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AI World Conference & Expo · Boston, MA · December 11-13, 2017

Archive for January 2014

This week, Cisco held its annual Cisco Live Europe Event in Milan. At the show, the company introduced a number of new products, including the Cisco APIC (Application Policy Infrastructure Controller) Enterprise Module that brings the benefits of software defined networks to the WAN and access edge. This announcement follows on the heels of its November launch, where Cisco announced the long-awaited acquisition of Insieme and unveiled the APIC controller for the data center.

The focus on the access edge and WAN is an interesting move for Cisco, as almost the entire SDN market has pointed their guns at the data center. Why? Well the data center has been through a tremendous amount of change. Private cloud, virtualization, NFV, more applications and other trends have made the data center a veritable cornucopia of changes that puts a heavy emphasis on the network. Now the network needs to be more agile, flexible and dynamic. Hence the intense focus from the vendor community.

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Queue up F5’s CEO of John McAdam as he prepares to address Wall Street for the company’s quarterly call to discuss the state of the business. Out he comes and is asked to walk everyone through the past quarter. He goes off on a rant and shouts, “We’re the best ADC in the game! When you try us with a sorry ADC like Netscaler, that’s the result you’re going to get. Don’t you ever talk about F5 or I’ll shut you up!”

That, of course, didn’t happen, but the tech industry would be a whole lot more interesting if tech CEOs acted more like the Seahawks’ Richard Sherman and beat their chests a little more. This was a quarter where F5 could have gotten away with it.

Over the past year, the former darling of the tech industry had fallen on hard times. The business had slowed down and the stock had dipped below $70/share, a number it hadn’t been at since 2010. This prompted many to wonder if F5’s best days were behind them, partially due to the fact that Citrix had stepped up the competitive pressure through its Cisco partnership.

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Big data and analytics are hot topics of conversation for almost anyone in IT today, including network operations. This is one of the reasons Gigamon has been on a tear over the past couple of years, especially since its IPO last year.

Last week, Gigamon announced an upcoming application to generate and export NetFlow records from its visibility fabric. The NetFlow Generation application will create NetFlow records and then send that information to one of the many NetFlow collectors and analyzers available on the market today.

Historically, Gigamon has traditionally focused on developing features and applications to help optimize the performance of network tools. This application, though, will help optimize the performance of network infrastructure, such as routers and switches. Generating NetFlow traffic can be very processor-intensive and offloading this to the visibility fabric can reduce the burden on network hardware.

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As a mainstream industry, video communications has been around for well over two decades now, and it seems that every year we hear that “this is the year that video becomes pervasive.” And then it doesn’t happen.

However, I’m here to say it again, this time with confidence – 2014 is a year of significant change and one where we finally see video become a mainstream collaboration tool.

Towards the end of last year, I ran a video deployment strategies survey and asked respondents what the usage of video would be over the next 12 months, and 90% reported there would be an increase. Of that, 27% reported an increase of over 25%, putting us well on the way to pervasive video. I also believe there are a number of technology trends that finally make it possible to make video communications a ubiquitous business resource. These shifts are:

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Prescriptions for Cisco, Microsoft, Polycom, Unify, Mitel, and Huawei.

Happy New Year, and welcome to 2014! It’s time for all of us to make some New Year’s resolutions and stick to them! For example, Alex Rodriguez probably resolved to lay off the steroids. Larry Ellison, I’m sure, made a resolution to not blow off his own keynote again this year. I think if we checked in with Miley Cyrus, she’s made a resolution to twerk less…or maybe more since it seemed to have re-ignited her career. For the UC industry though, there are a number of resolutions that I would like to see vendors make:

* Cisco and Microsoft resolve to make interoperability easier. There has been no greater battle to watch in UC than Cisco and Microsoft butting heads. Sometimes though, two enemies partnering together just might create a force stronger than two individuals. Remember when Randy “Macho Man” Savage partnered with Hulk Hogan, and the “Madness met the Mania?” Has there ever been a stronger tag-team combination? Or in the recent Star Trek-Into Darkness, when Kirk and Khan teamed up to defeat Admiral Marcus, they did so because of their combined strength.

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