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The Critical Role of the Network in Supporting Cloud-Based Solutions

Cloud Services
The Cloud-based service model offers the Enterprise access to a rich range of services and applications without the overhead of having to deploy and manage the underlying infrastructure. This results in much lower costs for access to services and applications. This is especially true for one time or periodic workloads where resources may sit idle for months until required. As a result Enterprises are increasingly embracing cloud services and benefiting from on-demand availability.

Delivery Models
Demand for cloud services is being met in a number of ways. Independent software vendors offer services from their data center over the Internet, such as Salesforce.com’s CRM application. Some ISVs leverage an IaaS provider such as Amazon to host their application on the Internet such as Adobe’s LiveCycle Enterprise Suite. However, since these approaches rely on the Internet it is not possible to provide end-to-end quality of service (QoS), so neither approach supports providing an SLA for network performance. This is increasingly a concern for Enterprise customers.

The Need for SLA’s
The need for SLA’s for cloud services opens up an opportunity for communications service providers (CSPs) to offer a wide range of network centric solutions that are supported by an SLA. CSPs are in a unique position to offer these solutions because, unlike the Internet, the Next Generation Networks (NGNs) that CSPs have deployed, based on IP and MPLS, are capable of providing contracted levels of availability, delay, jitter and packet loss. As a result CSPs can provide cloud-based solutions with SLAs by providing these solutions to customers from their own data center and over their NGN.

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Move fearlessly among the clouds, enabled by ‘Cisco Datacenter Business Advantage’

As you march towards one of the most important milestone in your cloud journey, virtualizing the mission critical Tier-1/Tier-2 business applications (Microsoft, Oracle, SAP, etc.), Cisco Datacenter Business Advantage and our open ecosystem partner technologies can provide significant value and help you move fearlessly among the clouds.

Cisco Data Center Business Advantage represents an architectural framework for connecting Cisco and partner technology innovations to business innovations so that you can create services faster, become more agile, and take advantage of new revenue streams and business opportunities. It is delivered as a portfolio of Cisco cloud enabling technologies and solutions that can be adopted in a flexible and modular fashion to more efficiently run your Tier-1/Tier-2 business applications using cloud architectures. Detailed background information on Cisco’s Datacenter Business Advantage can be found here.

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Got C(lew)d? – Cloud CTO Lew Tucker & Cisco Cloud Strategy

To paraphrase a classic old song, “Cloud, cloud, everywhere it’s cloud, blocking out the scenery breaking my mind…”

Yep, cloud computing is anywhere and everywhere these days. The market is getting more competitive in delivering ways for customers to enable cloud computing for their business, and vendors are bombarding those customers with cloud messages from every angle. While Cisco has been extremely active in the cloud computing space for many years, we’ve heard from our customers that we need to move above the noise and be very prescriptive in articulating our cloud computing vision, strategy, portfolio and differentiation.

About six months ago Cisco announced that we had hired and appointed Lew Tucker as Cloud CTO. Not only does Lew bring a tremendous wealth of experience building some of foundational technologies and implementations of cloud computing, but he brings a unique way of explaining where cloud is going. The short video below introduces Lew’s approach to Cisco’s cloud strategy and vision. So get cLewd into Cloud as Lew clues you in on where Cisco is going in this rapidly growing market transition.

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How do you measure your Cloud Computing strategy?

In sports, when looking at the record books we often find that most of the records are held by current players. In most cases this get attributed to the fact that the games change over time and certain elements are emphasized over others. Maybe it’s passing over running in football, home runs instead of stolen bases in baseball, or dunks over jump shots in basketball. Whatever it is, we eventually accept that the new approach to the game is going to lead us to viewing measurements differently.

For some reason, that same mentality doesn’t seem to apply to changes in how we leverage IT technologies to drive our businesses. While we now live in a world where change happens at 2x, 3x and sometimes 5x what it did in the past, but we’re still using measurements that are centered in a world where IT is primarily focused on keeping the operations running and keeping the costs down. Measurements like Return on Investment (ROI) and Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) are primarily focused on upfront costs of equipment or a level of labor that is often ignored after the initial ROI calculations are complete. But what happens when a new system is able to take on orders of magnitude more work them previous systems, which often happens with server virtualization projects, so IT handles more capacity? Do ROI and TCO really account for that increased productivity properly? Read More »

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Is Intel’s OpenFCoE announcement a big deal?

January 27, 2011 at 4:18 pm PST

In a word, “yes.”

A long time ago in another life, I worked for a CNA vendor before anyone had ever heard of FCoE. Used to keeping the worlds of Fibre Channel and Ethernet separate, it came to some of my colleagues as a shock that at some point you would not need to pay for Fibre Channel access in a host.

After all, they had (and still have) a thriving iSCSI HBA business, but for many customers the fact that iSCSI was ‘free,’ proved simply too attractive. Even today, most of the people I’ve spoken with who talk the talk with iSCSI casually mention that it’s ‘free.’

Free is a game changer. Read More »

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