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Archive for June 2016

A look back at what Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins
accomplished during his first year leading the company

Credit: Cisco

It’s been about a year since Chuck Robbins took over as CEO of Cisco. Following in the footsteps of John Chambers certainly could not have been easy. Chambers was perhaps the most visible, thought-leading CEO in all of technology. Also, he had been at the post for about 20 years, something rare in business today, and had reached quasi celebrity status.

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Juniper’s Cloud-Enabled Branch improves branch
office network management, solving problems inside
the branch and issues connecting the branch

Credit: Geralt via Pixabay

The numerous struggles businesses must go through to address the network needs of a branch have been well documented on this site and many others. The importance of the branch can’t be understated either. The branch is where the majority of workers reside today—81 percent of employees, according to a recent ZK Research survey. For many businesses, such as retailers and banks, the branch is the business, so curing branch woes needs to be a top priority for business and IT leaders.

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With acquisition of cloud access security broker
CloudLock, Cisco aims to give IT way to enforce security
policies around cloud services, including UCaaS.

During a security panel I moderated a few months ago, a chief information security officer (CISO) half-jokingly said he felt like success for him was based on how fast he was willing to give up control of his IT environment. I understand the sentiment, as the rises in mobility and cloud do seem to be taking control away from IT and making the environment less secure.

The rise in “shadow IT” has exacerbated the problem, as more business leaders make cloud services decisions without IT’s knowledge. The ZK Research 2016 Security Survey found that respondents at a whopping 96% of companies are using cloud services that aren’t sanctioned by IT. I’m guessing the remaining 4% of respondents are with organizations like the National Security Agency or simply don’t know.

While chatting with this CISO after the session, I told him he was thinking of the problem in the wrong way. I’ll admit, the business often does circumvent IT, but IT can’t just throw its hands up and cede control. Rather, IT needs to shift control to a place where it can implement and enforce policies. Let’s say IT doesn’t have control of mobile endpoints. That makes the next closest point the access point (AP). So, instead of putting agents on mobile devices, IT should apply some sort of authentication technology ( 802.1x, for example) at the AP.

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The Internet of Things presents some unique
security concerns for organizations, but with the
right process and the right tools, it’s manageable

Credit: CSO staff

Historically the Internet of Things (IoT) has been much more hype than substance. Sure, there have been a few verticals such as oil and gas and mining that have embraced the trend, but those vertical have been active in IoT since it was known as machine to machine (M2M).

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ZeroStack’s Z-Block Cloud appliance makes deploying an
OpenStack-based private cloud as easy as plug and play

Credit: Thinkstock

If you’re in my age bracket, you might remember this clip of Yosemite Sam yelling at his camel to slow down. He kept yelling, “Whoa, Camel,” but the headstrong camel wouldn’t stop until Yosemite Sam jumped off and hit him on the head. (For you millennials, it used to be OK for kids to watch this stuff.)

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Goal is to provide deep infrastructure insight so IT
can quickly identify issues and get to root causes,
and run what-if scenarios in advance of deployment.

Earlier this month Cisco held a media and analyst event on the 102nd floor of the new World Trade Center to launch its Tetration Analytics platform. Why such a grand venue for a product announcement?

Well, because it’s a big product, with big potential and, incidentally, a big price tag ($3 million to start).

Network Lens for Analytics

Cisco is always looking market adjacencies with the goal of moving into, gaining dominance, and moving the needle on its revenue and gross margins… and analytics fits the bill. Tetration Analytics allows Cisco to play in business intelligence and analytics, roughly a $17 billion industry. I’m certainly not saying Cisco has that entire $17 billion market in its sights, as its focus is specifically on the data center. Still, even a portion of that amount is a market worthy of Cisco’s interest.

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