Mark Williams was in the middle of the action when Zynga initially started cranking out megahit games and the company’s IT organization had to find the resources to cope with exponential growth. Hear the experience he and his team had as they moved to Amazon, scaled on Amazon, then moved many of their workloads back to a new private cloud.
In today’s OpenStack Podcast Mark talks about the process, the roadblocks, and the incentives he had to use to make it all happen. He also talks about his new role as CTO at Redapt, about why OpenStack could stand to be a lot more boring than it currently is, and why communication and openness are critical for new IT initiatives to succeed.
In a previous blog post, I discussed some considerations organizations should keep in mind when selecting a cloud provider. After all, in today’s world of many clouds, organizations must have confidence in their decision – both from a technology and business perspective. This week Cisco announced plans to build a global Intercloud – a network of clouds – together with a set of partners.
Partners are an essential part of Cisco’s DNA. Only through the help of our partners can we provide customers with the world’s largest network of clouds. So far, over 200 Cisco cloud partners have already created 430 Cisco Powered services worldwide. With the addition of Cisco Cloud Services, together, we will have an unmatched portfolio of enterprise class offers.
Cisco Powered is the power behind the cloud: cisco.com/go/ciscopowered
Cisco is expanding the Cisco Powered program to include Cisco Cloud Services. Cisco will sell these new services through channel partners and directly to end customers. Partners who develop Cisco Powered services can extend their portfolio with unique Cisco technologies such as WebEx, Cisco Cloud Web Security and Meraki, as well as third party applications. This provides a significant opportunity to leverage the scale of a global Intercloud. In doing so, partners can tap into new revenue streams while improving profitability, and business relevance.
Customers have often said to me, “Joann, we have virtualization all over the place. That’s cloud isn’t it?” My response is, “Well not really, that is not a cloud, but you can get to cloud!” Then there is a brief uncomfortable silence, which I resolve with an action provoking explanation that I will now share with you.
Here’s why that isn’t truly a cloud. What these customers often have is server provisioning that automates the process of standing up new virtual servers while the storage, network, and application layers continue to be provisioned manually. The result is higher management costs that strain IT budgets, which are decreasing or flat to begin with. With this approach, businesses aren’t seeing the agility and flexibility they expected from cloud. So, they become frustrated when they see their costs rising and continue struggling to align with new business innovation.
If your IT department adopted widespread virtualization and thought it was cloud, my guess is you are probably nodding your head in agreement. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
So then, what are the key elements an organization needs to achieve the speed, flexibility and agility promised by cloud?
1) Self-service portal and service catalog The self-service portal is the starting point that customers use to order cloud services. Think of a self-service portal as a menu at a restaurant. The end user is presented with a standardized menu of services that have been defined to IT’s policies and standards and customers simply order what they need. Self-service portals greatly streamline resource deployment which reduces the manual effort by IT to provision resources.
2) Service delivery automation
After the user selects services from the portal service menu, then what? Well, under the hood should be automated service delivery—which is a defining characteristic of a real cloud environment. Behind each of the standardized menu items in the self-service portal is a blueprint or instructions that prescribe how the service order is delivered across the data center resources. This has been proven to appreciably simplify IT operations, reduce costs and drive business flexibility.
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If you think that the answer to this question is an easy “yes,” then you may find the results from Cisco’s 2011 Connected World Technology Report a bit shocking. Cisco commissioned an international workforce study of nearly 3000 people asking their views on the network in their lives.