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Introduction of Big Thinkers in Small Cells

Over the past five years, the adoption of small cells has increased dramatically. At Mobile World Congress (MWC) this year the Small Cell Forum announced that we have now crossed the threshold where there are more small cells deployed than macro cells in the world. Clearly, small cells are playing, and will continue to play a critical role in the global mobile infrastructure.

Over the last 18 months Cisco has doubled-down on its investments in small cells, from dramatic growth and scaling of our Service Provider Wi-Fi solution to our recently announced intent to acquire licensed small cell leader Ubiquisys.  With this opportunity, Cisco has a responsibility to address the challenges we face in small cell deployments. How do we help mobile and cable operators around the world address the issue of cost effective coverage and capacity using small cells?  How do we work with the small cell ecosystem, including mobile partners and thought leaders in this industry, to create successful, and profitable, deployments of small cells by operators around the world? How do we work with enterprise organizations to deploy small cells? Read More »

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Virtually There! Cisco Announces Availability of Virtual Web Security Appliance

I’m sure this has never happened to you.

You choose a web security appliance based on user count and expected traffic profiles. Then marketing rolls out a successful video campaign that goes viral and your users complain about slow internet performance.

You’re under the gun to complete your global web security initiative on time and then you receive word that three servers are stuck in customs in a country you have never heard of.

You’re moving more and more workloads onto virtual servers to match your business agility objectives when someone from the c-suite asks, “Why do you still have these security appliances? Can’t you virtualize them, too?” Read More »

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Cisco and Red Hat Explore Partnership for Red Hat Distribution of OpenStack (RDO)

At the OpenStack Summit 2013, Red Hat announced RDO, a freely available, community-supported distribution of OpenStack. OpenStack is an open source cloud operating system that controls large pools of compute, storage, and networking resources throughout a datacenter.

In addition to the new release, Red Hat also announced today the launch of an official Cloud Infrastructure Partner Program, “a multi-tiered program designed for third-party commercial companies that offer hardware, software and services for customers to implement cloud infrastructure solutions powered by Red Hat OpenStack.” I’m excited about the  solution opportunities that are possible by combining UCS and Nexus offerings  with Red Hat on the OpenStack cloud infrastructure.

Read the announcement here:

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Red Hat OpenStack Announcement

Why is this a good fit for Cisco’s Customers?

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Increase Profits by Making it Easy to Follow the Money

Increase Profits by Making it Easy to Follow the Money

Hundreds of cloud service providers around the world are seeing businesses connect into their clouds in increasing numbers. You might think this goes into the category of a “good problem to have.” So growth that should be great news for the bottom line, isn’t yet because many service providers are simply unable to capitalize on this growth — their financial systems aren’t designed to support or scale for the cloud business model effectively.

The Need for Cloud-Enabled Financial Management
Cloud service providers are transitioning from a traditional datacenter hosting model, but their existing financial systems are built for more static IT environments, fixed pricing, and monthly billing cycles. Today’s cloud environment is 180o shift from that. Resources are now deployed on-demand, scale up and down dynamically, turn on and off at a moment’s notice, and span various platforms. And while this provides greater agility and flexibility to the customer, it also means they no longer have predictable costs. As a result, customers want real-time, self-service access to their bills and controls to keep their spending from skyrocketing.
Bottom line: traditional billing systems don’t hold up to the demands of today’s cloud.

Service providers need to let themselves and their customers follow the money in an efficient, quick way. Luckily, that’s now possible.

Help Customers Navigate their Financial Relationship with Your Business—No Matter How Complex or Dynamic their Needs Are
Cisco solves the unique financial needs of our cloud service providers by providing an integrated cost management solution for Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC) from partner, Cloud Cruiser. Cloud Cruiser for Cisco IAC is a financial management solution that contains a robust set of capabilities specifically designed for service providers implementing cloud solutions based on Cisco IAC.

Automated Multi-Tenant Invoicing
One of the benefits of Cisco IAC for service providers is the ability for customers to order and manage their cloud-based services from a self-service portal. Cloud Cruiser taps into Cisco IAC to capture granular usage data and apply the appropriate business rules and rates for each customer. Costs are rolled up accordingly by company, business unit, department, and user so that reports and invoices can be automatically created and distributed, providing powerful business analytics and drill-down capabilities to the people that need them.

Holistic Bill of IT
In addition to Cisco IAC, Cloud Cruiser’s cost management platform is extensible to Cisco’s Unified Computing System (UCS) and most industry-standard public and private cloud platforms, databases, and applications. For service providers that want to bill for multiple services, such as help desk, software licenses, or other public, or private cloud services, Cloud Cruiser gives services providers a single reporting and billing solution to meet their needs. No more spreadsheets or manual consolidation of bills –service providers can now put their billing on auto-pilot and focus on their cloud business.

Profit Management
To optimize profitability, service providers need to be able to manage both the revenue they are receiving from their services and the costs associated with providing those services. This is where Cloud Cruiser provides unique value in the industry with its Cloud P&L. With granular insight into the profitability of individual services and individual customers, service providers can make informed decisions that impact their bottom line. If changes to pricing are required, Cloud Cruiser offers a wide array of pricing models that can be used to attract new customers or shape user behavior to influence profitability, such as promotional pricing, tiered pricing, SLAs, or discounts, to name a few.

Controlling Costs in a Dynamic Cloud Environment
For customers moving from static pricing models to dynamic, pay-per-usage models, how do service providers offer assurances to their customers that they won’t have unexpected cost overages? Cloud Cruiser offers customer-enabled budgets, alerts, reporting, and BI so that customers can manage their own spending at any level in their organization. If an unexpected alert is generated, there is a full suite of reporting tools to help identify problems and take corrective action. Putting cost control and reporting in the hands of the customers enables service providers to grown their customer base, taking advantage of Cisco IAC’s industry-leading scalability, without incurring massive administrative overhead.

The cloud market is competitive and service providers need the right capabilities to differentiate their solution to attract and retain customers. Cisco IAC and Cloud Cruiser provide a tightly integrated, full-service solution to drive greater value to your customers and maximum profitability to your business. It helps everyone follow the money all the way to the bottom line.

Urban Renewal: A Tale of Two American Cities

By Howard Baldwin, Contributing Columnist

For those who love irony, the story of Detroit is its epitome. Here’s a city that created an industry devoted to automobiles, which, because of their widespread acceptance, become the single greatest contributing factor to people leaving cities … like Detroit.

Granted, Detroit has had to deal with other contributing factors, but the fact remains that its population is a shadow of what it once was; over the past 60 years, its population has shrunk from 1.8 million to just over 700,000.

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