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Data Center and Cloud

Data centers have received a steady stream of technological updates in recent years, leading to faster, cheaper, and more automated operations.  I think of these changes like a ladder, from the conventional data center of five or ten years ago, up to cloud computing today.

Ladder from virtual data center to cloud

From the bottom rung of the ladder up, there have been advantages for data centers taking each step:

A company facing this technology ladder does not have to take each step; it can jump more than one step at a time.  A conventional data center that starts making changes today is likely to jump straight to the virtual data center or beyond; a number of new companies have built their IT directly in the public cloud.  

Many enterprise customers today are working in the virtual data center model.  For them, the coming year will be about expanding and getting the maximum value out of their virtual data center.  They will concentrate on simplifying their operations and increasing the level of automation.  And they will have their eyes on cloud technology, wanting to ensure that they can take the next step when the time comes.

Cisco designs equipment to work at each step along the ladder.  The network is a platform that should  support each data center model with minimum disruption as enterprises change.   In the coming year, you can expect to see new equipment that supports the flexibility, simplification, and automation demands of today’s virtual and cloud data centers.

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  1. This is a great classification because there is a definite gap between a conventional data center and a cloud. You cannot jump from an existing data center to a cloud in one leap. I have two comments on this. The first is that it is sometimes hard to distinguish one from the other, especially at the boundary. The second is that private and public clouds are developed for different reasons, and I am not sure whether the public cloud is an evolution of the private cloud. Nevertheless, it is good to have a classification like this.However, it is not important to define exactly where you stand but to take appropriate action to plan the jump to the next stage of cloudization.A complete comment is in


  2. Very good illustration – but the Cloud is not for everyone. One thing people need to understand is privacy related issues in particular due to Bush’s Patriot Act. The Cloud isn’t limited by geography which opens up a big can of worms related to data privacy.


  3. Thanks for the comments. Zen, I think some companies are moving directly from conventional to public clouds — but it’s a lot more work than moving just one step at a time!D C Canada, I agree that geography can be very important. The jurisdiction of a data center’s location affects privacy, data retention rules, and more. In fact, this is a big reason why organizations are interested in private clouds — to get the flexibility and efficiency of IaaS cloud computing, while keeping the equipment and data in their own buildings.


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