The Cisco Process Orchestrator has very rich integration capabilities, yet we often hear the question, “Does it integrate with…” or “Does it work with” [insert product]. The Cisco Process Orchestrator is a primary component in the Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud management solution.
The fact is that in modern environments with modern orchestrators the answer is always yes. The reality is that cloud automation requires a Process Orchestrator tie into a variety of different systems in order to start offering cloud services. Remember, Cloud is an operating model, not a product. This means that to deliver self-service, on-demand services requires all the elements of the service be orchestrated.
The graphic below shows the components in the deployments. You see integration with Cisco UCS, VMware and storage, as you would expect. It also orchestrates IP address management (that IP won’t provision itself), Remedy incident, CMDB, ActiveDirectory (so tenants can log in), image management and a few other things such as Service Assurance.
We’re well into a great second day at NRF 2013! The Cisco team had a great day one on the show floor; our demos were in full swing, and we were happy to welcome new and old faces alike to booth #252. Our demos really seemed to resonate with retailers looking for innovative mobility solutions, ways to connect with their customers via remote experts, and new shopping experiences.
Kenneth and I enjoyed being in the middle of all the excitement, gathering insights from the day and discussing tips and trends with the industry’s finest. Check out a few of our photos below and be sure to click on them for preview videos of our demos. We’ll be sharing more in our next post!
Interior Inspirer Demo -- Click Photo to Watch a Preview about the Demo!
As the Gartner Data Center conference in Las Vegas, NV closes, I can’t help feeling a bit of irony in bearing witness to the contrast in culture and atmosphere that this city encompasses relative to the experience many of us have interacting with Information Technology organizations today.
Moving any taboos about Vegas aside, the experience here is about an immersion into a culture of service. From the moment you step into a hotel to the moment you sit down to test your gaming fortunes, your experience is facilitated by professionals whose job it is to ensure you have a good time. Whether greeting you at the door, serving that fine cocktail or dealing your next hand of blackjack, an excellent experience is made possible by people who know how to be of service.
In contrast, many IT organizations today struggle in providing such a positive service experience to those who are seeking to use IT resources for their own productivity. Having some experience of my own in the world of hospitality, I was delighted but not surprised in observing the conference lunch staff have a plan to insure everyone who finished a session around lunch time, was fully accommodated. Each attendee was guided to the next available seat and immediately greeted with a fresh salad, ice tea and warm roll. Careful attention was paid to whether or not I want more or less of something, and if I’m ready for what’s next. Throughout lunch, I experienced a pleasant positive attitude by the attentive wait staff that satisfied my expectations.
What would it take to bring this culture of service excellence to users and organizations? Users of IT resources need the assistance and care of IT professionals so that they can be fully enabled for productivity.
Thankfully, while attending presentations around Infrastructure and Operations, I noticed an ominous theme around what it will take to mature the IT services in organizations today, the message pointed directly to a problem of culture.
In an example of how a change in culture really can transform productivity, Jarrod Green describes in his session, “Kill the IT Service Desk: Create a Business Productivity Team to Transform IT From the Grassroots”, the concept of the Business Productivity Team(BPT). Jarrod discusses business productivity teams having a singular focus on enabling business outcomes through:
1. Extending the capabilities of current and new IT resources
2. Proactive Identification to the solution to a problem
3. Understanding of and alignment with Business Challenges
4. Enabling user self sufficiency and digital literacy
5. Establishing the relationship with the business as a trusted advisor
This savvy service team sounds really excellent! But what does it look like?
It starts with someone who has knowledge of both technical and business processes. Instead of being an expert up the Ivy tower, they meet the user face to face where they are, leading them in solving their technical problems and teaching them about a new feature or way to do their work faster and smarter. Because a Business Productivity team is customer oriented, they earn the ability to influence by building partnerships and driving the consumption of features in current and new technologies that add value.
Wow, I must have stepped into an imaginary organization whose culture expects nothing less and rewards its professionals well! A pretty serious culture change is necessary in order to facilitate this unique capability.
In working with customers during services engagements, I am often asked by CIOs and IT Management how they can facilitate maturing their organization into becoming a strategic differentiator in the business they support. When focused on the evolution of customer service, support and the improvement of end-user experience I often refer to the “Fanatical” Customer Support that differentiates Rackspace in being a market leader of data center and cloud services. Rackspace’s support model encompasses the spirit of enabling productivity and success as the outcome for its customers.
We can speak endlessly about novel technologies that create all kinds of efficiencies and time saved for users. In order to get the most out of the investment in technology, an evolved IT Service desk that drives productivity and end user satisfaction is needed for that next step toward an extraordinary IT organization. Within the Operate Practice in Cisco’s Advanced Services, we strive to help customers achieve the goal of operational excellence in the planning, building and management of their IT Investments.
In my coming posts I will share more about what I think the IT organization of the future, enabled by new cloud tools and processes, will look like. More importantly, I want to bring forward what I think a proactive, inspiring and value-creating culture looks like for both IT teams and the organizations who depend on them.
This is our third preview of what Cisco will be showcasing at the 102nd National Retail Federation Convention and Expo on January 14 and 15, 2013 in New York City. We’ll be showcasing Cisco Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) Smart Solution and see the technology that enables you to support mobile access that’s both easy and secure. Come learn how you can improve employee productivity and customer service with a highly secure BYOD environment. Please watch this video about the BYOD demonstration and then mark your calendar to join us at Cisco Booth #252 at NRF 2013. I look forward to seeing you there!
Server virtualization has become mainstream and has changed the way resources are provisioned and accessed within the data center. (Did you know the number of virtual machine shipments now exceeds the number of physical servers being shipped?). Effective measurement and characterization of complex applications in virtual environments is critical to both vendors and customers.
The Transaction Processing Performance Council (TPC) today announced a new industry standard benchmark suite, TPC-VMS (Virtual Measurement of Single-system), that enables comparison of performance, price-performance and energy efficiency of database applications in a virtualized environment.
The benchmark suite is built upon existing TPC standards: TPC-C, TPC-E, TPC-H and TPC-DS. The benchmark test sponsor chooses one of these workloads, and runs three equally sized instances of the same workload on three virtual machines on the system under test. The primary performance metric is the slowest of the three instances and is reported as VMStpmC (for TPC-C), VMStpsE (for TPC-E), VMSQphH@Size (for TPC-H) or VMSQphDS@Size (for TPC-DS).