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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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Cloud for Local Government Global Blog Series, Be an Agent of Change in Your Organization: Embark on the Cloud Journey

April 25, 2013 at 7:20 am PST

Great challenges can bring great opportunities to any business, and with the inevitability of cloud on the horizon, IT organizations will need to embrace this change. Taking the first, second or even third step can be scary, but the return on taking such risks will pay off so long as the IT organization champions the deployment.

Cisco itself has also had to face these risks of deploying cloud, and has already embarked on the private cloud (IaaS) journey —all the way from virtualizing the compute, network, and storage resources to integrating change management, and metering services for “pay as you use”.

Some of the challenges that we encountered typical that other IT organizations could face in cloud adoption were:

• Ensuring security.
Each cloud solution has to be matched to appropriate security capabilities. The new capabilities may include centralized management (vs. trying to manage firewalls on ever-changing edges or trying to manage security on each endpoint), scalable multi-tenant architectures, real-time threat analysis and dynamic mitigation delivery.

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3 Steps to Prepare Your Network for Cloud

Since the release of the last Cisco Global Cloud Index, cloud computing has evolved from an emerging technology to an established network solution. Cisco Global Cloud Index (GCI) Forecast for 2011-2016 reveals new insights and visibility into emerging trends affecting data centers and cloud architectures at organizations worldwide. Below is an excerpt.

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Cisco’s Kick-Start to Cloud Workshop

Earlier this week, I was joined by Brian Cinque of Cisco IT, Rodrigo Flores and Yair Dolev of our Cloud & Systems Management Business Unit to run a Cloud workshop before the Cloud Expo in Silicon Valley.   We had a very interesting group of attendees that were mostly building private clouds with some public cloud builders.  We discussed a variety of topics such as:

  • To the Cloud and the Big Themes
  • Private Cloud Success:  Cisco IT
  • What type of Cloud are you building (and for whom)?
  • Best practices of successful cloud builders
  • Panel: Storytelling about other successful clouds.

We had great demand for sharing the slide deck that we used so here it is.  Enjoy.

Cisco Kick Start to Cloud Workshop from Cisco Data Center

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Cisco Cloud: a Chance to Capture Your Moment at the Games

By Ian Symes, Director of Marketing, Cisco UK and Ireland

Throughout the Games, just steps away from the Olympic Stadium, crowds have gathered around CiscoCloud, our interactive digital installation at the heart of the Olympic Park.

The installation is positioned opposite the Arcelor Mittal Orbit and is made up of five interactive pods which use 3D image technology to capture visitors’ faces, and create their Olympic ‘GamesFace2012’ using London 2012 images sourced from the web.

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