Friday, February 27, 2009

World Economic Forum Announces New Batch Of Young Global Leaders (Mark Zuckerberg, Chad Hurley, Kevin Rose And More)

World Economic Forum Announces New Batch Of Young Global Leaders (Mark Zuckerberg, Chad Hurley, Kevin Rose And More)

The World Economic Forum has just published its annual list of Young Global Leaders, recognizing “between 200 and 300 outstanding young leaders from around the world for their professional accomplishments, commitment to society and potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world”.

The list of honorees, besides celebrities like Coldplay’s Chris Martin and F1 legend Michael Schumacher, includes a good number of people from the technology and Internet industry, so here’s a quick run-down of the names you might know:

  • Mark Zuckerberg - founder and CEO of Facebook
  • Kevin Rose - founder of Digg
  • Chad Hurley - co-founder and CEO of YouTube
  • Josh Silverman - CEO of Skype
  • Michael Birch - founder and CEO of Bebo
  • Premal Shah - President of Kiva
  • Lisa Huddleson - Corporate Foundation Executive Director at Dell
  • Vinny Lingham - CEO of Synthasite
  • Paul Bassat - CEO of Seek
  • Suranga Chandratillake - co-founder and CEO of blinkx
  • Michael Cannon-Brooks - co-founder of Atlassian
  • Andrej Nabergoj - co-founder and CEO of Noovo
  • Matias de Tezanos - founder of HealthCare.com
  • Kamal Quadir - founder of CellBazaar
  • Ashok Vemuri - Senior VP, Banking and Capital Markets at Infosys Technologies
  • Habib Haddad - co-founder of Yamli
  • Josh Spear - founding partner of Undercurrent


Wednesday, February 25, 2009

WAN optimization is challenging for desktop virtualization

I came across a good article from Network World on the challenges that WAN optimization faces when virtualization for the desktop takes place. It is interesting to understand if WAN optimization is for you - it is not for everybody. More importantly, if you are considering a combination of thin clients at your branches (e.g. VMWare, Citrix, or Microsoft Remote Desktop) with WAN optimization, how do you implement all that.

For the entire article, go here

Friday, February 20, 2009

Campus Architecture – Resilient Services Campus

A quick note on the important of resiliency in the campus: Business-critical applications and unified communications demand new resilient services from networks that were originally built for data applications only. These resilient services help ensure that customers, employees, and suppliers always have access to business-critical applications.

Today most enterprises run these services in the core and distribution layers of their campus networks but neglect the access layer (wiring closet), forgetting that it is critical for ensuring consistency of services and applications. Traditionally, when thinking about resilient service, redundant chassis and blocks come to mind. However, resiliency has to be more than that.

It is important to embed high availability into every possible component at different levels. In other words, in order to increase the levels of availability, you must incorporate it in different places and levels of abstraction. For example, the campus design must have redundancy at a block level, equipment level, and intra-chassis level. Think about having multiple ways to get to your services, multiple chassis that interconnect your servers, and those chassis have multiple power supplies, line cards, and other components.

As the first point of contact with the network, wiring closet switches have become the business lifeline for knowledge workers, and the first line of defense for information security. The right switch prepares enterprise wiring closet network infrastructure for present and future applications. Redundancy at a chassis level becomes more important in this case because desktops and users connect to them thru a single cable.

Also, the core and aggregation of the network must be resilient at a block and chassis level to ensure self healing and no intervention in case of a failure.

Finally, the edge of the campus must also incorporate redundancy when possible, at a device and circuit level. In other words, carrier redundancy is important.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Campus Architecture – Network Virtualization

Virtualization is the buzz word due to its great and immediate impact in operational costs by reducing the equipment foot print, real estate requirements, energy consumption, and administrative burden of systems. It is definitely a straight forward concept to grasp. What is not so simple to understand is how to extrapolate that concept to a network infrastructure, unified communication services, and other IT elements that are not just servers.

For example, LAN virtualization solutions address three important aspects of network virtualization: LAN virtualization, path isolation, and services edge

First, LAN virtualization allows access control to recognize and classify legitimate users and devices, and authorize them to enter assigned portions of the network. It provides secure, customized access for individuals and groups to protect the Enterprise LAN from external threats. Also, some complementary features include: Port authentication using standards such as IEEE 802.1x for strong connections between authorized users and VPNs, and Network Admission Control (NAC) to minimize security risks by removing viruses, worms, and other harmful traffic before they reach the distribution or core layers.


Second, Path Isolation maps validated users or devices to the correct secure set of available resources (virtual private network, or VPN). These solutions use a mix of Layer 2 and Layer 3 technologies to best address LAN virtualization for typical LAN designs. There are three different path isolation solutions: (1) Generic routing encapsulation (GRE) tunnels create closed user groups on the Enterprise LAN to allow guest access to the Internet, while preventing access to internal resources. (2) Virtual routing and forwarding (VRF)-lite, also called Multi-VRF Customer Edge, is a lightweight version of MPLS that allows network managers to use a single routing device to support multiple virtual routers. (3) MPLS VPNs also partition a campus network for closed user groups. Previously, MPLS was not widely deployed in enterprise networks because of the lack of support on LAN switches, but it is now possible.


And third, Services Edge provides access to services for a legitimate set or sets of users and devices by using centralized policy enforcement. The objective to centralize policy enforcement is to minimize capital and operational expenses, share service modules across all partitions of the network, and accelerate the deployment of policies and services across the whole network.


