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Announcing Cisco Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) Solution for Service Providers

A very happy new year to you all!

Today, we announced the Cisco Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solution for service providers. Service providers are looking for new ways to enter the market for IaaS (providing compute-on-demand, network-on-demand and storage-on-demand for their customers)

Cisco is working with Service Providers to provide them with the tools, design guides and advanced services to be able to “fast-track” the implementation of IaaS offerings. The benefit for our SP customers is that they are able to develop a service with greater confidence and are then able to realize revenues faster than would have otherwise been possible.

Any customer of the SP can now gain access to cost-efficient resources at SP scale. Not having to deploy these services on their own makes your customers more agile and productive.

The benefits for the customer include:

  • Access to world-class IT services on-demand
  • Highly efficient, low-cost services without up-front investment
  • Security and management provided by their service provider

The benefits to Service Providers include:

  • Consolidation through virtualization
  • Infrastructure amortization
  • Massive economic efficiencies
  • Opening of new markets
  • Differentiation from over-the-top providers

There are a variety of materials available on how Cisco can help SPs with IaaS offerings:

This link takes you to documents and videos which expand on what Cisco means when it talks about enabling SPs as they begin planning the launch of IaaS offerings.

This is an interactive, web-based, Return-on-Investment (ROI) tool which allows the SP to adjust various values to get a realistic assessment of costs, revenues and margins -- and therefore, whether an IaaS offering makes business sense. A feature of this tool is that it provides you with the ability to take a look at a detailed representation of what the bill-of-materials might look like for your particular situation.

I’d like your feedback -- what other information would make your path easier as you begin deploying IaaS offerings? Is an IaaS offering of interest to your business? Are we missing important considerations in the ROI tool?

Let me know your thoughts!

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3 Comments.


  1. Hi Simon,This is a good offering.. Congratulations.It makes it easier for SPs to take a recipe that you would provide, and instantiate the IAAS offering easily and effectively. I can see that.Couple of questions:1. What is the IAAS Mgt software? Curious you didn’t bundle that with the offering? With IAAS, the infrastructure is clearly central, but equally important is the Mgt platform for smart provisioning, allocation, self-service… etc.Is the expecatation that a Service Provider already has Provisioning/Self-Service platform of choice, and they would overlay that on top of your IAAS offering?Second question: UCS has a superb service profile mgt and provisioning Mgt Model… How do you see that integrate with the Cloud Mgt platform at SP? I expect that SPs would have UCS and non-UCS platforms for simetime..Thoughts?thanks,Raghu YeluriSr. Architect – CLoud and Virtualization ArchitectureIntel Corp

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  2. Simon Aspinall

    Thanks, Raghu, for your questions and comments! IaaS Management Software, as you call it, is certainly a key ingredient for any IaaS offering that an SP may deploy. Your assumption is correct, in that our first IaaS customers did in fact already have a provisioning platform, orchestration mechanism, self-service portal, etc. in the works. So it wasn’t necessary for us to include those elements along with our infrastructure for these first deployments.One of the great things about UCS in the compute space and Nexus in the networking space is that they provide XML-based management interfaces that are command-equivalent to whatever can be done from the console. This makes it extremely easy for service providers to integrate these systems with existing management, orchestration and provisioning systems.We do plan to have management, orchestration and provisioning as part of upcoming system releases for service providers who do not have established systems for these tasks, or who are looking to modernize their systems as part of an overall service upgrade. I can’t get into dates or details at this time, but we recognize, just as you did, that this is a critical and necessary piece complementary to the hard assets in an IaaS offer.On the topic of Service Profiles for the UCS and its provisioning management model, certainly an all UCS environment would greatly simplify things! But you’re right, multi-vendor environments are a reality. UCS and UCS manager make orchestration, provisioning and management tasks easier, ostensibly offloading these requirements from what you’ve termed the Cloud Mgt platform””. By design, they handle a lot of what otherwise has to happen “”up-the-stack””. So I see the integration of UCS into this environment to be an easier task than integrating a non-UCS rack- or blade-server system. And so far, our customers are telling us that this has been their precise experience!Thanks again for your comments, and I hope I’ve addressed them adequately.Regards,– Simon”

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  3. Hi SimonCongrats on a first round of SP-focused IaaS offerings! I wrote up a blog post on this announcement – I thought you’d be interested!http://chucksblog.emc.com/chucks_blog/2010/02/cisco-gets-serious-about-iaas.htmlKeep up the good work!– Chuck

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