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Using Professional Services to help you with Data Center Challenges – part 2

In my previous blog, I briefly introduced Cisco Services’s unique LifeCycle Services Methodology ( and talked about how Cisco’s Advanced Services Data Center Practice follows this unique methodology and practices to support the evolution of networks to business systems and ensure the most return from their IT investments. This LifeCycle Services Methodology helps customers Plan, Build and Run their IT infrastructure and the approach defines the minimum set of activities needed, by technology and by network complexity, to help customers successfully deploy and operate Cisco technologies and optimize their performance.

 Today, let me walk you through in detail about the Lifecycle services methodology and how these phases help our customers get Ready, Better and Smarter as their IT infrastructure evolves.

 Cisco services are built and delivered around the network lifecycle consisting of the following phases:  Prepare, Plan, Design, Implement, Operate, and Optimize.  Each phase consists of its own distinct characteristics and purpose and each service developed inside Cisco by its Product Management (Advanced Services and Technical Services) team maps to one or more of these phases. These services are offered as a standard packaged offering or a customized offering to tailor each customer’s unique requirement.

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If you have these challenges… might need a Vblock

Back in April, VMware/Cisco/EMC participated in a Tech Field Day event where various IT vendors had the opportunity to present current products and future vision to technology bloggers with a variety of backgrounds. VCE Vblock was one of the focus areas of a 2hr session towards the end of the event.

One of the comments heard from several of the bloggers was that Vblock was often positioned directly to the C-level executives, that we didn’t speak to enough of the challenges and concerns of the IT professionals.

Fair enough, when our customers speak we do our best to listen and respond with answers. Below are many of the common areas that we see mentioned by customers (IT staff and C-level executives) when they tell us about their Data Center challenges.  

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The Great FCoE Dance Debate – An Allegory

[NB: This is a slightly different type of blog entry. Despite the links within the blog connect to individual posts, this allegory is not directed at any specific individuals or groups]

“Today we’re going to talk about swing dancing, specifically Lindy Hop.”


“But wait, I want to talk about Foxtrot.”


“Foxtrot is also a dance, but different from Lindy Hop.”


“Well, you have to talk about Foxtrot when you talk about Lindy Hop.”


“No you don’t. They’re two different types of dances.”


“Well, they both use the same dance floor, right?”


“Yes, of course.”


“Well, then you need to talk about both of them.”


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Why do Hardware Vendors attend VMworld?

I was speaking with a customer the other day and they asked me a seemingly innocent question, “If VMware is all about abstracting hardware from software, why do hardware vendors bother going to VMworld?” I say “innocent question” because the customer didn’t mean any harm, he ran the application development group for a large Enterprise, but obviously this is an interesting question because today’s Data Center technology trends are rapidly changing some old ways of thinking.

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When Are FCoE Standards “Done?”

If you think about it, there really hasn’t been any other technology that has raised the concerns about standards in the way that FCoE has. Suddenly, people are concerned about standards and how complete they are and don’t want to make a move until the standards are “done.”


You’d think people were afraid of salmonella poisoning if you use FCoE before it’s “cooked.”


So how can you tell? How do you know when standards are “done?”


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