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Archive for 2014

The fast-growing networking company adapts
its platform for software defined networking.

I think it’s fair to say Arista has been one of the fastest-growing network product companies over the past few years. However, it appears the company wants to be more than a manufacturer of high-performance networking devices and is trying to make the shift to a platform company.

Last week, Arista announced EOS+, a set of building blocks that turn the company’s operating system, EOS, into a platform for SDNs at cloud scale or, as Arista calls it, the “software-driven cloud network.” The platform strategy capitalizes on the fact that EOS is a highly programmable operating system.

There are four main components to the EOS+ platform:

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The latest bet for Cisco is big data analytics.

Last week, Cisco celebrated its 30th anniversary. Over the years Cisco has made many big bets to reach the dominant position it is in today. As part of the celebration, Cisco held its first ever Global Editor Conference, using the event to lay out the organization’s vision for the next big bet, and that’s becoming a big data analytics provider.

If this bet pays off, it could be huge for Cisco. CEO John Chambers has reiterated over and over that Cisco has a goal of becoming the industry’s No. 1 IT solution provider, and becoming an analytics provider is certainly another step toward achieving this goal. On Thursday, I dialed into an analyst session on this topic and, as expected, there was a fair amount of skepticism as to why any enterprise would buy analytics from Cisco.

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Capitalizing on the arms race for tools that improve the in-store
shopping experience, Aerohive establishes a strong partnership.

This is certainly a fascinating time in the retail industry. It seems we are moving closer to the “Minority Report” type of experience where someone like John Anderton can walk through a store or mall and see billboards automatically change to target their interests. Of course, in our world we don’t take pictures of people’s eyes to determine identity. The smartphone is the de facto standard.

The in-store experience has become the new battle ground for retailers looking to one-up the competition. This includes a number of factors, including a snappy log-in experience, a full-featured mobile application, mobile coupons, and an in-depth understanding of the customer. While this all sounds great on paper, putting the technology together to deliver this isn’t trivial.

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A look back at Cisco’s most innovative moves in its 30 years in the industry.

30 years of Cisco

30 years of Cisco

Cisco Systems turned 30 this month. Over the past 30 years, the company has been one of the most innovative companies not only in networking, but also the broader IT market. Cisco has leveraged its innovation as a way of moving into new markets and capitalizing on market transitions. Here are the top 10 Cisco innovations since its inception.

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Many companies are still reluctant to push SDN into
production. Solutions like this could make it easier.

A couple of months ago I wrote about a start-up called Saisei that launched a product in a market it called “Network Performance Enforcement.” The company’s NPE solution brings together WAN optimization, policy, control and analytics.

This week at HP’s Discover Event in Barcelona, Saisei made its solution available through the HP SDN App Store. The Saisei FlowCommand software brings real-time visibility and control over millions of flows on HP-based SDN networks. This should enable HP customers to have better insight into an SDN deployment.

The improved insight and control into a software defined network should be a real boon to network managers looking to make the move to an SDN. From the research I’ve done, I believe a lack of visibility is one of the top inhibitors to organizations being more aggressive with moving SDNs into production environments. Legacy management, monitoring, and optimization tools were not designed for SDNs, creating a big blind spot for network managers.

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To celebrate Cisco’s 30th birthday, let’s look at the company’s
boldest bets on the internet over the years, and how they paid off.

December of 1984 was a month filled with notable moments. China’s Premier Zhao Ziyang and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher signed the Hong Kong Treaty. In the world of sports, Eric Dickerson broke OJ Simpson’s NFL rushing record and Doug Flutie won the Heisman trophy. In entertainment circles, Madonna’s “Like a Virgin” hit No. 1, launching the Material Girl’s phenomenal career. And, in the technology world, Cisco Systems was born, kicking off one of the most unprecedented eras of growth that the business world has ever seen.

Back in 1984, very few people had actually heard of the internet. Personally, I had just started my undergrad program at the University of Victoria in British Columbia, Canada. As a computer science student, we were all given internet accounts on a Unix mainframe. I had access to telnet, email through a program called “elm,” ftp, and an awesome application called read news so I could keep up with other Star Trek and Dungeons and Dragons geeks.

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