and is one of only two companies – including Cisco – that Gartner refers to as Leaders.

Arista has taken a open and agnostic approach that’s cost-effective, so it’s a very compelling story for company’s the report said.”

HP is not doing that badly either. The No. 2 player in the market has a strong global reach, a broad portfolio and open SDN. HP was rated the most open vendor, according to Gartner research surveys.

What is keeping the computer giant from being a leader in the market is its failure to execute sales from a channel perspective.

“From a portfolio perspective, they can go toe-to-toe with anybody. … They have the HP brand and the global distribution channel, so on paper, they should be a fierce competitor,” said Lerner. “The reality is, we don’t see the HP distribution channel putting the HP data center networking portfolio in front of customers with the same degree of fervor as, say, a Cisco or even an Arista.”

Dell was the most innovative vendor in the marketplace over the past year, with more than 24,000 networking customers, jumping from a niche player in 2014 to a visionary this year.

Dell was the first mainstream vendor to support a disaggregation switching solution that allowed organizations to run third-party networking software on Dell hardware.

VMware was the only vendor that made the quadrant that doesn’t provide hardware in the data centre. The company’s flagship NSX SDN overlay product garners a high degree of interest and has a proven track record of reliability with customers.

VMware’s suffers from an immature channel and sales coverage  which is triggering its growth.

 

Cisco brings IoT certification to channel

ciscoCisco is helping its channel partners get a leg up into the Internet of Things.

The idea is to run training programmes to give them the skills needed to try to capture some of the $19 trillion it expects from the new industry.

A new Cisco Certified Network Associate Industrial IoT certification has been set up along with two new cloud certifications to help partners deliver optimal business outcomes.

Cisco thinks its channel needs to understand the context of the industrial and IoT environments while it is deploying and managing these network and IT devices.”

The lab-based training program targets networking engineers, plant administrators, control engineers and IT engineers and teaches them how to build, manage and operate converged industrial networks in the fast-growing IoT manufacturing markets.

The certification targets both the customers and channel partners

Last week, research firm IDC released a report forecasting that the IoT market in manufacturing operations will grow from $42.2 billion in 2013 to $98.8 billion in 2018 — representing a CAGR of 18.6 percent.

Cisco warns partners of IoS skills shortage

ciscologoWhile everyone is talking up the Internet of Things, network giant Cisco has cleared its throat and pointed out that there is a huge skill shortage based around the technology.

Speaking at the Cisco Partner Summit, the outfit’s vice president for Industry Solutions Group, Steve Steinhilber, said that the IoT market will be worth $19 billion by 2020 – $14.4 billion of which will come from the private sector, and $4.6 billion from the public sector.

He claimed partners were getting a 40 percent annual boost to their Cisco businesses through selling IoT kit, but said the skills gap is a pressing concern.

He said that for Cisco and its partners this is a genuinely new available market. But one of the big gaps in the next three to five years is a tremendous shortfall in skills.

“You have people coming from the operational technology space and people coming from the IT space so you need training on how these worlds are going to merge. For Cisco, just in the industrial [vertical market], we see a shortage of 300,000 people with the right skills across the globe.”

In the past nine months, Cisco has trained 38 partners globally as IoT Specialised partners, and another 94 are currently going through the process, Steinhilber said, adding that this should start to fill the gap.

“We’ve begun rolling out a series of programmes,” he said. “Over the next 12 months you will see a serious of other unique training courses focused on industry-vertical skills.”

Security appliance market surges

Cisco FirewallOn the day that IBM revealed that a billion individuals had their data leaked in 2014, a report said the security appliance market saw double digit shipment growth in the fourth quarter of last year.

IDC said that worldwide, both factory revenues and shipments grew with revenues growing 8.6 percent compared to the same quarter last year, amounting to $2.6 billion.

But shipments grew twice as fast as revenues at 16.7 percent, representing 635, 933 units.

IDC said that’s the fourth consecutive quarter of shipment growths. For the whole year, revenues and shipments grew 8.4 percent and 8.3 percent respectively, amounting to $9.4 billion and 2.1 million units.

All geographies showed growth, but in Europe security appliances represented 26.9 percent of worldwide revenues.

The leading beacon in the market is Cisco – it has a 16.6 percent share of worldwide revenue. Check Point checked in at number two, with 13.2 percent revenue share. It grew by 25.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014.

In third place was Fortinet, which is the largest appliance vendor in shipment terms.

Palo Alto Networks, Blue Coat and McAfee were the other contenders in the top five position, with the last two tying in worldwide revenues.

 

VCE widens its portfolio

Pic Mike MageeVCE, which specialises in converged infrastructure, said it has added a raft of software and hardware products aimed at customers looking to move to a hybrid cloud model.

The company said its Vscale architecture offers speed and simplicity for data centres. The VxBlock Systems use Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure or VMare NSX for software defined networking.

Its VCE Vision Intelligent Operations 3.0 is an update to its management software with unified intelligence across many VCE converged infrastructure systems.

It supplemented these announcements with VCE technology extensions – pre-tested and pre-validate hardware – the announcement means that businesses can add storage and computing resources including EMC and Cisco products.

Further VCE said that it has launched the Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud, making it easier to build scalable systems.

VCE said it is now shipping the Vblock System 540 and the System 740 in volume. These products were announced last October.