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Cisco Cloudverse, Hypervisors, Partners and Real Cloud Deployments

I have had many customers and partners ask me about Cisco Cloudverse in the past 2 weeks.  One of the top questions I get asked is whether we support other hypervisors besides VMware.  Lew Tucker in his interview in Information week covered it well:  http://www.informationweek.com/news/cloud-computing/infrastructure/232300123 .  Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud works well with many hypervisors and we have seen many successful clouds built on vCenter, HyperV, and Linux KVM.  We find many customers look at multiple hypervisors to prevent vendor lock-in and all the issues associated with that.  The world of many clouds is indeed a complex place as organizations building a private cloud have to decide on:

  • Hypervisor(s)
  • Server Vendor(s)
  • Network Vendor(s)
  • Storage Vendor(s)
  • Whether to use a converged infrastructure model or not
  • Cloud Automation software, (will the virtualization vendor’s software be enough for a pragmatic cloud?)
  • IaaS, PaaS or SaaS, or all of these models
  • Integrations into pre-existing IT operations management tools
  • What to expose in the Front Office (Service Catalog and Self Service Portal)
  • Details of the Back office (automation workflows, policies, models)
  • Whether to have any hybrid cloud models deployed.

I have seen Cisco Partners play a strategic role in helping their customers make sense of this complex playing field.  They key item is to first understand what type of cloud an organization wants to deploy and what the Front Office should look like.  Oftentimes I find organizations have a lot of opinions and pre-existing work on the technical provisioning, but have not thought much about what to present to end users / consumers of the cloud.  Focusing on what the Cloud Portal would present to the ultimate consumers is really where the transformation to cloud needs to start.  We tend to get wrapped around the axle with all the details of the infrastructure provisioning and leave little time to the end user experience.  That is a really a career limiting move when it comes to your organization adopting cloud.

Our Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud solution, a key element of Cisco Unified Management, is a new paradigm for Cloud Automation and Management, derived from the leverage of newScale, Tidal, and Linesider acquisitions.  It is both a policy and orchestration centric solution than can solve pragmatic cloud deployment needs, versus simply adopting one model (such as vCloud Director).   The following figure details the considerations of policy and console based solutions versus catalog and orchestration centric solutions:

Virtually all of the customer conversations I have highlight the fact that customers want both Physical and Virtual provisioning and cloud automation.  This is where Cisco Unified Management  which includes the Cisco UCS Manager for Physical Server “virtualization” and Cisco Network Services Management for Physical and Virtual Network Services “virtualization”.  These two technologies, alongside the Cisco Cloud Portal and the Cisco Process Orchestrator are key for creating both a physical and virtual cloud.  This is what the most pragmatic of customers are looking for when transform to cloud.  It is indeed a universe of clouds and Cisco can help.

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Transforming to the world of many clouds? Just add to your Cisco Optimization services contract – It’s that easy!

December 20, 2011 at 12:30 pm PST

Previously, I blogged that the concept of “cloud in a box” is a misnomer.  As I discussed then, transitioning to cloud is not a one off occurrence, it is a journey.  This was emphasized further when, earlier this month, we launched Cisco CloudVerse, introducing the concept of the World of Many Clouds. So what is the quickest and easiest way for you to start on this journey to the world of many clouds?

Cisco Data Center Services has a simple proposition for you: Just add our recently announced Cloud Optimization Service through your existing Cisco Cisco Data Center Optimization Contract!  If you have Cisco Network Optimization Service, or “NOS”, talk to your account manager on how to leverage the Cisco Data Center Optimization deliverbles

Optimization services are our most popular Cisco Advanced Services offering, so there is a fair chance you have such a subscription service today already.  (You may have seen my previous blogs around Cisco Data Center Optimization Service, see here and here).

