Apronomics: November, 2022

Apronomics, is a play on the word ‘macroeconomics’ which seeks to provide a general perspective in three specific domains. Cloud, Digital Transformation, and Web3. This is monthly and sometimes twice a month ‘Digital Glance’ (DG) which provides a practical yet quick consumption style for those looking for hot topics in Cloud, Digital Transformation, and Web3.

CLOUD

  • Gartner: Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure and Platform Services (Link)
  • AWS: AWS re:Invent – November 28 – December 2, 2022 (Link)
    • Emerald sponsors: Accenture, Cisco, Datadog, Deloitte, Intel, MongoDB, TrendMicro, VMware
  • Microsoft: Announced its ISV Success Program for Microsoft Partners which offers software providers the ability to sell their software via the Commercial Marketplace (Link)
    • “In 2021, marketplace transactions grew an estimated 70% to $4 billion, which is 3x faster growth than the public cloud at large”
    • Customers can purchase software solutions and retire every dollar against their cloud consumption commitment

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

  • Cisco: Plans to provide networking, cyber security, and general IT training to 25 million people over the next 10 years (Link)
  • Dynatrace: Announced its observability “Data Lakehouse”, (Grail) at Dynatrace Innovate
    • Grail is a causational (cause and effect relationship) data lakehouse with a massively parallel processing (MPP) analytics engine, leveraging Dynatrace Query Language (DQL) a new query language (Link)
  • Cato: Cato Network Reaches $100M ARR in just Five years (Link)
    • “Cato provides the world’s most robust single-vendor SASE platform”
    • Cato has become the fastest growing Enterprise Network Security Startup
  • VMware: Takes advantage of ‘cloud adjacency infrastructure’ by partnering with Equinix offering VMware Cloud on Equinix Metal, a new offer that will enable enterprises to use VMware’s software environment as a cloud service on Equinix’s bare-metal cloud (Link)

WEB3

  • Google: Announced its Cloud’s Blockchain Node Engine; a fully managed node-hosting service helping scale Web3 development. Google announced that is working with Solana ($SOL) to launch dedicated Solana nodes in the cloud as early as next year (Link)
  • FTX: Impure business practices lead to the collapse of the second-largest crypto exchange underscoring the importance of truly decentralized systems

Mike

Apronomics: October, 2022

Apronomics, is a play on the word ‘macroeconomics’ which seeks to provide a general perspective in three specific domains. Cloud, Digital Transformation, and Web3. This is monthly and sometimes twice a month ‘Digital Glance’ (DG) which provides a practical yet quick consumption style for those looking for hot topics in Cloud, Digital Transformation, and Web3.

CLOUD

  • Google: Hacking Google Series (Video)
  • Google: Google cloud and Coinbase Launch New Strategic Partnership to drive Web3 Select customers, starting with those in the Web3 ecosystem, to pay for its cloud services via select cryptocurrencies (Link)
  • Google: Google closes $5.8B Mandiant acquisition (Link)
  • Microsoft: Microsoft Ignite – October 12-14, 2022 (Link)
  • Microsoft: Cisco and Microsoft together deliver outcomes to customers. Cisco was a big focus at Microsoft Ignite this year. Microsoft Teams will have the ability to run Teams natively on certain Cisco collaboration devices and will be manageable in the Microsoft Teams Admin Center (Link)
  • Zesty: secured $75M Series B funding. Zesty aims to reduce cloud costs while ensuring app performance (Link)

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

  • Flexera: 2022 – State of the tech spend had some interesting and not-so-surprising data points. (Link)
    • Significant reduction in Customer data centers in the next 24 months – 24% of respondents
    • Top 3 Vendor spent by Organization – Microsoft, AWS, Oracle
    • Managed Service Provider use in top three categories – Cybersecurity, Big Data, Cloud Operations
  • Zscaler: Acquires ShiftRight. With this acquisition, Zscaler hopes to address alert fatigue for SecOps professionals and be able to give customers the ability to investigate their paid SIEM service “log streaming” (Link)
  • Nile: A startup company led by Cisco’s former development chief Pankaj Patel and co-founded by John Chambers initial offer is a network-as-a-service (NaaS) solution and is hosted on AWS (Link)

WEB3

  • Chainlink: SmartCon 2022 (Sept. 28-29) connects Web2 and Web3 industry leaders and an expansive ecosystem to explore Web3 innovation
    • Chainlink Co-Founder Sergey Nazarov kicked off the flagship SmartCon 2022 conference with a keynote, “Building a Web3 World Powered by Cryptographic Truth. Learn more – Chainlink Fundamentals

Mike

Cisco Solutions for AWS Cloud Modernization

If you missed my prior blog on app assurance check it out!

Forecasting cloud spend and assuring application performance

It’s challenging to know all the native cloud solutions available to use, it’s even more challenging to know which Cisco solutions are available for use with AWS. 

You will find that there are solutions that repeat or even overlap portions of the AWS Migration stages. For example, in the Discovery stage of cloud migration, the tool you’d likely use for Application Discovery / Infrastructure Discovery is Application Dynamics (AppD). 

It’s important to know that this is not an extensive list, nor should this be used in a silo; rather these are the most relevant products for a migration.

Below is a reference to the relevant Cisco solutions associated with the AWS Cloud Migration journey. Business outcomes will evolve as a customer matures in the cloud and so will the solutions to meet those outcomes. 

“A Process for Mass Migrations to the Cloud” Orban, Stephen, 2008. Retrieved September 6, 2022, from https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/enterprise-strategy/214-2/. 

