In keeping with this year’s theme of customer-focused IT, Padmasree Warrior opened with the responses from Cisco customer surveys, and she chose keynote topics that survey respondents said were top of mind. (It’s great to see Cisco execs practicing what they preach.) And what were the hot topics for this year? Security, Mobility, and Cloud.
To help her address these topics, Padmasree brought in two additional speakers: Chris Young, SVP of the Security and Governance Group (new to Cisco from time at VMware and RSA), and Praveen Akkiraju, SVP of Routing and in charge of the Cloud Connect product line. Padmasree opened by saying, “We are on the verge of the most significant change in IT. It’s time to reinvent the fundamentals.”
According to Padmasree, Cisco’s perspective is that growth of the Internet and the rise in video traffic on Internet and mobile networks are mega trends in our industry – trends impossible to ignore. Padmasree had several significant predictions:
- The Internet will double in size every 5.32 years (“more traffic, more devices, more users, more applications, and unfortunately more threats and more attacks”).
- In the next 3-5 years, video will become 86% of all IP traffic.
- Two-thirds of all mobile traffic will be video.
- Soon, 70% of enterprises will be using cloud technology.
Meanwhile, the roles of CIO and network engineer are also changing as the expectations of business leaders and users soar.
IT must be able to handle new delivery models; provide seamless access to users; allow for BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) in the workplace; leverage virtual desktop infrastructure (VDI) in the data center; provide the necessary analytics and context to help business owners make timely decisions; and so on, and so on.
Along with the business pressure to “free it up” is the counter-pressure to “lock it down” for risk management, security, and compliance, as Chris Young pointed out. To address these challenges in modern IT management, Cisco has formed a technology strategy for the network based on seven key areas:
- New network architectures
- The rise in open source in the cloud and network (but, “There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to open networks,” Padmasree noted)
- Big Data
- Machine-to-machine (M2M) communication and the Internet of Things
- Silicon Valley leadership
- New video and cloud services
It’s this seven-pillared strategy that Padmaree says will drive Cisco’s technology into the future. “Cloud is fundamentally changing consumption and delivery models for IT,” Padmasree said. As the war between cloud architectures rages on, I found it interesting that Cisco is backing several OpenStack initiatives.
We’ll see how that impacts the recent gains from the CloudStack group. Of course, Padmasree mentioned the latest technology announcements around OnePK, SDN, and OpenFlow, new Cloud Services Routers (CSRs), and the Nexus 1000V being extended to be multi-hypervisor-capable.
The new gear is part of Cisco’s Cloud Connect product line, all part of the strategy to evolve the network into the cloud and modern data center, including:
- scale, span, and performance;
- no-compromise security;
- open standards such as Locator/ID Separation Protocol, or LISP; and
- and consistency between physical and virtual environments.
Padmasree also spoke on Cisco’s continued commitment to supporting multiple hypervisors. The vendor-agnostic approach toward hypervisor and storage partners seems to be a change. VMware and EMC seem to be downplayed at this year’s show, and NetApp, Citrix, and Cisco’s old friend Microsoft (whose HyperV is emerging in many networks) emerged to more prominence.
It also appears that the open source community is rubbing off on Cisco – open source made Cisco’s top technology strategies for the future. Padmasree ended her keynote on a powerful note.
The marketplace is changing, driven by the rise in mobile, cloud, and security concerns for the enterprise, and the need to change with times is urgent. Leveraging its market dominance in routing and switching, Cisco is building new products and technologies to win the hearts and minds of CIOs, and appealing to its strong technical customer base with the concept of the intelligent network.
Read more coverage of the Padmasree Warrior keynote speech: Padmasree Warrior Talks Intelligent Networks.
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