Previously, I blogged that the concept of “cloud in a box” is a misnomer. As I discussed then, transitioning to cloud is not a one off occurrence, it is a journey. This was emphasized further when, earlier this month, we launched Cisco CloudVerse, introducing the concept of the World of Many Clouds. So what is the quickest and easiest way for you to start on this journey to the world of many clouds?
Cisco Data Center Services has a simple proposition for you: Just add our recently announced Cloud Optimization Service through your existing Cisco Cisco Data Center Optimization Contract! If you have Cisco Network Optimization Service, or “NOS”, talk to your account manager on how to leverage the Cisco Data Center Optimization deliverbles
Optimization services are our most popular Cisco Advanced Services offering, so there is a fair chance you have such a subscription service today already. (You may have seen my previous blogs around Cisco Data Center Optimization Service, see here and here).
Oh – and if you don’t have a Cisco Optimization Service such as the Cisco Data Center Optimization service, or Cisco Network Optimization Service (“NOS”) -- then you should get one! Optimization services are our most popular Cisco Advanced Services offering -- so if you don’t have one, your competitors almost certainly will.
Here I’ll take some time to explain what this service is and how it will help you start or evolve your cloud transformation.
OK, first, a quick refresher on the intent of Cisco Optimization Services. You may have seen my previous blogs around Cisco Data Center Optimization Service, here and here. Cisco Optimization Services give you, if you will, a menu of service options that you can pick and choose from. Through out the (annual) term of this subscription, you can call on those modules that are relevant to you. Customers may use this to obtain specialist help, say, on use of advanced Cisco Nexus features, or engage Cisco experts on a Design Review -- what I called previously “Manufacturer’s Design Assurance” -- in essence get the Cisco best practice advice on your data center design.
Now for the good news, if you are either migration to cloud, or about to start such a process, we have just added Cloud Optimization Services to the Cisco Data Center Optimization Service. The Cloud Optimization options are outlined in the above diagram. If you are starting, or continuing your cloud transition, the modules in this service that I’ll focus on today are the Cloud Technology Architecture Assessment and the Cloud Management Automation Assessment. When is each most relevant?
Well, if you are looking at your data center, and are wondering what you need to put in place to evolve that data center to an infrastructure as a service model -- for example offer “virtual machines as a service” or enhance your business continuity with “disaster recovery as a service” -- the Cloud Technology Architecture Assessment is the option for you. With this service option, a Cisco cloud expert will work with you, your business stakeholders and your team to conduct an architecture assessment of your current data center architecture and plans. This could be a data center where you have started to move towards cloud already, or not -= we deal with both cases. Our expert will help you identify any issues with your current technology architecture (network, storage and compute), that could impact your transition to, or evolve further to (in the case of an existing cloud architecture), an architecture capable of offering cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS). At the end of this assessment, you will have a clear set of steps that you can take to make that cloud transition.
Management automation -- orchestration and provisioning in particular -- is a key requirement to enable the rapid service provisioning times that cloud promises. Our Cloud Management Automation Assessment examines your current management infrastructure, and makes recommendations on what should be your management automation roadmap to deliver on the promise of cloud. The Cisco Services expert will hold a workshop with your team and help may out future requirements, and then assess your current toolset to determine if and how easily this will support your cloud vision. We’ll then make specific recommendations on how you can achieve your target provisioning times, what tools will suit your needs best, and also examine your assurance process and tools to determine whether improvements can be made there. In the case of an existing cloud deployment, the recommendations will focus on improvements to meet best practices for management of the cloud architecture; and in the case of a non-cloud deployment, recommendations will focus on changes and new tools necessary to meet the requirements of a best practice cloud architecture and deployment.
As I mentioned in the opening of this article, these options are available now to anyone who has a NOS or a Data Center optimization contract. Many of you will have such a contract today. So you can start planning to make use of these new service capabilities today. And if you don’t have a NOS contract, perhaps this is what you need to add extra expertise and unique Cisco best practices to your team and data center/cloud architecture.
To close then, it’s as simple as speaking to your Cisco Services Account Manager and, with your Cisco Data Center and Cloud Optimization Service, start moving to the world of many clouds!
PS: If you are planning to migration to Cisco Nexus Unified Fabric, Cisco Unified Computing, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure and other new data center technologies, the Cisco Data Center Optimization Service can also be used to help you obtain the Cisco expertise to make these transitions. This service is not just about cloud -- we really do recommend this service to any customer with a data center, and many of our data center customers do indeed take this service option.