Collaboration is a Platform… Communication is an Activity

Posted Date: 
Posted By: 
Steven Reese

Whether or not you choose to consider collaboration as a platform or an activity, the fact that can’t be debated is that the two ends of any network are information and people. When the industry accepts that people and information are the two constants that have never changed, the notion of collaboration becoming a platform to connect the two ends of the network becomes more palatable. Let’s look at how the collaboration platform has evolved.

Historical Collaboration

We can look back into the earliest of times and how communications were managed. People shared information by recording that information in stone tablet, hieroglyphics, just to name a couple. In fact we can argue that one of the earliest representations of data centers would be the Egyptian pyramids. Over time, as civilization matured, communication took place through the use of books, smoke signals, teletypes, radio, telephone, television, and today’s modern collaboration platforms. I suspect that our children’s children will make fun of the fact that we had to hold devices to our ears to communicate, and that we had to sit in front of a special camera to see each other.

Collaboration Technology Supports the New Normal

Posted Date: 
Posted By: 
Andrew Cadwell, President, Presidio West

Dynamic collaboration across enterprise and inter-enterprise boundaries represents “the new normal.” Organizations are now challenged to work closely with suppliers, partners and contractors to deliver their offerings in today’s high velocity markets.

“Web 2.0 tools such as video portals, podcasts, blogs, wikis, and discussion forums are changing the way in which information is created, published, managed, and consumed,” according to a recent report from Cisco. “Technology advances and the need to work outside of normal business hours and locations foster an increasingly mobile and distributed workforce. A flood of new devices and applications is entering the corporate IT environment as employees elect to merge consumer-based tools with standardized communications.”

As organizations grapple with global value chains, information overload, and more mobile workforces, they are challenged to embrace and integrate new collaboration capabilities.

Collaboration: Why Video and Why Now?

Posted Date: 
Posted By: 
Dan Stephens, UC Practice Manager

Over the last two years I have been atop my soapbox screaming VIDEO…VIDEO…VIDEO! The one question that stumps the sales guys and customers alike is, Why? Why video and why now? It’s been around for 25 years and hasn’t gone viral so what is different about today. Three things are at the epicenter of this movement, Bandwidth, Quality and Relationship Management.

Bandwidth in the 80’s and early 90’s was calculated in bits per second, and in the late 90s to early 2000’s it moved to kilobits per second and now in the early 201x’s we are measuring bandwidth in the megabits and even gigabits per second. Video is about the experience; it’s about being able to talk to someone face to face without having the voice lag 2 seconds behind the facial movement. Bandwidth to present the moving pictures with high enough resolution to forget you are using video has begun to hit the market wholesale. Even 4G wireless carriers are bringing speeds between 50 – 100 MB to mobile devices. The bandwidth to our offices and homes is more stable and affordable than ever before. The bandwidth is here for video.

Mobile Collaboration vs Collaboration Mobility: what’s the difference?

Posted Date: 
Posted By: 
Dan Stephens, UC Practice Manager

What is the difference between these two phrases, Mobile Collaboration and Collaboration Mobility?  I would suggest that the difference is in the connotation, technicalcapability versus defining a business challenge.

Mobile Collaboration is a marketing term that describes the technology of making applications that allow people to collaborate, mobile.  Some types of mobile applications are for voice, presence, video, conferencing, virtualization and file access.  Applications like Cisco Jabber and Microsoft Lync for the iPad, iPhone and Android devices make Instant Messaging and Enterprise voice available on your mobile device.  VMWare view can even make virtual desktops available anywhere and anytime.

Collaboration Mobility on the other hand is a term that describes the business drivers around why the mobile collaboration applications are important.  First, Collaboration is a process whereby we can reduce the “mean time to decision”.  Another way that I define Collaboration is “inserting the correct technology into an existing business process to improve efficiency without disrupting the corporate culture.” So Collaboration Mobility would be the taking of an existing or new business process and inserting the correctmobile collaboration applications as to improve the process without impacting the corporate culture.

IT and Desktop-as-a-Service

Posted Date: 
Posted By: 
Steve Kaplan - VP of Virtualization and Cloud

Desktop-as-a-Service as Part of IT-as-a-Service

IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) as a concept is pretty well defined with lots of players and products in the space such as VMware vCloud Director, Cisco Intelligent Automation, CA AppLogic, VCE Vblock, etc. Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS), on the other hand, tends to invoke thoughts of a cloud provider offering hosted Windows desktops. But when considered as a subset of ITaaS, DaaS enables greater synergy, efficiency and agility.

 

Just another Set of Workloads

Given the traditional isolation of desktops from the data center, it is natural for organizations to treat virtual desktops differently as well. This tendency is bolstered by a notable lack of integration of virtual desktops into private clouds. Even VMware View is currently not integrated into VMware vCloud Director. But when you think about it, virtual desktops already have some cloud-like properties such as consolidating most of the resources into centralized pools and the ability to provision many non-persistent desktops on the fly.

