In this week’s episode of Engineers Unplugged, Jamie MacQuarrie (@JMacQuarrie) and Jay Cuthrell (@qthrul) discuss both the history and future of the data center. How have automation and standards changed the operational model for applications? How are roles changing with the changing technology?
For these answers and more, listen in:
A lot of great ideas here--let us know what you think.
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This is Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:
Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
Whether working with bare-metal servers or virtual machines; provisioning applications and infrastructure traditionally are independent tasks that are completed by different data center teams. Infrastructure is usually provisioned manually. Applications are customarily provisioned via golden templates. As customers look to move automation beyond infrastructure to include applications, the maintenance complexity and manual “last mile” configuration associated with application golden templates is no longer a sustainable solution.
The situation has made Puppet and Chef popular. Both assist with automating the infrastructure life cycle as well as rapid application deployment. But some system admins prefer to use Puppet. Some prefer Chef. Cloud admins want to use Amazon, vCloud Director or OpenStack. What to do?
Cisco lets you use either or both and makes it easier to automate application delivery thanks to the Cisco Application Stack Accelerator for Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC). With this cloud accelerator, those “last mile” deficiencies are practically eliminated.
Bringing together the knowledge of infrastructure and application specialists, this solution automates the design and configuration of application stack components. The result is an application blueprint that consistently delivers applications within minutes, across multiple cloud platforms, to the exact design and specification of the application architect.
Watch these two videos to better understand application blueprints as well as how they can be consumed by Cisco IAC.
Video #1 clarifies what an application blueprint does and how to design and configure them
Video #2 walks you through how to deliver fully configured multi-tier cloud applications with Cisco IAC
Why is this important? Customers tell us that they struggle with multiple requests for virtually the same application. One particular customer, discovered that they had 250 requests for the same application in a two month period. Each one of these requests took IT four to six weeks to deliver before the project could begin. This not only shows down IT but your business as well.
Using Cisco IAC and the Application Stack Accelerator, you can automate the design, configuration and consumption of applications via the Cisco IAC portal. The result? Customers get their application within 30-40 minutes instead of four to six weeks resulting in projects starting sooner. IT spends less time spinning up multiple versions of virtually the same application allowing them to focus on new innovative services. Bottom line: your business experiences agility, speed, and efficiency.
Industry analysts forecast that four out of every 10 companies will be utilizing a private cloud by the end of 2014. With cloud automation becoming this prevalent, you owe it to yourself to learn how Cisco IAC and the Application Stack Accelerator can speed up the design, configuration and consumption of applications within your organization.
Together, this solution can help you deploy applications efficiently; reduce complexity and ensure that applications are deployed to the architect’s exact design and specification.
Major change and growth is happening in the way data centers are functioning. This change is being led by cloud technology.
IT’s role is changing from an infrastructure provider to strategic business partner. The new role for IT is to align you with the services you need, when you need them, from a portfolio of internal or external services.
Once viewed as your organization’s virtual machine dispenser, cloud is quickly maturing. You have expectations beyond virtual machines. You need applications along with the underlying components that support that application. You need an automated way to manage application life cycles as well as integrate business financials.
Cisco has lived this data center evolution and has been surfing the sea of change. It has the tools for you to accelerate cloud delivery in your organization as well.
Introduced last week at CiscoLive Milan, Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC) 4.0 is a game changing solution that extends cloud beyond the data center. It is a great choice if you:
• Want a single modern business portal that acts as your central order point for IT or any business service. Cisco IAC delivers. With a modern, on-line shopping experience, you can order data center services, applications, development platforms and telephony or collaboration services with a single-click order experience.
• Require your cloud management to be heterogeneous not homogeneous. Cisco IAC 4.0 operates in concert with UCS Director to deliver a solid multi-vendor private cloud platform that spans physical and virtual infrastructure components. With this unique combination, you can shift your focus from “how to build” to delivering differentiated services for your organization to consume.
