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Serving up cloud options just got easier

Got cloud? 

It’s no secret that implementing cloud technologies allows IT to rapidly react and dynamically deliver new services to any business or organization almost instantly.

In an ideal world, cloud services—whether private, public, or hybrid—allow users access to applications wherever, however, and whenever they need.

Operating in the cloud can help solve some of your most cumbersome business and IT challenges. For starters, it can provide scalability, reduce costs, improve collaboration, and enable automation.

It sounds great, right? So what’s the holdup with cloud adoption?

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An Application-Centric Gem from Cisco Live US 2015

At Cisco Live 2015 in San Diego last week, we had a great turnout in customers and Cisco evangelists engaging in hundreds of conversations about the cloud, the future and present of networking, making new friends and having a good time.

In our Cisco Live Data Center press release and during Soni Jiandani’s Innovation Talk, we introduced a new member of the ACI ecosystem, CLiQr.  I want to highlight CliQr here to illustrate the power of the open APIC for definition of application policy intent for scale, security, and enabling simple, fast, self-service deployment of an application on private or public cloud infrastructure. This new demo with CliQr’s CloudCenter and ACI integration captures the cloud admin’s experience to define and deploy a 3-tier application across compute, network, and storage shared resources.

CliQr and ACI demo CliQr and ACI demo2

Cisco ACI, when combined with CliQr’s CloudCenterTM Platform, delivers the promise of true end-to-end application-defined management of workloads in a secure and optimized ACI-powered cloud environment. The joint solution enables numerous advantages:

  • A highly automated, 1-click end-to-end provisioning of infrastructure (compute, storage and network) as per the application’s requirement, following the best-practices guidelines of the infrastructure.
  • Application-centric policy model that decouples policy (security, auditing, service-level agreements (SLAs), user experience, etc.) from network topology and supports application mobility
  • Application deployments are secured with CliQr CloudCenterTM’s governance policies and are enforced with ACI’s policy-based forwarding capabilities with strong isolation and automated insertion of Firewalls and security appliances into the application traffic flow.
  • End-to-end Visibility and Control: All of this delivered in a single graphical dashboard, providing true end-to-end visibility and control from the application down – all in one logical environment.

To learn more about Cisco ACI integration with CliQr CloudCenterTM register for the upcoming webinar June 18 here.

To Learn More:

Blog: CliQr Announces Support for Cisco ACI

White Paper: Cisco ACI and CliQr CloudCenterTM Integration and Solution Overview

Webcast: The Application-Defined Advantage – CliQr CloudCenterTM with Cisco ACI

Press Release: Cisco Extends SDN Leadership; Delivers Customer Choice for Data Center Programmability and Automation; Enhances Software and Expands Nexus Portfolio

Cisco Live Innovation Talk: INTGEN-1007 – Fast Track to Fast IT: Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure



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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.

Screen Shot 2015-06-01 at 1.01.39 PM

Atlantic Ocean out my window flying over RI – March 2015

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Using the Cloud Strategically

A recent blog from Sungard AS, Stretch Your IT Dollar with Cloud Computing Services, offers more than just ideas on how cloud can extend your IT budget.  It also covers ways organizations of all sizes can use cloud services strategically to meet their goals, as well as provides a link to materials useful for companies considering the move to cloud.

A key part of Cisco’s cloud strategy is to enable service providers like Sungard AS to offer a wide range of cloud-based services. These cloud services aren’t simply cloud-based copies of data center applications.  Because they are based in the cloud, they can provide even greater flexibility and value.  This gives businesses fast access to new technology without the delay or expense of capital expenditures.  Put another way, this gives businesses a powerful competitive edge.

For example, organizations can deploy disaster recovery in the cloud.  The use of shared, multi-tenant architectures enables businesses to minimize the cost and complexity of a disaster recovery solution.  This provides greater flexibility, giving businesses more options that can be tailored to meet their specific needs and budget.

Cisco’s portfolio of cloud services is extensive.  It includes:

Collaboration services like TelePresence as a Service (TPaaS) and Contact Center as a Service (CCaaS)

Infrastructure services like Desktop as a Service (DaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Disaster Recovery as a Service (DRaaS), and Bring Your Own Device as a Service (BYODaaS)

Software services like Application Experience as a Service (AXaaS)

Security services like Hosted Security as a Service (HSS)

And the list only continues to grow.

An important part of this portfolio is that providers can offer these services as Cisco Powered services.  Every service is built upon validated architectures.  As such, they provide enterprise-class performance and reliability as a minimum standard.

The top percentage of Cisco partners, however, take these services to the highest level.  By passing a third-party audit, cloud providers like Sungard AS have verified that they can deliver the service, security, and support they promise.  They also earn the right to use the Cisco Powered logo.

For you as a cloud user, the Cisco Powered logo means a service has passed Cisco’s stringent standards.  As a result, the service provides fast time to market with ensured performance.  You also benefit from ongoing innovation by your service provider and Cisco as they continue to innovate and improve services.

Using the cloud strategically is crucial for survival in today’s competitive world.  However, not all cloud services are created equal.  Commodity-based services built on best-effort networks can’t give you the confidence you need to move your mission-critical applications to the cloud.  To execute a great cloud strategy, you need cloud services you can trust.

Learn more about how Cisco Powered can transform your business.

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On a Quest for an Alternative Desktop

Sales teams everywhere are embracing recent advancements in technology—think smart devices, mobility, and wireless. But expectations and requirements of implementing a mobile management strategy can put a high demand on IT departments to ensure network accessibility, security, and scalability.

While business and IT are meshing more and more, it’s important to understand that they’re still not the same thing. Your company needs to be able to focus on your core competency, whatever it may be. To keep focus in your area of expertise, have you considered outsourcing? Finding a trusted managed services provider means that you don’t have to sacrifice the advantages of innovative technology to business—you can still gain the benefits, without the time, expenses, and headaches.

Unleashing IT has a new, special edition coming soon that highlights Cisco Powered™ Cloud and Managed Services. Our experts team up with other industry leaders to find you a solution that fits your business objectives. Outsourcing your desktops or infrastructure to the cloud allows your data to be readily available and accessible yet secure, and removes burden of IT management.

Featured customer JMAC Lending, a wholesale mortgage lending company in California, began tossing around the idea of outsourcing their IT and moving desktops to the cloud. Sensitive customer data was a big concern—JMAC needed to have access to information on the go while ensuring it was not accessible to just anyone. To eliminate risk, JMAC wanted to allow company desktops to be available to its sales team from anywhere—in a secure environment—without having the data stored on personal devices, or even viewable by the service provider.

They found a suitable solution from Cisco Powered service provider Quest Technology Management, and their desktop-as-a-service (DaaS) vision came to life. Read the full article on And pre-order your own copy of Unleashing IT: Cisco Powered Special Edition to read similar experiences with managed services from Cisco.

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