And while virtual desktops certainly have different criteria than virtual servers around performance, security and reliability – at the end of the day, they’re just another set of workloads. It makes economic sense to leverage, where reasonable; the same back-end infrastructure, management console, tools, processes and IT staff expertise from the server to the desktop.

Cisco Nexus 1000V as Enabler of Cloud

Posted Date: 
Posted By: 
Steve Kaplan - VP of Virtualization and Cloud and Jeremy Oakey

A private cloud is built upon a virtualized network, along with storage and compute, resources. Many virtual networks are overlaid on top of the shared physical network, logically separating tenants on the shared resources. One challenge is that the physical network lacks visibility into the topology of the overlays. A second obstacle is that network overlays utilizing standard vSwitches do not allow for security and network policies to live-migrate with VMs.

While both VMware’s Virtual Distributed Switch (vDS) and the Cisco Nexus 1000V mitigate these barriers, the Cisco virtual switch also incorporates the physical network. The Nexus 1000V has evolved to become the foundation for a cloud networking stack that integrates both physical and virtual networking resources. It introduces virtualization-awareness or intelligence to allow for the added complexities of VM-mobility, dynamic resource allocation and virtual services.

Cloud Performance Challenges

Cisco Nexus 1000V as Enabler of Cloud

Posted Date: 
Posted By: 
Steve Kaplan - VP of Virtualization and Cloud & Jeremey Oakey

A private cloud is built upon a virtualized network, along with storage and compute, resources. Many virtual networks are overlaid on top of the shared physical network, logically separating tenants on the shared resources. One challenge is that the physical network lacks visibility into the topology of the overlays. A second obstacle is that network overlays utilizing standard vSwitches do not allow for security and network policies to live-migrate with VMs.
 
While both VMware’s Virtual Distributed Switch (vDS) and the Cisco Nexus 1000V mitigate these barriers, the Cisco virtual switch also incorporates the physical network. The Nexus 1000V has evolved to become the foundation for a cloud networking stack that integrates both physical and virtual networking resources. It introduces virtualization-awareness or intelligence to allow for the added complexities of VM-mobility, dynamic resource allocation and virtual services.
 
Cloud Performance Challenges

VMware vCloud Suite Provides a Path to Cloud Transformation

Posted Date: 
Posted By: 
Steve Kaplan - VP of Virtualization and Cloud

Presidio works with many different manufacturers to implement various pieces of a private cloud strategy ranging from services catalogs to orchestration to chargeback.   vCloud Suite promotion is VMware’s latest effort to enable private cloud by putting the foundational products for VMware’s cloud strategy into hundreds of thousands of customer environments. It also provides both a comprehensive cloud-computing vision and tangible path for transformation to software-defined datacenters.

The Complexity of Cloud

There is a plethora of marketing information contributes to a widespread lack of understanding of the transformational capabilities of cloud computing. VMware needed to differentiate its offering while providing both a complete and palpable product-based solution.

VMware’s answer was the vCloud Suite which bundles products representing the entire set of cloud infrastructure capabilities, but at a lower cost than the assembled piece parts – and priced strictly per processor rather than per VM. The suite comes in three versions: Standard, Advanced and Enterprise.

Until December 15th, every customer with vSphere Enterprise Plus receives a free upgrade to vCloud Suite Standard, while every vSphere Enterprise customer can purchase the upgrade at a 71% discount. vCloud Suite Standard includes vSphere Enterprise Plus, vCloud Director and vCloud Networking and Security.

VMware vCloud Suite Provides a Path to Cloud Transformation

Posted Date: 
Posted By: 
Steve Kaplan, VP of Virtualization and Cloud Computing

Presidio works with many different manufacturers to implement various pieces of a private cloud strategy ranging from services catalogs to orchestration to chargeback.   vCloud Suite promotion is VMware’s latest effort to enable private cloud by putting the foundational products for VMware’s cloud strategy into hundreds of thousands of customer environments. It also provides both a comprehensive cloud-computing vision and tangible path for transformation to software-defined datacenters.
 
The Complexity of Cloud
 
There is a plethora of marketing information contributes to a widespread lack of understanding of the transformational capabilities of cloud computing. VMware needed to differentiate its offering while providing both a complete and palpable product-based solution.
 
VMware’s answer was the vCloud Suite which bundles products representing the entire set of cloud infrastructure capabilities, but at a lower cost than the assembled piece parts – and priced strictly per processor rather than per VM. The suite comes in three versions: Standard, Advanced and Enterprise.
 
Until December 15th, every customer with vSphere Enterprise Plus receives a free upgrade to vCloud Suite Standard, while every vSphere Enterprise customer can purchase the upgrade at a 71% discount. vCloud Suite Standard includes vSphere Enterprise Plus, vCloud Director and vCloud Networking and Security.
 

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