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The not so hidden war: Private versus Public Cloud…

The cloud battle lines have been drawn out over the past 2-3 years.  Is your company getting your CRM from the public cloud?  Most definitely!  Does your IT shop use one site Service Desk tools or are they using a public cloud provider?  Maybe.  Did you click the button and put your music in the cloud.  Probably.

Many 10’s of billions of enterprise CAPEX and OPEX dollars are spent on enterprise compute and the tools to manage and automate that.  IT shops have a very difficult question:  Do I invest in building my own private cloud, or do I leverage the public cloud?   Many say that a well run private cloud can be cheaper, more secure, and more in tune with internal requirements.   Private and Public clouds are vying for your spend and mind share.  Who will this battle?  How much of a war is this?

Let’s understand that management and automation software has become just as important as your hardware selection as the key ingredient in your compute strategy.  This is a war over close to 100B dollars of enterprise and service provide spend.

There is indeed a 3rd player in this war:  a company and a service offer that is both pragmatic and in a leadership position.   I personally spent close to 6 years in the managed services business earlier in my career and every lesson I learned in managing on-premise, hosted, and private infrastructure for clients all pointed to the most pragmatic approach for how to address client needs:   Customer Choice.

News Flash:  CSC has selected and is deploying Cisco’s Intelligent Automation for Cloud as the cloud automation engine behind their on-premise private and public cloud offering running on VCE vBlock technology.  This is a significant market statement about where infrastructure as a service is going and how to get there.  Leveraging the lessons from Cisco IT usage of Intelligent Automation for Cloud (self service, catalog and orchestration) for private cloud management and automation and all the knowledge based best practices that our business unit has harvested over the past 10+ years of experience in automation in public and private clouds, CSC and Cisco and have joined forces in the war.  Many other service providers are as well.

If you would like the benefit of a private cloud, but want someone else to operate it, give CSC a call.  It will be an intelligent choice for Intelligent Automation from Cisco.

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Cisco at EMC World : It’s All about Partnership!

A quick report from EMC World 2012 in Las Vegas
Pretty busy day this Tuesday with  a lot of topics covered by Cisco experts and partners

Desktop virtualization
Interesting conversation between EMC Josh Mello (@joshmello), Presidio Steve Kaplan (@ROIdude), and Cisco Ravi Balakrishnan  who addressed major questions in this panel such as common barriers for adoption, architectural innovations and value proposition brought by each company

More about VDI from Steve Kaplan here , and  from Cisco with Tony Paikeday and Jonathan Gilad



This Tuesday was also the opportunity to meet Nexus Colin McNamara (@colinmcnamara) and EMC Damian Karlson(@sixfootdad) to talk about VSPEX awareness and potential.

Stay tuned for  a video blog  in the following days

Meanwhile you may want to check this to-the point blog from Colin  VSPEX EMC’s Flexible Reference Architecture  Explained

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Migrate Oracle’s Siebel CRM to Cisco UCS

In my last blog I mentioned that we are rolling out a set of application specific migration and deployment guides that detail how to transition from a proprietary RISC/UNIX platform to the Cisco Unified Computing System.  Our newest guide reviews the migration of Oracle’s Siebel Customer Relationship Management (CRM) applications from a SPARC/Solaris platform to Cisco UCS with Red Hat Enterprise Linux. All of the guides capture the key drivers behind the migration effort as well as the migration methodology, approach, best practices, and results. The Siebel CRM migration to Cisco UCS delivered dramatic performance improvements with fewer servers and lower total cost of ownership. Click here to go directly to the Oracle Siebel Migration Guide and see figure 13 and 14 for a summary of the performance results. Read More »

What makes Cisco’s Intelligent Automation so Intelligent?

This is a must read for those who want to deeply understand the philosophy behind Cisco’s automation product portfolio

It should not be news to you that Cisco has invested in software products to drive the management and automation of clouds, datacenters, and applications.  Intelligent Automation is the name that we have for the management and orchestration solutions in the Intelligent Automation Solutions Business Unit in Cisco’s Cloud and Systems Management Technology Group.

What is so intelligent about Cisco’s automation products?  Besides the official marketing and product management answers, I polled our Business Unit and Advanced Services teams and got the following responses (which I distilled a bit).  Oh and by the way, one constraint was that we cannot use Intelligent in the definition of Intelligent Automation (harder than you might think).

The top winners for the best contributions are:  Oleg Danilov (Solution Architect), Mynul Hoda (Technical Leader), Peter Charpentier (Solution Architect), Frank Contrepois (Network Consulting Engineer) and Devendran Rethinavelu (QA Engineer).

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Cloud Developers, do you Speak Cloud?

My family and I have been going to Mexico on vacation for the past twelve years, pretty much every other year we spend a week in Cancun or somewhere on the Mayan Riviera. Every time we book our trip I plan to buy a Spanish language learning course and be prepared when I get there, but never do and I’m never prepared. Not that you need to know Spanish, there’s plenty of English spoken, I just want to be better at communicating.

I’ve often thought, wouldn’t it be great if everyone spoke the same language, and then communicating would be very easy. However my children and I speak the same language, my wife and I speak the same language yet we sometimes have difficulty understanding one another. Then it comes down to nuance and semantics and properly parsing what has been communicated. What I really need is a Rosetta Stone of sorts, one that shows me what my children say and what it actually means. Even better would be one that shows the translation for what a spouse says and what is actually meant.

From a programming perspective I have often been asked “What language should I know?”, “What is the best fit?”, “What do you use?” I always answer in the same completely unambiguous way… “It depends.” Then I ask my questions. What is the programming language that your IT staff knows the best? Is that a language that has a good level of support? What OS are you comfortable on? What format is your data in? Do you already have standards that you need to adhere to? Etc…

After I pepper them with so many of my own questions and they are dizzy from the interrogation, I give them my one unambiguous answer, the language of the Cloud is XML and the Rosetta Stone of the Cloud is XSLT with XPATH.
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