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Want to hear Cisco’s POV on the top 5 questions about the Future of Cloud?

Gee Rittenhouse answers the top 5 questions about #CloudAccording to GigaOM, the use of cloud-based resources will be what’s “next” for IT in preparation for an in-depth look at the infrastructure that will drive the next decade of application development.

At the recent Structure event, GigaOM tapped into the minds of cloud-technology industry leaders, seeking insight into the “Top 5 Questions for the Titans of Cloud.”

In this post, Gee Rittenhouse, Vice President/General Manager, Cloud and Virtualization Group at Cisco, provides answers and insight on cloud infrastructure, exchange, data security and more.

 

Top Cloud Question #1: “When will all the major clouds support the same set of APIs?”

 

Today, there is a three-horse race between two proprietary APIs (Amazon Web Services and VMware’s vCloud API) and one open API (OpenStack). For now, the two proprietary APIs will continue to be the dominant players, leveraging their large public cloud (in the case of AWS) and private cloud (in the case of VMware) deployments.

But, as an increasing number of service providers and enterprises adopt and deploy OpenStack cloud solutions across both public and private models, the balance will shift, more than likely over the next two to four years.

Cisco’s approach is different from other, more infrastructure-centric public cloud offers. We believe that the open API model OpenStack will eventually be the dominant cloud API model and will ultimately become the de-facto standard.

Looking to the future beyond just a hybrid cloud conversation toward the Intercloud, an interconnected global cloud of clouds, built with a commitment to open standards and based on OpenStack, will feature APIs to connect any cloud or hypervisor to any other cloud or hypervisor.

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Transparent SAN Migration from a Heterogeneous Environment to a Cisco MDS based SAN:

As storage area networking (SAN) evolves to meet new demands, customers are planning a migration strategy to transparently migrate from a heterogeneous environment. Cisco is committed to making this simple and efficient by expanding its flexibility and simplicity to interoperate smoothly with all industry-standard solutions. Cisco SAN switches have set a new standard by providing interoperability, flexibility, and functionality within MDS switches to meet the needs of today’s changing SANs.

Migrating SANs from one vendor to another requires a specific plan that includes design, configuration, and implementation processes along with post migration analysis.  This Webinar helps you evaluate appropriate options for SAN conversion from third-party solutions to Cisco SANs using the Cisco MDS 9000 Family.

Migrate to Cisco MDS

Register Now:  Live Online Event, Wednesday, June 25, 2014; 8–9 a.m. Pacific Time

When migrating to a Cisco MDS 9000 Family SAN, you can choose among three migration methods: rip and replace, cap and grow, and interoperate. The choice of migration method is determined by several criteria, including whether you want a single-vendor or mixed-vendor operation, risk-mitigation needs, migration timeline, connectivity requirements and overall fabric capacity during the migration process.

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Finally, a hybrid cloud that makes both users and IT happy!

Two years back, I disparaged hybrid clouds in my blog: “Why Hybrid Clouds Look Like my Grandma’s Network”. Since then the pain and necessity of many clouds in business environment has become acute. I see a great similarity between Hybrid Clouds and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon that has become well-accepted in today’s organization. IT tried to resist it initially, but the consumer movement proliferated into the workplace and was hard to control. Hence IT had no choice but to follow along.

A similar movement is emerging in Cloud. After Amazon Web Services (AWS) made it simple for application developers to swipe credit cards to buy compute and get up and running in a jiffy, the addiction has been hard to stop. Enterprise stakeholders are consuming cloud infrastructure by the hour and in the process running up total costs for their organizations and leaving gaping holes in security and compliance. But this time around, IT has an opportunity to get ahead of the phenomenon.

Screen Shot 2014-06-18 at 11.25.29 PM

 

Challenges with existing hybrid cloud approaches:

 Vendor lock-in: It is hard to argue against the flexibility offered by public clouds. However, few realize that the flexibility comes at the cost of vendor lock-in. Public cloud APIs are typically custom and moving the workload back is almost impossible.

Skyrocketing costs: Granted that public cloud vendors have been driving down costs. However, using public cloud for regular application deployments is like using a rental car for long-term use. If you need a car temporarily, say during a vacation, it makes sense to rent it by the day. However, when you are back at home and need a car for everyday commute, using a rental car will run up costs. This is what enterprises are running into when public cloud charges for resources and bandwidth start to add up. However, it is hard to get out once you are locked into operational practices and workload customization in your favorite cloud.

Security & Compliance holes: Security, what security? When you don’t even know what workloads are running in public clouds and you have no control over who accesses them and how, it is needless to say how big a security and compliance hole this is.

The Solution: Embrace Bring Your Own Cloud (BYOC), build hybrid clouds with Intercloud Fabric

Now that we agree that there’s no way around folks bringing their own clouds, IT needs to provide choice to users while driving consistency, control and compliance for its own sake. Here’s how Intercloud Fabric make this possible:

Choice: Intercloud Fabric enables IT to support a number of clouds including giant public clouds (Amazon, Azure) or their favorite cloud provider including Cisco Powered.

