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Cloud Myopia (Pitfall 3: I Can See the Data Center Clearly, but Users Look Blurry )

cloud infrastructure considerations vs. cloud data center considerationsSince my previous posts on cloud anomalies, Cisco did a worldwide survey of 1000+ IT professionals across 13 countries regarding their cloud deployments. The results reinforced challenges with performance and security and confirmed my inklings. However, one statistic was quite surprising. You would think data center is the lynchpin of cloud. However, when asked about the most critical infrastructure for cloud, 37% went for the network vs. 28% for virtualized data center. Well if cloud is all about data center consolidation, virtualization, and elasticity, then what’s the fuss about the network? 

2012 Cisco Global Cloud Networking Survey

This is what I call the “Cloud Myopia” or the near sightedness of cloud. While focusing on revamping the infrastructure in the data center to evolve to cloud, we sometimes forget that more than 90% of users are far away from corporate data centers. These users are accessing the cloud over thin crusty WAN links, which were never meant to carry the amount and type of application traffic that has come about. And we expect to do video streaming, virtual desktop activity, web conferencing, and SaaS-based applications, all over the traditional WAN architecture with our good old routers? Give me a break!

So what’s the cure for the cloud myopia? Well, first diagnose it. Understand where the users are, get visibility into user experience and predict how it will look as cloud rolls out. Then optimize and secure user traffic intelligently. Seems complex? Don’t know where to start?

On June 12 at Cisco Live, Cisco will be announcing the Connect Users to the Cloud with Confidence solution. Tune in. I will also be doing a session on extending enterprise networks to the cloud and will be glad to see you in San Diego.  [PSORST-3980 -- Extending Enterprise Networking to the Cloud: Breaking Down the Barriers in Cloud Adoption ]

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