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A Promise From A Cloud Provider That Means Something

There’s a lot that goes on behind the scenes in cloud. This makes it difficult to know how reliable a provider’s cloud is going to be. Many are best-effort implementations, meaning you only have the provider’s word for it that their cloud is reliable. These providers also often employ a white-box infrastructure so you don’t know what kind of equipment your data is running over or how well integrated that infrastructure is. You have no guarantees, not even an SLA. It’s your business on the line if the cloud goes down. That’s a lot for a cloud provider to ask when they promise, “Trust me.”

And therein lies the power behind Cisco Powered. The promise that a cloud provider who offers Cisco Powered services makes is not just words. It’s a promise with teeth. To use the Cisco Powered ingredient brand, providers must first go through a comprehensive certification process. Then, each and every one of their Cisco Powered services must pass a rigorous third-party audit.

This audit isn’t just a formality. Many of our partners have been surprised at how hard the audit is to pass. But it’s hard for a reason. There’s a lot that can go wrong in the cloud. A provider new to cloud may not be familiar with many of the pitfalls that await them. The audit is there to verify that the provider can and will deliver superior service, security, and support. And they only pass the audit when they are able to prove to a third-party that they can do this.

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Many of these same vendors are the ones who praise the audit once it’s completed. They see the value of making sure that they can deliver. They understand that because the audit is so comprehensive and difficult, they are able to immediately offer a level of service unparalleled in the industry.

The final facet of the reliability of Cisco Powered services is the fact that they run on Cisco equipment. You trust Cisco in your data center and the network. Now you can trust Cisco in the cloud. In addition, because your data and applications are running on Cisco architectures, you’ll know your data is safe with end-to-end security.

The promise of Cisco Powered is that you can connect with confidence. It isn’t a promise our partners make lightly. They’ve worked hard and made a substantial investment in time and money to prove that they can deliver.

There’s a reason Cisco Powered is the industry standard for cloud and managed services. It’s a promise that stands up to its name.

 

Learn more about the promise of Cisco Powered and the Partners offering these services

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Beginning Your Hybrid Cloud Digital Transformation

Moving to cloud has compelling value to organizations of all types and sizes. With benefits such as lower CAPEX, flexible scalability, and global access to enterprise-class IT resources, many businesses are able to increase their agility with public cloud services. As a consequence, they can act upon market opportunities faster and with great efficiency.

The cloud, however, is evolving just as fast as the organizations taking advantage of it are. Traditional public cloud services provide businesses with applications that run outside their data center. New “hybrid” cloud technology actually extends the capacity of data centers without capital investment. With a hybrid cloud you’ll be able to seamlessly access IT resources and other services located in the cloud – even from different service providers – as if they are part of your on-premises data center.

What does this mean for your organization? For Holtzbrinck Publishing Group, moving to hybrid cloud has completely changed how they think about their network. Brent Olson, Director and Chief Architect at Holtzbrinck, says “Our strategic direction is not to buy infrastructure anymore.”

Olson shares more about Holtzbrinck’s hybrid cloud digital transformation in this video. His story begins with a need to expand the production environment for an e-learning platform to be launched in Europe. After teaming with cloud provider iland, Olson discovered that the hybrid cloud had so much more to offer than he realized.

“With Cisco’s Intercloud Fabric and iland as a partner, we were able to give the business units the agility and ability that they needed to spin up their own infrastructure. It’s great that we have more control. We also have choice on where we want to be able to move our workloads. It’s definitely more efficient to use a cloud provider than for us to provision hardware on our own.”

With hybrid cloud, Holtzbrinck can extend its data center across the world. They now have a diverse range of providers, environments and clouds to choose from. And with access to Intercloud Fabric and a broad portfolio of Cisco Powered services, Holtzbrinck has confidence that their hybrid cloud will provide enterprise-class performance, reliability, and security no matter where in the world they are located.

With hybrid cloud, Holtzbrinck has transformed from an old-world publisher into a digital company of the future.

 

Learn what Cisco Powered, Intercloud Fabric, and hybrid cloud technology can do for your organization.

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The Road to Hybrid Cloud: Microsoft Azure Certified with Cisco Cloud Architecture

Today marks another important milestone in our cloud journey together with Microsoft.

Back in March, Cisco and Microsoft announced a jointly engineered solution for service providers designed to dramatically improve the time to market with hybrid cloud services.  The power of the solution is the combination of Windows Azure Pack with Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure.  The result is a set of pre-packaged applications libraries that allow service providers to rapidly deploy services, reducing up-front costs and enabling faster time-to-revenue. In addition, the combined solution features automated provisioning, which enables service providers to set up a new tenant in two hours versus 12 when creating a new customer environment – a huge competitive advantage.

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Carrier-Class Cloud

When evaluating cloud services, many organizations make the mistake of focusing largely on a service’s contracted price. While this takes into account the initial outlay and operational cost of a cloud service, it fails to consider the potential losses a business can incur when a service that does not accurately meet all of its specific needs.

As Philip T. Kiser details in “Deciding Between Public Cloud and Managed Services”, you have many options when building out your cloud. These different options offer varying levels of reliability and availability. Commodity-class public cloud services, for example, offer low cost but they provide only best-effort service. If these services support a critical part of your organization, service failure can bring your business to a standstill. For some companies, downtime can be measured in millions of dollars an hour and likely many dissatisfied customers.

Managed services can come into play for applications needing minimum levels of reliability. Managed services are implemented in your data center but managed by your cloud provider. This frees you to focus on running your business rather than managing your network. Depending upon the provider, you can also get public cloud services with enterprise-class performance. For example, every cloud provider offering Cisco Powered services provides, at a minimum, enterprise-class service backed by SLAs that guarantee 99.99% to 99.999% uptime. With more than 600 Cisco Powered providers and resellers offering 575+ services, there are local and global capabilities available to you throughout the world.

Some applications, however, need an even higher level of reliability and availability. For example, if the voice services for a contact center go down, this can quickly escalate into severe revenue losses for an organization. For this reason, cloud providers like TeleSpace take their Cisco Powered services to the highest levels: carrier-class availability.

TeleSpace achieves this by building redundancy throughout its network. Consider that many organizations are powered by only a single circuit. If the power goes out, these organizations are limited by the capacity of their uninterruptible power supply (UPS). Because TeleSpace is able to share its cost among its customers, it can provide the highest levels of redundancy. With their own backhaul and six carriers coming into their cloud, the odds of a TeleSpace service going down are on a level with which an on-premises data center simply can’t compete.

However, not every application needs enterprise- or carrier-class service. In these cases, commodity-class service can be cost effective. But for the mission-critical parts of your business, downtime losses mean commodity-class services actually provide you marginal service at a higher cost. By selecting a service with the right level of reliability, you can avoid downtime losses that eat away at the profitability of your business and minimize the risk of losing dissatisfied customers.

To find a provider who can offer you enterprise- or carrier-class cloud services, visit the Cisco Partner Locator.

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Dinner as a Service (DaaS) – or a just better path to the cloud?

I’ll be the first to admit that I am not a cloud expert by any means: not as a private pilot or marketing professional working in high tech..

But I do know this

Cloud computing can be intimidating – just as real clouds are intimidating to any general aviation pilot looking to fly from point A to point B under visual flight rules (VFR). In aviation it’s simple: avoid them.

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Atlantic Ocean out my window flying over RI – March 2015

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