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Five Reasons You Can’t Ignore OpenStack

Five Reasons You Can’t Ignore OpenStack

1.    It’s growing dramatically.
OpenStack User Survey, Nov 2014
Source: OpenStack User Survey, November 2014

·       The growth trajectory of OpenStack® is similar to that of Linux, and is on track to grow even faster. What started as a sandbox for developers has now become significantly more stable and mainstream.

·       Many larger enterprises are now using OpenStack, even in limited deployments, and as the advantages become more apparent, use will increase.

·       The code itself has matured dramatically since its introduction five years ago. Updates are now far more likely to be bug fixes and usability improvements rather than major new code releases.

·       An impressive number of technology and cloud vendors now offer OpenStack solutions and tools. Almost every major cloud vendor now has a presence in OpenStack. We are nearing critical mass.

2.    The OpenStack community is vigilant about protecting flexibility.

·       The biggest advantage of an open-source approach is that you can create a much more flexible and vendor-neutral cloud environment. As a result, you can lower your costs, avoid the risks of vendor lock-in, and add new capabilities and approaches much more quickly and easily.

·       The cloud is still an incredibly dynamic, rapidly evolving marketplace. New features and approaches are being introduced all the time. If you lock yourself into a single vendor, you’ll be on that vendor’s timeline to bring those new capabilities to your business. Your success may well rest on responding more quickly than your competitors.

3.   It can make a big difference in productivity and staffing.

·       Using OpenStack on an integrated infrastructure platform, like Cisco UCS® offers significant productivity benefits, because the two architectures work together to eliminate many of the manual tasks involved in building a cloud. OpenStack defines how computing, networking, storage, and other essential cloud elements will interoperate, so your IT engineers are free of repetitive deployment tasks and can focus on more value-added projects.

·       If you lock your cloud environment into a single vendor’s approach, you’re limited to staff who specialize in that vendor’s technology—or to long ramp-up times to train existing staff who don’t.  But open source technologies are a smart investment and many of today’s developers and engineers are adding open source to their skill set, expanding the number of people qualified to support your OpenStack cloud.

·       OpenStack is growing rapidly. Even if you’re not planning to begin implementing an open-source approach right away, it’s critical to start building OpenStack skills in your team now, so you won’t be scrambling to catch up later.

4.    Are you avoiding OpenStack because you think using an open-source solution means a long, complex do-it-yourself project?  Not necessarily.

·       Hardened, enterprise-class OpenStack solutions are now available from open-source leaders like Red Hat®, often as part of pre-integrated, ready-to-deploy solutions developed in partnership with vendors like Cisco.  Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure for Red Hat OpenStack is a fully documented design guide and bill of materials, designed to accelerate deployment of your OpenStack cloud.

·       And for those who prefer to leave operation of OpenStack to the experts, Cisco now provides a fully-managed, on-premises private cloud option, based on technology acquired from Metacloud.  Cisco OpenStack Private Cloud® gives you all of the benefits of a public cloud in a private cloud environment, so you can focus on application development.

·        The number of tools is growing and responding to the need for support.  OpenStack users have made Chef cookbooks and Puppet configuration modules freely available on GitHub.  In addition, the latest technologies for putting infrastructure at the service of cloud applications and services are being made available for OpenStack.  Vendors now offer software-define networking (SDN) controllers, such as the Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC), that allow you to perform policy-based management of your OpenStack-based cloud environment.

5.   Are you ready for a hybrid cloud world?

·       For many businesses, the immediate priority is to create a private cloud environment to deliver IT as a service (ITaaS). But you want to be able to shift workloads to public cloud resources when it makes sense to do so, as well as meet growing demands from lines of business that want to use public cloud services in the enterprise.

·       Hybrid cloud is growing in importance as it combines the economic benefits of the public cloud with the control and security of a private cloud.  The December 2014 Ubuntu Cloud and Server Survey found that 40% of respondents using OpenStack were planning to implement an OpenStack-based hybrid cloud in the next 12 months.  OpenStack is an obvious candidate for hybrid cloud, with the support of an active open source community, as well as major cloud vendors.