 

Friday, February 13, 2009

Campus Architecture – Campus Communication Fabric

The Campus is the center of all business. It hosts the company HQ, and the main employee population. Also, it may host, geographically speaking, the Data Center as well. Also, the challenge most businesses face today is how to transform their existing network into a business enabling platform.

The fundamental design model for the network infrastructure is referred to as the Campus Communication Fabric, CCF, Blueprint. This is a model developed and industry validated by Cisco.

In November, I did a post on the Campus Communication Fabric that I have abridged bellow:

A Campus Communications Fabric framework can help a business solve complex planning issues, provide support for rich-media applications, enable consistent services and policies, and take advantage of a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) foundation, among other things. What that means is that the network will be scalable to any level, will recover itself from failures, and will become a revenue generating and cost reducing instrument without major hassles, specifically for media transport purposes in the Campus. i.e. Using high-definition TelePresence video as meeting medium.

There are six attributes of the Campus Communications Fabric:

  • Application Intelligence: Take control of applications and user experience
  • Unified Network Services: Connect any person to any resource with any device
  • Integrated Security: Secure every port with built-in protection for access, identity, and data
  • Nonstop Communications: Stay connected with a resilient infrastructure that enables business continuity
  • Virtualization: Simplify your network and maximize resource utilization
  • Operational Manageability: Do more with less—deploy services faster and automate routine tasks

Now, let's elaborate on these attributes, and why they are important.

Application Intelligence

Challenge: improving the network's ability to adjust to application requirements and support emerging trends.

Application Intelligence's functions are to recognize applications and prioritize them; monitor and control traffic; deliver new applications; and control latency in the network to have the infrastructure self adjust to changes.

Unified Network Services

Challenge: Providing any application and service to any screen at any place and any time

Unified network services connect any person or resource to any device regardless of how they are connected to the network. It provides consistent services and performance via wired, wireless, or VPN connection.

Integrated Security

Challenge: Providing distributed security tools and features required to protect and secure new traffic flow patterns

The concept of integrated security ensures that security is scalable (i.e. complex security requirements like PCI). Also, it can protect clients resources at the edge of the network in a built-in fashion via pervasive security policies.

Nonstop Communications

Challenge: Provide continuous access to applications, data, and content from anywhere.

A resilient infrastructure can guarantee application availability via intelligent network protocols and flexible design capabilities. High availability must be transparent and provided at a system level, not only a device level.

Virtualization

Challenge: Provide flexible configuration and management of all infrastructure resources to reduce costs and increase agility

A logical rather than physical view of data, storage, network, and other resources presented independently of location, packaging, or capacity enable a shared infrastructure, geographic scalability, and dynamic resource and service utilization. When thinking about virtualization, think about savings in energy and resources.

Operational Manageability

Challenge: In addition to the network always being available you always need to know what is happening in the network.

It is important to accelerate service implementation, facilitate changes, and simplify management by automating the infrastructure. A mechanism for doing this is by improving fault detection by automating it, and gaining full visibility to what's flowing through the network.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The importance of ICT Architectures

Industry and Network Architectures can help evolve to an intelligent information network that fully integrates and optimizes the networked infrastructure, interactive services, and applications across an entire enterprise. An end-to-end architecture with integrated network services and validated designs can meet the growing demands of the global, mobile workforce and customer base. The ultimate goal of a well defined and implemented architecture is to provide a hospitable environment for revenue to increase (by increasing efficiency and productivity) while reducing cost (by simplifying and modularizing the technology infrastructure). Therefore, I have decided to dedicate multiple posts to the subject: something that I work with on an everyday basis.

First of all, let's start with the basics. Network and IT Architectures can be subdivided and applied to five distinctive places in the network:

  1. Campus – the main HQ site or large campus is the cornerstone of the company
  2. Branch – some studies show that approx 70% of employees work at a branch, not HQ
  3. Data Center – run the applications that handle the core business
  4. Teleworker – the virtual office is a reality in a globalized world
  5. WAN, MAN, Internet – connectivity to customers, business partners, and suppliers

In closing, Wikipedia defines architecture as "the art and discipline of creating an actual plan of any complex object or system." It is critical to be aware of the importance of organization and proper planning of any technology implementation.

In the next posts, I will dive into each of the 5 places, to help envision how all elements are interrelated and affect each other.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Energy Efficiency in IT expanding everywhere

Energy efficiency is not a "nice-to-have" anymore. Every company is looking for ways to save money, and the huge electric bills fruit of large Data Centers, network devices, VMWare servers, IP Phones, wireless access points, and other electronics is a great spot to target.

What if you could go even further and not only control power consumption for those traditional electronics, but expand that into smart buildings, lights, and maybe even elevators?. That's the promise of Cisco's new EnergyWise story: save in electricity everywhere by adjusting the power consumption

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

[Web Marketing] A Special Cisco Valentine's Day Gift...

Another innovative online commercial from TechEdge and Cisco. There are "lots" of channels in the new marketing industry.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Study shows Apple with 10% market share in January 09

In January of 2009, Mac OS X gained a few tenths of a percent over December's market share numbers according to Net Applications' latest tracking data, marking another record high of almost 10% of computers out there. I can attest the growth of Mac's in companies as a Windows XP replacement; I have one for work too. However I am not sure about the one in every ten.

read Complete report