Enterprise IT organizations and IT processes have gone through major waves of changes in the past few years. From a focus on deploying products, technologies and solutions that solved specific technical needs, IT organizations are looking increase the efficiency and effectiveness of their systems and processes by turning their focus towards “Services”
At Cisco IT, we are living this journey towards “everything as a service” and the integration of architectures within the Infrastructure has become a strategic priority to meet that goal. Our focus in the Infrastructure rests on the following architectural plays – Data Center/Virtualization, Borderless Networks, Collaboration and Video.
As we expand the Borderless Networks capabilities in our network, the importance around the evolution of the network in enabling these integrations is becoming evident. At Cisco, the Borderless Networks architecture is being tightly integrated with the other architectures mentioned above to enable efficient delivery of “IT Services”. For example —
Cisco provides laptops to its employees and contractors/vendors working on dedicated Cisco projects. As the user community moves towards an “anydevice” requirement, with which they prefer to work through a variety of end points, Cisco is creating a Virtual Desktop strategy to provide anytime, anywhere and anydevice access. The first set of business cases include partners and integration of new acquisitions. Cisco’s ‘Virtualization Experience Infrastructure’ (VXI) capabilities would enable Cisco to integrate these major architectures to provide higher customer satisfaction and improved IT efficiency while savings costs for the Enterprise. Imagine a scenario where IT organizations have to support all of the following –
· Information consolidation in Virtualized Data Center environments,
· Enable users to access this information from far flung places (usually over a WAN or VPN) using Virtual Desktops without degrading the user experience ,
· Secure the end points, information and the application (while keeping it transparent to the end user) and
· Provide a rich set of collaboration and video tools
Without an integrated architecture approach, this panacea can quickly turn to be a painful nightmare for IT support, compliance, customer satisfaction…to name a few.
By focusing on the “service” provided and tightly aligning business and technical architectures, Cisco IT is steadily moving towards supporting a true “Borderless” experience. For instance the Cisco Anyconnect deployment provides seamless access to corporate resources while providing enhanced security not only when the user is accessing the corporate network, but also when disconnected from the enterprise. The application performance and WAN optimization capabilities enable Cisco to provide similar levels of service (compared to that of Campus sites) for users at remote locations, while keeping IT costs low. Also, integrated security with IronPort Web Security Appliance protects the end points and the entire Infrastructure from harmful malware.
There will be lessons to be learned as we move through this journey and we will continue to share those with you !