Consistency: Although users get choice of clouds, IT can maintain consistency in networking, security and operations. This is made possible by seamless workload portability across clouds, say vSphere to AWS while maintaining enterprise IP addressing and security profiles.

Compliance: Since public clouds appear as an extension of enterprise data center, current compliance requirements like logging, change control, access restrictions continue to be enforced.

Control: IT controls the cloud in a good way. They don’t have to say “No” to their end users in consuming diverse clouds but can still manage them with a single console and move workloads back and forth.

Seem too good to be true?

 See how cloud providers and business customers are getting ready to do it -- replay of recent webcast Securely Moving Workloads Between Clouds with Cisco InterCloud Fabric

Also, if you are Gigaom Structure in San Francisco this week, you can see the solution in action and get further insights in our workshop on Intercloud Fabric.

 

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Cisco UCS Blades #1 – Time in a Bottle (ne Blog)

June 18, 2014 at 1:33 pm PST

Were you surprised?     Probably not.    

IDC SvrTrk 2014Q1 USA rev share chart

Tracking Time with UCS – Last 3 Years of Market Share Growth:  

  • 5 years 3 months ago Cisco announced UCS
  • 5 years ago, Cisco started shipping UCS.
  • Today UCS is #1 in the US and in the Americas.

 

 

What made UCS so successful?Customer Traction

What is the real story behind the success of UCS?

  • A new and innovative architecture?  Perhaps, but that is only part of the story.
  • A unique, compelling management paradigm that sped and simplified tasks, while promoting collaboration?  Potentially, and definitely part of the formula as well.

The real story is People.  People buy technology to do work that needs done.  People have to think ahead, they must understand what will be needed and then decide on a path, on a partner (still more people) to develop and deliver the technology they need.  [I had a bunch more “people” in here but it was getting really ridiculous, instead of only slightly ridiculous.]

Real people, not real stories, making real decisions every day chose the technology that meets their needs, now and in the future.  They decide what works and what does not.

So why UCS?  There have been a lot comments about UCS over the years that have resonated with me on this very question. I wanted to share two that seemed most on point right now.  It is a little bit of “then and now” since they are two years apart, but it felt right and the sentiments are remarkably similar.

  •  “…Unlike other server vendors, Cisco’s UCS launch was from a fresh-fields approach that recognized the industry’s shift towards server virtualization and consolidation. Not tied down by legacy architectures…” – Cisco UCS – Undisputed Computing Success, March 2012, ZD Net, Archie Hendryx
  •  “Five years ago…Cisco Systems launched…UCS…into the gaping maw of the Great Recession…Recessions have always accelerated transitions in IT architecture…in the favor of upstarts with new ideas and against incumbents who are set in their ways…” – Five Years On, UCS Makes Cisco A Systems Player, April 2014, EnterpriseTech, Timothy Prickett Morgan

“…upstarts with new ideas…” -- sounds like a pretty fair summary.

So where do UCS Customers see real benefit?  I’d rather they tell you their real story:

HayGroupSecure-24

 

 

 

MD PA Med CtrPacCoastBldgProd

 EMC IT

Pitt OhioTribune

 

 

 

 

 

 

How can Cisco UCS help you achieve your goals?  See how UCS has helped others in your industry.

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What You Should Know About Tech Careers Of The Future

It has been predicted that everything in the future will be connected and “communicate” with one another. There is even a phrase for it – the Internet of Everything (IoE). The impact of these connections is all about improving connected intelligence: the speed of decision-making, innovation with process, products and services and driving sustainability, while also raising standards in healthcare, education and quality of life.

ConnectedDevices

With a projected 25 billion connected devices by 2015 and 50 billion by 2020, how will networks, job roles, and the world as we know it change?

Every industry and company will have new opportunities to create smarter products and services, create more convenience for consumers and begin to bring work-life integration to a whole new level. Finance, manufacturing, retail, oil and gas and every industry you can think of will rise to new standards to be globally relevant and competitive as well as provide safer and more interesting environments to work within.

Career opportunities for new engineers and growth opportunities for existing engineers are vast. The networker’s view is expanding to include many new technologies, and the networker’s responsibilities are expanding to include many new duties. In the future, deployment and operational demands will be stabilized via automation. While devices, traffic, bandwidth, etc. all accelerate, automation enables teams to refocus time and effort in other areas.

Here are three critical areas that must accelerate with our networks:

  1. Automation: Making networks simpler to deploy, operate, and expand.
  2. Innovation: Enabling the ability to leverage new technologies and heighten the impact of IT-driven business improvements.
  3. Education: Providing for not only a deeper understanding of our networks but also a far broader view into our new outcomes that can be obtained when we connect the unconnected and empower our organizations to work together.

We know that technology transitions will change the skills that individuals need to support the networks of tomorrow.  Here’s how:

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