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Need an Express Lane to the Cloud? Check out CSR over Direct Connect…

Find yourself sitting in rush-hour traffic watching folks in the carpool lane whiz by? While it is often tempting to ‘cheat,’ it is against the law and you can end up with a rather expensive ticket. Alternatively, you could buy yourself a low emissions vehicle, and with an approved ‘clean air vehicle sticker’ plastered to your rear bumper,  drive in the carpool lane all day long. If you are lucky enough to live in an area of California where there are Express or ‘Hot Lanes’ then solo drivers are allowed to drive in the carpool lane during peak hours if they pay a fee.

Enterprises moving traffic across the internet to the public cloud may find themselves in need of an ‘express lane’ with the increasing number of applications being hosted in the public cloud. In fact the 2014 Cisco Global Cloud Index states that Global Cloud Traffic will triple by 2018. What does this mean for Enterprises?

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Get On With It! Your Cloud is Waiting

Sound familiar? We hear that term all the time. We hear it at home, we hear it at work, we keeping saying it to our elected officials. It’s a term often used when we are frustrated with progress. It doesn’t matter what the task is, we just want it done!

At Cisco we do a lot of research. We talk to customers to understand their needs, we survey customers to predict what their needs may be and we engage with the analyst community to understand how our industry is changing. Working from this feedback we aim to make an impact on the market with great products.

Moving to the Cloud has been a hot topic for the past few years and it has been amazing to watch the progress. Just two years ago, our Cloud Connected Survey highlighted the challenges Enterprises were facing as they tried to migrate to the Cloud, with Security being one of the top concerns. The Cisco product team responded to those concerns with the Cloud Services Router 1000V aiming to help Enterprises to ‘get on with it’ and accelerate their migration to the Cloud. Read More »

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Finally, a hybrid cloud that makes both users and IT happy!

Two years back, I disparaged hybrid clouds in my blog: “Why Hybrid Clouds Look Like my Grandma’s Network”. Since then the pain and necessity of many clouds in business environment has become acute. I see a great similarity between Hybrid Clouds and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) phenomenon that has become well-accepted in today’s organization. IT tried to resist it initially, but the consumer movement proliferated into the workplace and was hard to control. Hence IT had no choice but to follow along.

A similar movement is emerging in Cloud. After Amazon Web Services (AWS) made it simple for application developers to swipe credit cards to buy compute and get up and running in a jiffy, the addiction has been hard to stop. Enterprise stakeholders are consuming cloud infrastructure by the hour and in the process running up total costs for their organizations and leaving gaping holes in security and compliance. But this time around, IT has an opportunity to get ahead of the phenomenon.

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Challenges with existing hybrid cloud approaches:

 Vendor lock-in: It is hard to argue against the flexibility offered by public clouds. However, few realize that the flexibility comes at the cost of vendor lock-in. Public cloud APIs are typically custom and moving the workload back is almost impossible.

Skyrocketing costs: Granted that public cloud vendors have been driving down costs. However, using public cloud for regular application deployments is like using a rental car for long-term use. If you need a car temporarily, say during a vacation, it makes sense to rent it by the day. However, when you are back at home and need a car for everyday commute, using a rental car will run up costs. This is what enterprises are running into when public cloud charges for resources and bandwidth start to add up. However, it is hard to get out once you are locked into operational practices and workload customization in your favorite cloud.

Security & Compliance holes: Security, what security? When you don’t even know what workloads are running in public clouds and you have no control over who accesses them and how, it is needless to say how big a security and compliance hole this is.

The Solution: Embrace Bring Your Own Cloud (BYOC), build hybrid clouds with Intercloud Fabric

Now that we agree that there’s no way around folks bringing their own clouds, IT needs to provide choice to users while driving consistency, control and compliance for its own sake. Here’s how Intercloud Fabric make this possible:

Choice: Intercloud Fabric enables IT to support a number of clouds including giant public clouds (Amazon, Azure) or their favorite cloud provider including Cisco Powered.

Consistency: Although users get choice of clouds, IT can maintain consistency in networking, security and operations. This is made possible by seamless workload portability across clouds, say vSphere to AWS while maintaining enterprise IP addressing and security profiles.

Compliance: Since public clouds appear as an extension of enterprise data center, current compliance requirements like logging, change control, access restrictions continue to be enforced.

Control: IT controls the cloud in a good way. They don’t have to say “No” to their end users in consuming diverse clouds but can still manage them with a single console and move workloads back and forth.

Seem too good to be true?

 See how cloud providers and business customers are getting ready to do it -- replay of recent webcast Securely Moving Workloads Between Clouds with Cisco InterCloud Fabric

Also, if you are Gigaom Structure in San Francisco this week, you can see the solution in action and get further insights in our workshop on Intercloud Fabric.

 

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Key Annoucements at AWS Summit for the Cloud Services Router (CSR) 1000V

We continue to see significant interest in the CSR 1000V as customers look for robust routing and VPN solution for securely connecting users and branch offices to the Cloud. Last week at the Amazon Web Services Summit in San Francisco Cisco announced a number of key enhancements to its Cloud Services Router (CSR) 1000V for AWS that increase throughput, reduce cost and make it easier for you to get support. These enhancements are explained in more detail below:

  • Hourly billing on a pay-as-you-go basis reduce upfront costs and enable you to get started with minimal upfront costs. You can find out more at the CSR AWS Marketplace page which includes a 30-day free trial.
  • Higher throughput of 100MB gives you faster access to your applications and data.
  • Enhanced support to help you deploy and install the CSR. The new CSR AWS Community is an online community managed by Cisco TAC and CSR Product Management.
  • Testing environment. Deploy and explore the value and benefits of the CSR1000V on the AWS cloud in a lab environment using the CSR AWS Test Drive Lab. The current CSR 1000V lab includes up to 4 hours of complimentary AWS server time for you to try and evaluate a live CSR.

Don’t forget that you can still try the CSR free for 60-days in AWS with the BYOL version. Visit www.cisco.com/go/csrtrial to get started. For those of you still deciding on how to move to the Cloud, I encourage you to read my last blog post  where I talk about some of the key considerations you should take into account when making a decision. Lastly our technical marketing organization has put together a detailed video showing with 3 simple steps on how to deploy the CSR 1000V in Amazon Web Services. With all these support resources and free trials there is no excuse to not get started today!

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A Global Intercloud: Cisco Cloud Services, Cisco Powered, and You

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 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.

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