Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Harness data centre innovation to put your digital transformation into overdrive

July 14, 2016

There’s never been a better time for businesses to move faster. Cloud, mobile and the Internet of Things (IoT) can provide much greater IT agility and operational effectiveness, while digital affords the opportunity to deliver new customer experiences, transform processes and business models, and empower workforce innovation.

With Cisco Live 2016 Las Vegas in full swing this week, we’ve been showcasing exactly how our latest offerings can help organisations of all sizes move faster on their journey to becoming digital businesses.

As our CEO Chuck Robbins said, we’re innovating faster and better than ever before:

“If you’re going to drive more innovation you need to move faster. If you’re going to adopt and lead in the transitions that occur in the marketplace, then you’re going to have to embrace it and move faster – whether it’s SDN, cloud, [or] whether it’s this notion of software versus hardware – you need to get to an option and move on that pretty quickly.”

So what options should your organisation choose?

Four key pillars

Of course, digital transformation projects are complex, with many moving parts to connect using technology – from the cloud to the data centre to users and end devices. Such transformation must be driven from the top and based on a foundation that is simple, automated, and secure.

That’s why we see analytics technologies, security, collaboration and automation as the four key pillars underpinning today’s digital transformation. At the heart of this is a data centre network that can provide analytics and automate the infrastructure based on what it needs, with security built in from the start.

Here, we’ve already delivered innovations that are genuinely useful for our user – from analytics in the data centre and analytics at the edge, through hyperconverged infrastructure and software-defined networking, to simplifying security and the way organisations manage the ever-evolving mix of Hybrid IT services.

Our next generation data centre stacks are built from the ground up to provide the resources and capabilities our users need – including virtual machines (VMs), bare metal, and containerised microservices on converged or hyperconverged systems (network, compute, storage) – with the pay-as-you-grow economics and consumption models they demand.

Moreover, the launch of Tetration Analytics at IDEALondon last month means we’ve made it possible for organisations to truly see what’s really going in their data centre.

DeLorean for your datacentre

Cisco Tetration Analytics collects and analyses data in real time using software and hardware sensors to deliver actionable application insights, automated policy recommendations and network flow forensics on a scale never seen before.

It’s able to gather 1 million events per second, search billions of events in seconds and store up to a year’s worth of data that can be visualised and replayed at any point in time.

Effectively, we’ve built a DeLorean for the data centre. Unlike Marty McFly’s souped up sports car however, you don’t need to travel at 88 miles per hour to make the jump forward or back.

Tetration Analytics is a true game changer as it works in real time rather than using sampling. It currently ships as a full rack appliance, but enterprise scale and SaaS offerings will soon open the platform up to a much wider user base than the regulated industries where it’s gaining most traction now.

Let’s ear it for innovation

We’d like to a say a big thank you to the team at IDEALondon and PLATFORM 103 for being such great hosts for the UK launch of Tetration, as well as the fantastic start-ups that delivered a series of lightning talks at the event:

  • Will Thomas, Co-Founder & CTO at Hoxton Analytics, whose in-store analytics solution counts footfall and identifies the most relevant customer demographics from the shoes people wear.
  • Mustafa Khanwala, Co-Founder & CEO at MishiPay, who has conceived technology to solve a great British dilemma – queueing – by enabling shoppers to pick up a product, scan the barcode and pay with their phone.
  • Jacoby Thwaites, Co-Founder & CEO at SPARKL, whose technology manages the behaviour of distributed systems and makes machines, applications and things work together intelligently.

These are all great examples of how innovation can flourish when it’s nurtured in the right environment.

Back in the 17th century, innovation got bad press. It was considered no less than a deliberate transgression of norms, the objective being to effect change in the established order. Indeed, innovators didn’t get accolades, rather they ran the risk of imprisonment and getting their ears cut off!

It wasn’t until the late 19th century that innovation became associated positively with socioeconomic and technological advancement. And the rest, as they say, is history.

Today, as we enter the 4th phase of IT, the level and pace of innovation we’re seeing will continue to drive fundamental change. With the network as the strategic enabler, we’ll be right at the heart of helping organisations benefit from the opportunities that change brings.

Agile, secure networks simplify IT and enable rapid innovation – or Fast IT as we call it – while analytics enable you to keep one eye on the past and present and the other on how to prepare for the future with a digital network architecture (DNA).

Admittedly, the wealth of technological choice available can create as many new questions as answers for those looking to take advantage of it.

Try our quick assessment tool to find out how future-ready your network is.

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