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Get Onboard With The Cloud
Doesn’t it sometimes seem like we live in a world where the technology band wagon is rolling forward at warp speed. Cloud computing is the technology topic on every IT manager’s mind these days, as it promises the prospect of reducing IT costs, freeing up resources and relieving headaches.

But how do you get onboard? You need to think creatively to attract customers. Cloud service providers need to differentiate their services, to add value, and reassure customers of reliability.

The key to delivering a compelling service is to build it on a converged compute platform that is optimized for the cloud, like Vblock. With the Vblock platform Cisco partners can address the concerns and challenges of enterprise customers who are looking to move their data center operations and applications to the cloud.

Let’s take a closer look at ways that service providers can differentiate services, assure customers that solutions are reliable, and help customers move to the cloud with confidence.

The Cloud Service Opportunity
The cloud delivery model is an opportunity for service providers to develop new services that meet the changing needs of customers. But to succeed in this evolving marketplace, service providers must offer added value when competing with established Over-the-Top (OTT) providers.

The key to delivering a compelling service is to build it on a converged compute platform optimized for the cloud. Adding service-level agreements (SLAs) for enterprise customers for whom performance, security, and availability are paramount can reassure customers that their applications are hosted on optimized platforms and delivered from reliable data centers that will be consistently available.

This is a motivator for customers who are considering moving to the cloud-computing environment to enter in to longer-term contracts.
The Need for Service Assurance
With increasing concerns over service interruptions and the availability of workloads, companies might be reluctant to move their business-critical applications to the cloud or to Software as a Service (SaaS) applications without the backing of comprehensive SLAs that set high standards for service delivery and hold the service provider accountable for outages.

OTT providers have built their service on commodity platforms using their own set of tools for service creation. Of course, the primary concern has been to keep costs down so that they can serve a broad public market while quality of service guarantees have been an afterthought — or are not available at all.

Choosing the Right Platform
Service providers, on the other hand, have the opportunity to serve the needs of enterprises that have a considerable investment in their business applications and will suffer high costs due to lost business during outages. As a result, service providers can benefit from building their service on a platform that allows them to deliver the service assurance that today’s large organizations require.

To do this, a solution built on the VCE Vblock Infrastructure Platforms, based on the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS), will deliver high-quality SLAs to customers for virtual machine availability and application performance. With end-to-end support, Vblock platforms offer a distinctive blend of agility and scalability in a converged infrastructure solutions package, allowing service providers to remain a cut above OTT providers and offer a premium service that addresses critical business needs of the large enterprise.

The Vblock Advantage
Service assurance has emerged as a primary differentiator for IT customers preparing to migrate to a virtualized environment. Without first-class SLAs to offer potential customers, service providers are at a disadvantage in the competitive environment. A firm, business-aligned SLA that provides compliance measuring and reporting requirements is often the determining factor in a prospective IT customer relationship.

Vblock platforms effectively counter the concerns of enterprises considering a migration into cloud computing, offering the optimum in IT solutions in an innovative cloud environment. Merging superior networking and computing services, using Cisco UCS in a converged infrastructure means that Vblock platforms deliver end-to-end services in one all-inclusive package (including storage, management, and virtualization software). These solutions offer many valuable features, including Trusted Multi-Tenancy and workload mobility.

Service assurance offers a host of benefits to service providers seeking to introduce IT customers to a cloud environment. The capabilities presented by quality service assurance built on Vblock include:

• Comprehensive SLAs
• Simplified deployment of services
• Reliable, highly-efficient cost model
• Ability to manage a high volume of customer demand

With the ever-increasing demands for predictable IT operations and aggressive cost reduction, Vblock platforms provide the framework for top-quality service provisioning, the basis of any good customer relationship.

For More Information
A new white paper explores this topic in more depth including how the platform a customer chooses factors into performance, reliability, and overall service. See, The Role of the Platform in Cloud Service Delivery.

To learn more about the Vblock solutions, contact your Cisco account manager or a VCE partner or representative or visit www.vce.com.

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