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

Posts Tagged ‘Internet of things’

Cisco held its annual user conference, Cisco Live, last week under the cool but sunny skies of San Francisco. This Live was the 25th Cisco user event (formerly know as Networks) and the largest to date with an estimated 25,000 in attendance and hundreds of thousands attending over the web. Before I was an analyst, I attended Networkers as a way of sharing experiences with other network professionals, as well as learning about what’s new in the world of Cisco and how it might benefit my company as well as my own career. As an analyst, I look at the company through a different lens, but the interaction with the audience was just as or more valuable when I was an IT professional.

As is the case with all large tech vendors, there’s no single point to take away from an event like this, but rather a number highlights based on what you’re looking for. To me, here were my key takeaways.

It’s certainly been an exciting month for Extreme Networks. Earlier this month, the company closed the acquisition of Enterasys and announced earnings that Wall Street liked so much that the stock shot up 20% to a five-year high.

And this week the company announced its new Summit X770 top-of-rack (ToR) switch. The X770 is a 1RU switch but has a whopping 104 10 Gig-E ports on it, which makes it the highest-density 1 RU switch that I know of. Alternatively, customers can get 32–40 Gig-E ports from the switch.

Why might anyone need this many ports and that much bandwidth in a single RU switch? Well, the answer is bandwidth, and there’s certainly no shortage of new bandwidth-generating applications in the data center today. Extreme is focusing this particular switch on “Big Data” environments, which is a sound strategy given the momentum behind big data today and the reliance on the network.

The first ever Internet of Things World Forum was held in Barcelona over the last week of October. If there was any doubt, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a very real trend and it’s just a matter of time before IoT has a significant impact on the way we live our lives. These were the top 10 companies on display at the World Forum, many of which are helping IoT move from vision to reality.

10. Freescale – Freescale Semiconductor is an IoT enabler that makes embedded processing solutions for automotive, consumer and industrial markets. Freescale has a variety of technologies, such as microprocessors, microcontrollers, sensors and integrated circuits, that can be considered the foundational components of IoT. Freescale technologies are currently being used in connected cars, medical equipment, consumer appliances and energy management solutions.

9. Grundfos – This IoT-related company is a leader in advanced pump solutions and touts itself as a “trendsetter” in water technology. When I first saw this, I thought it was a bit boring, but heck, we all need water and the more efficiently it can be processed and made available, the better off the world is. Grundfos has holistic water management and pump solutions that can communicate the status of water processing and automatically adapt when required. The company also provides a significant amount of data that can be further analyzed for ongoing improvements.

This week, Cisco hosted the inaugural Internet of Things World Forum in Barcelona, Spain. The event had a little under 800 attendees, which I thought was a great turnout for a first year event. There was a very diverse set of vendors at the event, ranging from traditional IT companies like Cisco, Oracle and SAP to a number of companies that IT people have likely never heard of, such as Grundfos, QnetiQ and AGT International. As diverse as the companies were, though, they all had one thing in common – the belief that when you live in a world where everything is connected, it significantly changes the way we live, learn and play.

I seriously doubt there is any kind of universal “killer application” for the IoT, rather a set of “deadly” applications with killer-ish qualities in certain verticals. The key verticals that I see adopting IoT are city governments, retail, oil and gas, finance, healthcare, gaming and transportation. All of these verticals have processes with significant amounts of human latency, which could be streamlined or even automated. Additionally, there are a number of new ways to do business through the connection of “things” and the analysis of data.

This morning, Cisco agreed to acquire JouleX, a software company that helps IT organizations power the management capabilities of their IT infrastructure from the data center to the desktop and everywhere in between. The purchase price is reported to be $107 million, which is just a drop in the hat for the cash-rich company that has acquired a veritable cornucopia of software companies this year.

The first and most obvious fit for JouleX is complementing Cisco’s “EnergyWise” initiative. EnergyWise has been increasingly important for Cisco as it raises the value of the Cisco network and opens up new buying centers. Earlier this year, after Cisco Live Europe, I posed this slideshow looking at some of the more interesting Cisco partners at the event and several of the vendors were specifically related to energy management.



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