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The Future of Cloud, Part 3: Transparency in the High Performance Cloud

(This is part 3 of a 7-part series sharing insights from Cisco partners about the Future of Cloud.)

At CiscoLive!, attendees had the chance to meet with many companies offering cloud services.  Dusten Tornow, Director of Infrastructure Products at OneNeck IT Solutions, shared some of his thoughts on the world of many clouds with me.

OneNeck offers a variety of services related to cloud, everything from basic collocation services to ReliaCloud, the company’s infrastructure as a service (IaaS) offering.  “ReliaCloud serves as a platform for a host of services that we can run on top of it.  We have a lot of customers migrating their enterprise workloads from on-premises onto ReliaCloud.  Then we provide managed services for them and run the whole infrastructure from start to finish.

OneNeck’s focus has been on enterprise workloads that need a high performance cloud.  Their service is a Cisco Powered service, meaning they have gone through a rigorous certification and third-party audit of their offering.  I asked him why OneNeck would choose to offer a service that has such a high bar when there are so many alternatives that don’t require an audit.

“When we decided to build out our cloud infrastructure,” said Tornow, “we knew that we wanted to align with enterprise vendors like Cisco because their technologies resonant with our customers as being high performance.  They recognize that if they were to go out and build their own cloud, it would likely look and feel a lot like what we’ve built.  Being able to be transparent with what our equipment is made out of and built upon is a huge advantage for us.

“Using the Cisco Powered reference architecture is a no-brainer.  It’s a great place to start.”

You can also learn more about how providers are addressing the need for enterprise class services in the latest edition of Unleashing IT.

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IT Transformation: Understanding environment and business goals

In my last blog, I established reasons behind today’s need for IT Transformation. We know that CIOs hope to cut their budget in half, but this will be difficult unless they understand their Enterprise Environment, as well as, the management goals that align with their organization’s overall IT transformation efforts. Today we will take a deeper dive into understanding both. Because there is no “one size fits all” way of embarking on an IT Transformation journey, it is important that each organization looking to begin this process makes their own set of assessments, starting with a baseline assessment of their Enterprise Environment: Read More »

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IT Transformation: Strategizing for Cost Saving and Investing for Business Enablement

IT organizations face several challenges: a globalizing economy, the increasing cost of IT ownership, business users directly going to public Cloud providers, the difficulty of operating complex environments, effectively enabling innovation as well as variety of risks around security and compliance.  Given these challenges, IT decision makers must innovate and conduct business differently in order to remain effective. Data shows that despite years of IT cost reduction programs, the industry on average has only managed to shift an additional 1% of IT spend towards growth and innovation.

Does transforming your IT mean moving from a cost center to a business enabler? Changing your architecture to include Cloud? Redesigning applications or selecting off-the-shelf application? Or moving from a centralized IT delivery to IT services broker? A majority of business leaders have said “yes” to all of the above. Read More »

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FlexPod, Based on UCS Integrated Infrastructure, is a Leader in Integrated Infrastructure

July 16, 2014 at 1:01 pm PST

The month of June was very exciting for FlexPod.  On June 16th, Gartner released their 2014 Magic Quadrant for integrated infrastructure with FlexPod positioned in the leaders quadrant. On June 25th, Cisco and NetApp FlexPodannounced FlexPod has generated $3 billion in joint sales since its launch in 2010 with more than 4100 customers. The very next day, IDC released its Worldwide Integrated Infrastructure & Platforms Tracker for Q1 2014 with FlexPod ranked number one in factory revenue.

The integrated infrastructure segment continues to be one of the fastest growing IT markets. IDC has this segment growing at a staggering 69 percent per year. Cisco is a core vendor in the integrated infrastructure market with leading integrated systems built on top of UCS integrated infrastructure (Cisco UCS, Cisco Nexus, and UCS Director). According to the latest IDC tracker, UCS integrated infrastructure participates in the top three integrated Infrastructures.

Cisco and NetApp plan to integrate innovative technologies into the FlexPod architecture, including Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) and Intercloud Fabric, along with NetApp’s clustered DATA ONTAP and Flash technologies. We are proud of our achievements and thankful for our customers in helping us achieve this success.

The Future of Cloud, Part 2: Adding Value to the Cloud

(This is part 2 of a 7-part series sharing insights from Cisco partners about the Future of Cloud.)

Chris Kemmerer, Director, Mobility Solutions, Verizon, had a lot to share with me at CiscoLive! “What I’m seeing this year is very transformational,” said Kemmerer. “What we’re seeing is how to take some of these foundation services and layer applications and more value on top of them.

“For example, our Cisco Powered hosted collaboration service has been very successful as we see the market shifting from premises-based phone services to cloud-base phone systems. Our traditional focus in the cloud space has been infrastructure as a service (IaaS). We’ve taken the underlying infrastructure of our IaaS platform and started to layer applications to provide software as a service (SaaS) on top of that with some key partners.”

Organizations can benefit greatly from these value-added services. “Why put your communications in the cloud? I think customers learn very quickly about the speed with which they can execute in a reliable, responsible manner. When customers are looking to stand up new locations, in the old days, it would be a month or two just for planning. Now we’re doing it in weeks.”

However, not all clouds are created equal. “Being a carrier, there’s an expectation from our customers that we are five 9s reliable, however you want to calculate that,” said Kemmerer. “The way we look at it, when we say we’re providing an enterprise-class service, it’s going to be over an application-aware network. It’s going to be secure. It’s going to offer SLAs. These are the things that, in my mind, are going to differentiate our services from say a commodity or best effort service.”

You can also learn more about how providers are addressing the need for enterprise class services in the latest edition of Unleashing IT.

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