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ITIC’s coverage areas continue to expand and evolve based on your feedback. We will now feature Q&As with industry luminaries and experts discussing hot industry trends and technologies.

Cisco is one of the preeminent high technology companies and a market leader in networking for the last three decades. Cisco’s technologies and market strategies continue to evolve along with those of the overarching high tech industry and its expanding customer base. Cisco is expanding its presence beyond networking and becoming a driving force in The Internet of Things (IoT) and Data Analytics. Michael Flannagan is Vice President and General Manager of Cisco’s Data & Analytics Group. He is responsible for the company’s data and analytics strategy, and leads multiple software business units. This includes: Cisco’s Data Virtualization Business Unit; Cisco’s Analytics Business Unit and Cisco’s ServiceGrid Business Unit and Cisco’s Energy Management Business Unit. ITIC Principal Analyst spoke to Flannagan in-depth about Cisco’s recent analytics acquisitions and the increasingly prominent role analytics will play in Cisco’s products and strategy.

Laura DiDio, Cisco is upping its game with IoT Edge Analytics/Data Analytics, the acquisition of ParStream and its recent partnership with IBM to incorporate Watson’s cognitive computing and AI capabilities onto Cisco edge routers. Can you provide us with insight into the tangible positive impact that IoT Analytics is having both in the data center and at the Edge in terms of business and technical advantages – e.g. performance gains, positive impact on manpower and device resources, cost savings, driving top line revenue, lowering TCO, accelerating ROI and also helping to increase reliability and mitigate risk?

Security. Reliability. Performance. Analytics. Services.

These are the most crucial considerations for corporate enterprises in choosing a hardware platform. The underlying server hardware functions as the foundational element for the business’ entire infrastructure and interconnected environment. Today’s 21st century Digital Age networks are characterized by increasingly demand-intensive workloads; the need to use Big Data analytics to analyze and interpret the massive volumes and variety of data to make proactive decisions and keep the business competitive. Security is a top priority. It’s absolutely essential to safeguard sensitive data and Intellectual Property (IP) from sophisticated, organized external hackers and defend against threats posed by internal employees.

The latest IBM z13s enterprise server delivers embedded security, state-of-the-art analytics and unparalleled reliability, performance and throughput. It is fine tuned for hybrid cloud environments. And it’s especially useful as a secure foundational element in Internet of Things (IoT) deployments. The newly announced, z13s is highly robust: it supports the most compute-intensive workloads in hybrid cloud and on-premises environments. The newest member of the z Systems family, the z13s, incorporates advanced, embedded cryptography features in the hardware that allow it to encrypt and decrypt data twice as fast as previous generations, with no reduction in transactional throughput owing to the updated cryptographic coprocessor for every chip core and tamper-resistant hardware-accelerated cryptographic coprocessor cards.

IBM Power Systems Servers Most Reliable for Seventh Straight Year; Lenovo x86 Servers Deliver Highest Uptime/Availability among all Intel x86-based Systems; Cisco UCS Stays Strong; Dell Reliability Ratchets Up; Intel Xeon Processor E7 v3 chips incorporate advanced analytics; significantly boost reliability of x86-based servers

In 2016 and beyond, infrastructure reliability is more essential than ever.

The overall health of network operations, applications, management and security functions all depend on the core foundational elements: server hardware, server operating systems and virtualization to deliver high availability, robust management and solid security. The reliability of the server, server OS and virtualization platforms are the cornerstones of the entire network infrastructure. The individual and collective reliability of these platforms have a direct, immediate and long lasting impact on daily operations and business results. For the seventh year in a row, corporate enterprise users said IBM server hardware delivered the highest levels of reliability/uptime among 14 server hardware and 11 different server hardware virtualization platforms. A 61% majority of IBM Power Systems servers and Lenovo System x servers achieved “five nines” or 99.999% availability – the equivalent of 5.25 minutes of unplanned per server /per annum downtime compared to 46% of Hewlett-Packard servers and 40% of Oracle server hardware.