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Advice on Clouds

Ok, need some help here. I picked up some new job responsibilities in the cloud space this past week and thought I would ask for some help with two things-1) Am looking for some good people with a background in cloud architectures (cloud computing and cloud-based service offerings like SaaS models and such) and a solid understanding of network architectures that have strong presentation skills and can also help write on this blog, so also need good written communication skills. (or at least be able to use spell-check and thus do a better job than I do at this)2) And this is the fun/challenging part- what should Cisco do in the cloud market? Seriously, play John Chambers for a day. What do you think Cisco’s role is and what should it be? I know Allan Leinwand who often writes for GigaOm has some thoughts, I am sure Rich Miller has a few and James Urquhart wrote some solid pieces with his perspective. Join the conversation, and tell us what we need to be building, what M&A we should pursue (if any), and what role you see the network and Cisco playing in the evolving cloud environment. Last thought, and a bit of a test of a theory- can cloud computing models be ad-supported? dg

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9 Comments.


  1. and to kickstart the conversation I could throw out that I think we need to work, as part of the broader IT industry, to figure out how to make workload ‘containers’ portable, between providers and ensure data integrity an prevent data loss and leakage while synchronizing transaction state, storage state, and addressing across a federated network of autonomous systems between enterprises and service providers…

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  2. Can’t necessarily do better on the spelling front :), but my contribution to the blogosphere on clouds is here http://vinf.net/2008/06/23/virtualization-the-key-to-delivering-cloud-based-architecture-now/and my thoughts on what Cisco + others can do are around moving away from dedicated silicon and towards a commodity x64 h/w platform preferably implemented as virtual machines (VMware, HyperV etc.), with API’s to interface to dedicated CPU offload cards implemented as blades or infiniband devices in a common chassis where required, makes provisioning for cloud platforms a lot more straightforward and surely makes Cisco more agile in delivering innovative products & tech

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  3. >>can cloud computing models be ad-supported?Directly, indirectly, the service, the cloud services? It’s easy to see how you you put ads in a catalogue that advertised cloud services. But I guess thats not what you mean. It’s much harder to see how a cloud app could return advertising related material as a result of a query, for example, that wouldn’t get in the way of the data that was returned. But hey, thats what Google do.However, it’s not at all obvious how you’d insert adds as a cloud provider, into the CRM, ERP applications that are running on your cloud, if you don’t own those apps. If you do build the apps, provide them as ready to run containers, then obviously you could do it. However, it’s bad enough getting dating websites pop-up on facebook, just because I’m single doesn’t mean I’m desperate. If my brokerage started wasting screen space with adds, causing me extra clicks, I’d leave.

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  4. Hi Douglas,This is great news from Cisco and it can contribute a lot.Here are my thoughts and Ideas.1. Cisco should push forward a better standard for fast and easy MPLS and IPSEC VPNs. That would make integration between om premise and cloud computing much easier.The way it looks today it is a nightmare to create cross vendor networks.Even in vendor VPN’s are far too hard to establish.2. One of the biggest challenges in pushing data and apps to the cloud is QoS and WAN performance. Having a real, multi-tenant WAN acceleration solution would be very nice.3. I’m very much into publishing all of Cisco software as virtual appliances. I think the model combines the best of software and hardware worlds. The real Intellectual property by Cisco is in Software. Oh – Make Licensing Simple and cloud ready.4. For the places were hardware is a must, work with VMWARE,Intel,Microsoft on standard hardware acceleration paths.5. Obviously – create a Cisco based cloud.6. Sell cloud based professional services for service providers – hardware, networking and cloud management, all form Cisco.6. I don’t see how ads are related to cloud more than to anything else. It is quite Orthogonal, IMO.Some more thoughts can be found in my blog http://ophir.wordpress.com.

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  5. First and foremost, we need to put our sign up Cisco is open for cloud business!”". Yes, we need to follow up with substance and I know that that is inevitable and already underway, but what is so important in doing this is to get customer and partner feedback and engagement. This is happening with others right now (Google, Microsoft, Amazon..) and even some without nearly as much cred as we have ie we already are a player – network infrastucture, webex, DC etc, so we have “”earned the right”" to enter this market opportunity .. but we need to package this up (“”re-spin”" it!) and get out there and quick!Your question re Ads is interesting. Are we looking at ad-insertion? Could we create something that allows any cloud sp to insert ads? This would eventually have to be standardised, but that can happen later.Good to see this cloud discussion happening!”

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  6. I am looking for a career with Cisco company and would like to know how to apply for a position?Note: Please go to http://www.cisco.com/web/about/ac40/about_cisco_careers_home.html

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  7. Omar Sultan

    Mark:I think Chrome might introduce us to a model or two. :) If you look at the browser as the potential toll gate, perhaps the simplest model is to offer free or discounted access to a service with the willingness to view ads.Omar

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  8. I also think Chrome might introduce us to a model or two.

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  9. To be frank I am not a genious in cloud marketing. But I would say a company of Cisco’s reputation must get involved in cloud marketing.Yes, they can be ad supported.

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