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Cisco Cloud Services Opens New Opportunities for Partners

The market is moving fast and the pace of change is dramatic. The days of partners launching new services into the market every 6-12 months are gone. Customers are expecting new applications almost daily that will allow them to deliver innovation, increase top line revenue and accelerate productivity across their company.

As the supply of cloud services grows we see the need for our partners to tap into a diverse set of public clouds around the world to enable unmatched data sovereignty, and we see more opportunities for them to work together around common standards of workload interoperability, global portability and security. However until today, there has never been the right platform to allow partners to harness the world of many clouds on behalf of their customers. Cisco today announced plans to build a global intercloud – a network of clouds – together with a set of partners.  Called Cisco Cloud Services, this new intercloud opens up a myriad of new opportunities for partners.

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 through new Cisco cloud offers for faster time to market and global scale. Read More »

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#CiscoChampion Radio S1|Ep1: InterCloud, Cloud in 2014

Welcome to #CiscoChampion Radio, a podcast series by and for Cisco Champions as technologists, hosted by Cisco’s Amy Lewis (@CommsNinja). This week we’re talking about Cisco’s InterCloud announcement and where Cloud is going in 2014.

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Listen to the Podcast.

Featured Guests:
Cisco Champions: Eric Wright (@discoposse) and Jonathan Davis (@subnetwork)
Cisco Subject Matter Expert: Mark Loesel

Highlights:
The advantage of the hybrid Cloud
The Inevitability of Cloud
How Cloud impacts privacy
Which businesses have the most opportunity with Cloud
How Cloud will mature
How Cisco InterCloud is securing enterprise data in a hybrid/public Cloud scenario

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Getting Beyond “Why Cloud For Collaboration?”

Why should I move to the cloud for collaboration? This is the question I get asked most often, and it’s easy to understand why;  there is a lot of noise in the market around Cloud and Collaboration.  Adoption has been pretty rapid by both IT and business units–so it’s no wonder interest in Cloud Collaboration is so high.  Looking across all the current research that I see, about half of respondents currently use -- or plan to use -- the cloud for collaboration services.   So why Cloud?  Well, often it helps solve a series of problems, provides a more integrated solution and better connects people.  Often the biggest reason is that it provides what’s needed to run the business. 

Perhaps instead of focusing on ‘cloud’ per se, you should focus on your business.  What business challenges could the cloud help you solve?  Customers I speak to are often looking to reduce complexity, control costs or make them more predictable, and become more agile.   In our discussions Read More »

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Lifestreaming in the Personal Cloud Era

Technology is changing the world at an ever increasing rate. The exponential jumps in processing power, mobile technologies, storage, and connection speeds are facilitating a whole new suite of possibilities. We are beginning to see the creation and realities of new connected experiences that allow us to capture and document our lives in countless ways.  Our memories and experiences can be digitally chronicled and preserved perhaps forever. Where and how do we store our ever-expanding archive of personal history? How will we be able to find, share, or extract what we need, when we need it?      

(Fun Fact: The volume of such data already being saved to the cloud is staggering: in Dropbox alone, one billion files are uploaded every 24 hours!)

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Enter the era of the personal cloud. According to Gartner’s IT predictions for 2014, personal cloud will solidify the shift from devices to services. So it won’t matter which device captures information or images; you’re personal cloud will be the hub that centralizes everything. You’ll have almost unlimited potential in recording and archiving your life, with easier and faster access. While this notion of “lifestreaming” – i.e., creating a digital diary and archive of one’s life and activities – has been around for years, social media aggregators like Facebook have only begun to address the scope of what it can be.

Read More »

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“Has Hybrid Cloud Arrived? Part 2: Cisco InterCloud makes hybrid cloud real !

In my last blog, “Has Hybrid Cloud Arrived? Part 1: And How Will it Shape the Role of IT Going Forward?” we looked at the business drivers of a hybrid cloud and previewed the key requirements. In this blog, we will look at Cisco InterCloud – a hybrid cloud solution, we announced this week at Cisco Live! Milan, to address the hybrid cloud needs for enterprise and service provider customers.

Business leaders today are heavily growth-oriented and are looking at new ways of deploying applications to obtain greater agility. That is where we see hybrid cloud becoming mainstream as it frees businesses to run applications on-demand and where it’s most cost-effective. Cisco InterCloud was announced to address this opportunity and facilitate optimal hybrid cloud deployments.

Hybrid Cloud

Cisco InterCloud comes with unique capabilities that enable enterprises to connect their private cloud to heterogeneous public clouds. It creates the notion of a single scalable hybrid cloud for all physical, virtual and cloud workloads -- an infinite datacenter where the public cloud is treated as a virtual extension of the data center. Cisco InterCloud is designed with these tenets:

Open: Customers are excited about Cisco InterCloud, as it is an open solution that gives customers the freedom to choose hypervisor on private cloud and select their public cloud from a rich ecosystem of cloud providers. Service providers like InterCloud as it is open API based, integrates with multiple cloud platforms, e.g., CloudStack, vCloud, and OpenStack and enables them to rapidly offer a hybrid cloud solution. It reduces the effort to onboard enterprise customers. Cisco InterCloud thus provides a multi-cloud, multi-hypervisor cloud experience.

Secure: Another key factor in hybrid cloud adoption is the need to address the security and compliance concerns of public cloud deployment. Cisco InterCloud provides end-to-end secure connectivity by encrypting traffic between the enterprise private cloud and the service provider cloud. It also ensures workload security by encrypting all data-in-motion within shared multi-tenant public cloud. Additionally, customers can also deploy network services such as zone based virtual firewall and edge firewall for further workload security within public cloud.

Flexible: Customers demand bi-directional workload portability across private and public clouds. With Cisco InterCloud, customers not only can provision workloads from a self-service portal, but also with a click, migrate workloads to the public cloud and back. All of this activity happens behind the scenes as InterCloud converts workloads to the right VM format, such as VMware VMDK to AWS AMI, or to CloudStack format for providers such as BT. It makes workload portability easier as applications don’t need to be re-architected as IP addresses are retained upon migration and enterprise VLANs are extended into the cloud.

I believe that lines of business and developers are leading the journey to hybrid cloud adoption. IT has realized that it needs to shift away from its role as gatekeeper to instead being a partner to Lines of Business but IT faces certain challenges in doing so. IT has to deal with the overhead of integrating with each cloud provider and find ways to do in a secure manner. Cisco InterCloud enables IT to act as a cloud broker on behalf of lines of business. Cisco InterCloud provides unified hybrid cloud management through a built-in IT Admin portal and an extensible northbound API layer. It also allows IT to enforce consistent network security, L4-7 services and workload policies throughout the hybrid cloud.

This week’s Cisco InterCloud announcement demonstrates our continued commitment to customers. We envision a future where customers have an array of cloud options and can pick the ‘best fit’ based on workload needs, performance, cost, and location requirements. We are going into beta next quarter and have announced general availability soon afterwards. As 2014 dawns, we see a shift towards mainstream hybrid cloud adoption — hybrid cloud is finally here for real.

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