• Understand that networking is hard and a vendor with domain dominance is essential. Network services in the cloud are difficult and as a result the network team is rarely included in the cloud conversation. Cisco IAC’s out-of-box templates for network services, such as firewalls, load balancers, and VPNs, allows your network team to once again participate in the conversation.
• Want cloud governance that goes beyond basic health and status. With advanced financial management across multiple tenants and platforms, you can tailor prices per tenant, or geography, or application type. When you order a service, Cisco IAC automatically delivers a price quote which becomes a threshold to which consumption, by budget or actual resource, can be tracked. When this threshold is reached, you will be notified that additional funds or resources are required or the service will be terminated.
There is a sea of change occurring in data centers today. You need a strategic partner who has the
vision to successfully navigate this change. Dive in and learn how Cisco IAC can support your business – like it supports Cisco’s data centers.
Earlier this week, we announced the Cisco Domain Ten framework 2.0, enhanced by great input from customers, partners, and Cisco’s well-earned experience of strategizing and executing IT transformation.
The enhanced Cisco Domain Ten framework helps customers drive better strategic decisions, providing greater focus on business outcomes, providing deeper analysis of hybrid cloud implications, and extending the framework beyond data center and cloud to include all IT transformation initiatives.
You may have read Stephen Speirs earlier blogs about Cisco Domain Ten for cloud transformation. Today, let’s look at key changes in the Cisco Domain Ten framework 2.0 from the original version. These changes have been adopted to enhance discussions on three themes:
Highlight importance of public clouds as part of IT transformation and solutions using IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS within the data center and across the entire business.
Addition of “Organization” in Domain 10 to bring together the business and technology focus for strategy discussions.
Name changes for some domains to facilitate ease of alignment and discussion on overall IT transformation across multiple architectures and technology solutions such as ITaaS, collaboration, mobility, video, etc. for both enterprise and provider perspectives.
How to manage data as an asset and transform data into business value.
Why Big Data projects fail and how to avoid common pitfalls.
How to optimize a Big Data supply chain.
What infrastructure is required to run and automate data workload processing.
Big Data has become the next big thing, not only for the promise of finding the “needle on the haystack” of untapped revenues, but also for the possibility of uncovering and delivering exciting new business models.
For IT, Big Data can be both exciting and daunting: By delivering analysis from huge amounts of data more quickly than with existing Business Intelligence (BI) tools, data center managers can deliver new services to the business end users; daunting because researching, selecting, buying, staffing and managing Big Data tools sets pretty much demand a separate data center.
We invited our partner Informatica to share its knowledge on managing complex data supply chains have produced this webinar with insight from leading analyst firm Gartner, that will help you align how you think about your data and the infrastructure that it runs on.
By incorporating these the Big Data essentials into your planning you can prevent your sandbox from turning into quicksand and avoiding project delays and cost overruns.
This webinar consists of three parts:
Doug Laney, Research VP at Gartner for business analytics, begins with a lesson in Infonomics – managing data as an asset, and the skills required for Big Data analytics.
John Haddad, Senior Director Big Data Product Marketing at Informatica, explains how to turn these data assets into actionable information generating business value and developing a Big Data supply chain.
Ronnie Ray, Director Product Management for Cisco Cloud and Systems Management, completes the discussion by describing a Big Data infrastructure and operations platform that will exceed your business service levels.
Many of our customers already agree: Cisco is delivering Big Data infrastructure and data workload processing management with the Cisco Common Platform Architecture (CPA). CPA is based on Cisco Unified Computing (UCS), Unified Fabric, and Unified Management. The Cisco Big Data solution delivers:
Integrated Server Management
Cisco UCS unifies computing, networking, management, virtualization, and storage access into a single integrated architecture. It’s an ideal platform for Big Data applications.
Integrated Network Management
The same Cisco network architecture can serve both traditional applications and databases and Big Data processing solutions.
Integrated Data Processing Management
Cisco provides workload automation that manages the flow of data between a wide variety of applications into and out of your Big Data processing environments.