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SP360: Service Provider

Cisco and the Cloud: Within and Beyond the Data CenterThis year’s Cloud Connect was another great success, and thanks to everyone who attended my presentation on Cisco and the Cloud: Within and Beyond the Data Center. I was happy to see that we are beyond the discussion of “Is Cloud a true opportunity?” to “How can we get the most out of the Cloud?” There were many interesting industry topics discussed at Cloud Connect, I wanted to touch on one of them, the benefits of cloud, in more detail.

An interesting discussion came up in a panel on the differences between on-demand virtualization and Cloud. I share the panel’s general consensus that virtualization is a useful first step but not the end of the journey. Businesses of all sizes have achieved major benefits through virtualization (25%+ cost savings), increasing the utilization of servers to reduce hardware requirements and consolidate operations. When you move beyond this crucial first step, you open up the rest of your business Cloud’s benefits: flexibility, agility, scalability, and usability. When a truly dynamic cloud is implemented the benefits for service providers and enterprises are significant - saving 35-80% of the costs of traditional delivery. Let’s look at what drives these benefits:

Flexibility: Implementing a Unified Service Delivery foundation for your Cloud, enables an end-to-end virtualized infrastructure combining both the virtualized data center and the intelligent IP NGN to deliver services/applications from a common pool of compute, network, and storage resources, available on demand and also ensuring the services and applications can be delivered effectively.

Agility: Speed-to-market can make or break a business. A Cloud architecture enables you to maintain your leading position with new services. Using a common platform for your solutions means you do not have to build a new specialized infrastructure for every new service. Time is money and Cloud is an answer to react quickly to changing business needs.

Scalability: An intelligent Cloud architecture is designed to expand and contract dynamically to suit the needs of its users. Cisco’s solutions for the enterprise, which include preconfigured and pre-integrated FlexPods and Vblocks, are deliberately built for the Cloud and can be added easily and quickly to an existing Cisco foundation to match your growing needs. For Service Providers, Cisco’s Unified Service Delivery Solution combines pre-tested solutions for both the data center and network for fast implementation -- both for today’s virtualized services and the continuing journey to cloud.

Usability: Building a large Cloud without proper administrative controls would only slow your business down. Cisco’s Unified Computing System, Nexus data center switches, and solutions built with best-of-breed partners like VMware, EMC, BMC, and CA keep your operations team in the driver’s seat with powerful controls to provision and operate the cloud. With our partners we have automated provisioning tasks to save you time and our team is here to share our comprehensive experiences and best-practices so you can steer your future and not spend your time maintaining the present.

What did you learn from Cloud Connect? What changes do you think will happen between now and next year’s event? Please let me know your thoughts.

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