Cisco at AWS re:Invent 2021

Here is a summary of Cisco’s mentions and highlights at AWS re:Invent 2021!

Please note: each of these links require registering on the AWS re:Invent site.

Launches and Mentions

AWS GATEWAY LOAD BALANCER >> Now featuring Cisco Firewall as a Service (FWaaS)

Learn more by reading Cisco’s blog

AWS MARKETPLACE LAUNCH >> Cisco Snort 3 Anywhere

Snort 3 Anywhere is a containerized form factor of the well-known, industry defacto standard standard IPS engine. With this latest offering now available in AWS Marketplace you can easily deploy Snort 3 in your EKS or on-premises container environment. Learn more in Cisco’s blog

AWS MARKETPLACE LAUNCH >> Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer SaaS

Cisco Intersight Workload Optimizer is a real-time decision engine that drives continuous health of applications across on-premises and public cloud environments to analyze workload consumption, costs, and policy constraints across the full stack. Learn more via the new listing in AWS Marketplace and Cisco’s blog.

NEW AWS QUICK START >> Featuring Cisco Meraki Virtual MX

Customers can secure SD-WAN traffic between branch offices to resources on AWS with this new AWS Quick Start. Click to view and deploy.

Mike

Evolving Smart Licensing, what’s coming and when?

Does anyone else feel like they need a Ph.D. in Cisco licensing?! Good news is that there are some changes coming to help make our lives easier.

Most of you are likely familiar with Smart Licensing. However, you can go here if you need more information. During Cisco’s transition to subscription-based licenses, Smart Licensing (SL) was introduced. Cisco believed Smart Licensing would streamline the way customers activate and manage Cisco licenses across the organization. Transitioning from the traditional PAK based licensing method to SL wasn’t the only goal for Cisco. Amongst others, it served as a way to combat the grey market gear. The thought was that upon purchasing a product from Cisco, a Smart Account would be associated with the order, which in return would entitle the organization to their licenses, products, and services.

A Smart Account is hierarchical and serves as the top-level domain for the organization. You can further organize your Smart Account into sub-accounts, known as “Virtual Accounts.” It is very much structured, like a domain. A “DEFAULT” Virtual Account serves as your catch-all bucket and is persistent and can’t change.

After Cisco launched the new licensing model, they found that the customers purchasing processes became complicated, increased their operational overhead, and challenged their security practices. Therefore, Cisco took this feedback and decided they needed to evolve SL to be less detrimental. 

You can find the current list of Smart License enabled products here

Introducing Smart Licensing Using Policy

Starting with IOS-XE 17.3.2/17.4.1 all products running these versions of the software will only support Smart Licensing Using Policy. These currently include. 

  • Cisco Catalyst 9000 series switches. 
  • The routing platforms such as the ASR1K, ISR1K, ISR4K. 
  • The Next Generation virtual routers starting with Polaris IOS-XE release 17.4.1 
  • Cisco Catalyst 9800 Series Wireless Controllers and APs. 
  • Internet of Things (IoT) Next Generation platforms such as Industrial Router IR 1101, Industrial Ethernet IE
  • 3200/3300/3400 and any Next Gen IoT products will also adopt Smart Licensing Using Policy. 
  • Collaboration products; CUBE, SRST, and CME with their November release.

With Smart Licensing Using Policy you can expect: 

  1. The product will not boot in evaluation-mode (see screen shots below)
  2. per product software registration is not required
  3. And on-going communication every 30 days with Cisco isn’t needed.

Registering a device before use and on-going communication is going away. However, reporting to Cisco may still be a pain point. The good news? Reporting is only required if there is a change in software level for Perpetual or Subscription. Changing software levels doesn’t happen too frequently, so it may not be too big of an issue. 

For example, if you purchase a Catalyst 9120 access point with DNA Essentials from the factory and 30 days later, you realize you need EasyQoS. You’d have to change to DNA Advantage, which means you now need to report this change to Cisco. 

This change would need to be reported within 90 days to Cisco. 

What happens if you don’t? Most of the products will turn into a nag box, sending out syslog/alarm notifications. However, you should review the enforcement rules specific to the particular device to avoid potential interruptions.

You can find the enforcement rules per product here

Reporting

You can report to Cisco in a couple of different ways. 

1. New reporting utility called Cisco Smart Licensing Utility (CSLU): which is a small Windows application that can be configured to send the data to Cisco in with a push or pull operation. 

2. Cisco DNA Center controller with Cisco Smart Licensing Utility (CSLU): Cisco DNA Center has connectivity to Cisco Smart Software Manager (CSSM). Periodically, exchange information with Cisco to keep in sync with CSSM. 

3. Offline: where the data is taken off the device onto a storage and then uploaded into CSSM.

In the end, not having to register a product before makes sense but reporting may be still be cumbersome. I’m thinking theres a way you could script this with Python.

Here’s a screen shot of pre IOS-XE 17.3.2 and post IOS-XE 17.3.2.

Mike

Smart Software Licensing Overview. (2020, November 26). Retrieved from https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/software/smart-accounts/software-licensing.html

Cisco DNA Software Subscription Matrix for Wireless. (2020, November 17). Retrieved from https://www.cisco.com/c/m/en_us/products/software/dna-subscription-wireless/en-sw-sub-matrix-wireless.html?oid=porew018984

(n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.cisco.com/c/dam/en/us/products/collateral/software/smart-accounts/smart-licensing-feature-roadmap-by-pf-external-v20201102.xlsx

(n.d.). Retrieved from https://software.cisco.com/download/home/286285506/type/286327971/release/1.0.0-2