Cisco Cloud Optimization Service - Optional Activities Available

Oh – and if you don’t have a Cisco Optimization Service such as the Cisco Data Center Optimization service, or Cisco Network Optimization Service (“NOS”) -- then you should get one! Optimization services are our most popular Cisco Advanced Services offering -- so if you don’t have one, your competitors almost certainly will.

Here I’ll take some time to explain what this service is and how it will help you start or evolve your cloud transformation.

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Cisco UCS Business Advantage Delivered: Just the Facts!

There are a lot of competitive claims made that pit one vendor against another. Its important to make a claim and back it up with the facts. Today I would like to share a fact-based analysis which validates that Cisco UCS enables you to gain competitive advantage by making your data center infrastructure more flexible, agile, and cost effective.  As a result, the Cisco UCS truly transforms the business economics of today’s data centers.

The way we approach IT has been changing over the last few years. Executive management, employees, partners, and customers continue to demand more services. Waiting for applications and services to deliver information is not an option.

IT organizations are beginning to come around to taking a holistic perspective, one where they view their compute, network, and storage components as being part of a larger resource pool that has to be purchased, cabled, configured, powered, cooled, and maintained. When organizations look at their infrastructure holistically, they start to realize the cost of the traditional ways of doing business.

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Partners are Going to Love Cisco CloudVerse

December 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm PST

It seems like you can’t open an IT magazine these days without being bombarded by cloud, cloud, cloud. Going to tradeshows you see traditional vendors that have taken their existing solution packages and rebranded them as cloud.  For Cisco partners and customers this can be confusing; especially since cloud comes in so many types/flavors: IaaS, SaaS, PaaS, and however people are positioning themselves.  When I think of cloud I think it fundamentally boils down to an industrialization/simplification of IT.  You focus and clearly define what you as a solution provider are providing, and by doing so, drive out the cost.  Look at MS office for email etc. has literally thousands of options or ways to use it, but has a high cost/user/month.  Gmail limits those options and by offering it free to everyone, it costs Google an ever decreasing fraction of a dollar/month.  The economics are compelling.  Customers like economics in their favor and partners get excited when customers want to make a transition.

On Dec 6th Cisco announced CloudVerse – an integrated set of capabilities combining Unified Data Center with Cloud Intelligent Network to deliver Cloud Applications and Services.  The beauty of this position is that we aren’t telling our partners, “Thanks, we’ll take it from here!” We’re looking to them to offer this integrated Cisco vision to their customers.

“We’re putting our partners in the position to offer CloudVerse as a portfolio and new cloud capabilities.” As Ralph Nimmergood, VP of WW Channels at Cisco, stated in a CRN article published last week.

Partners are key to our cloud strategy and we’re excited to be on this journey with them.

Click here to read the entire CRN article.

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Expanding Hitachi Data Systems and Cisco Partnership: now includes the Nexus 5548/5596UP, and Nexus 2232PP

For nearly 10 years, Cisco and Hitachi Data Systems have delivered agile, scalable, and efficient virtualized solutions for mutual global customers.  Cisco technology transforms how individuals and organizations connect, communicate, and collaborate; Hitachi Data Systems provides scalable, reliable and highly available storage.

Partnership moves beyond storage and MDS. So what are they announcing?

Hitachi Data Systems today introduced Cisco’s Nexus family  to their data center networks product portfolio. Customers can now buy an end to end solution from Hitachi and through their reseller partners    In addition to the MDS 9000 Family, the Hitachi portfolio now includes the Cisco Nexus 5548UP and Cisco Nexus 5596UP switches, and Cisco Nexus 2232PP 10GE Fabric Extender. With the introduction of the Cisco Nexus Unified Fabric products, Hitachi Data Systems has a unique opportunity to capitalize on current datacenter fabric trends.    Rather than having discrete networks to support multi-protocol deployments as legacy data centers have typically deployed, Hitachi now has the ability to offer a single, intelligent fabric solution based on Cisco’s Nexus family of switches regardless of the type or quantity of the protocols being deployed on the Hitachi storage systems.

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