OpenStack may have seemed like a curiosity a few years ago. But it’s becoming a big part of the cloud landscape. If you want to capitalize on the benefits of open source cloud environments before your competitors, start paying attention now—or be prepared to play catch-up later.

 

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How and Why We Created “Software Defined Networking for Dummies”

SDN for DummiesLast week we launched our new book, Software Defined Networking for Dummies, which I wrote the vast majority of and was responsible for producing. And the response to date has been far more enthusiastic than even I anticipated. The feedback from the Cisco field has been great, and there is strong demand for reprints across all regions and localization in a number of languages. [Printed copies can now be ordered from the Cisco Collateral Store at nominal cost here.]

Naturally, we’ve also gotten a number of questions, such as “Does this mean we think SDN is for Dummies?”, “Do we think our customers are Dummies?”, “Why did Cisco decide to leverage the Dummies brand for this topic?”, etc. In order to clear some of this up, the social media team asked me to write a bit of the backstory of the creation of the book, why we decided to do it, and why it’s proving to be such a popular asset.

It all started when I was looking to fill a large gap in Cisco product marketing, particularly around SDN and our Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). SDN has certainly proven to be a revolutionary break from traditional networking architectures and is really changing the way organizations think about their IT processes and how they design data centers. With all this change, it’s been hard for a lot of people to get their heads around what this new technology trend is really all about. When Cisco introduced ACI as a very sophisticated and comprehensive SDN solution, there’s no doubt it took people a lot of time to understand ACI, how it was similar to SDN, and where it was introducing new innovative concepts.  Read More »

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Tailored Data Center Integration (TDI) For SAP HANA

Tailored Data Center Integration for SAP HANA enables the use
 of enterprise storage and networking components that already exist in your data center rather than requiring customers to purchase additional storage and networking to be used only for the SAP HANA environment.

Cisco and its partners deliver a TDI deployment model using a common architectural approach, built on standard building blocks with the Cisco Unified Computing SystemTM (Cisco UCS®) as the base. This approach gives application datacenter managers flexibility of choice in the way that they implement SAP HANA. Cisco supports the SAP HANA TDI deployment with shared storage and shared networking today.

SAP HANA TDI provides the first evolutionary step away from the constraints of a very controlled standalone appliance model toward a model in which application datacenters can be configured using existing SAP certified enterprise storage and enterprise networking.  When you use the SAP HANA TDI model, existing network and storage can be used only if sufficient resources are available and if all components used are SAP certified. Here, “sufficient resources” means that sufficient storage capacity and I/O bandwidth are available on both the storage system and the storage network to meet the SAP HANA application needs in your environment.

What does this mean for you?  You will gain the following benefits.  You can:

  • Use your existing storage and network investment in people, process, and equipment
  • Get the best use of your investment in current datacenter switching architecture
  • Create a more flexible deployment in which server, network, and storage resources can be moved between different SAP HANA and SAP business solutions applications, and even non-SAP applications 
mitigate risk and optimize operations and resources by using existing data center management processes for SAP HANA implementations
  • Gain flexibility in hardware vendor selection and SAP HANA configuration

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Cisco UCS Mini for SAP and SAP HANA

On the way to tradeshow week (May 4th), I decided to do a brief blog series on UCS Mini tied to these shows. Last week was Microsoft Ignite.

This week SAPPHIRE NOW and ASUG Annual Conference in Orlando and the discussion of UCS Mini for SAP and SAP HANA.

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Cisco UCS Mini Finalist for Best of Interop Awards 2015

When we launched UCS Mini back in September, it pushed us into new territory with an exciting offering that bundles servers, storage and networking into a single solution — much like the traditional UCS — but in a smaller form factor. It also allowed Cisco to effectively target branch or remote offices and the mid-market with UCS.

This exciting new venture has been validated by a growing number of customers and we’ve just received another validation today: we’re excited to announce that UCS Mini has been nominated as a finalist for the 2015 Best of Interop Awards!

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