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Cisco IAC Availability, Scalability, and Geographic Distribution

When building a cloud, scale it out.

Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud architecture and topology options enable scalability, availability, and geographic distribution. This white paper discusses several options, their strengths and uses, and the technical details underlying these options.”

Cisco IAC Availability, Scalability, and Geographic Distribution White Paper is available in the Cisco support community (log in needed)

Here’s an excerpt:

 

Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC) is a software-based solution for managing hardware infrastructure tasked with delivering various IT services as-a-service (XaaS). Cisco IAC provides configuration “content” to help customers rapidly deploy service-delivered, self-service enabled IT services on certain hardware architectures. Consulting services from Cisco Advanced Services or Cisco delivery partners can use the IAC infrastructure to create custom services for customers. This white paper discusses the software underpinnings of these services and options for deployment that provide scalability and resilience for large enterprises or service providers.
The major platform products which make up IAC relevant to a scaling and resiliency discussion are:

  • The Cisco Cloud Portal – The dynamic, tailored end-user web site where customers and administrators can browse available services and options, and order new services or changes to existing services. This element consists of a web tier which interacts with the browser to expose the Portal UI and an application tier which includes the Portal and Service Catalog. The Service Catalog provides the menu of available services, including new-service and update-service requests, as well as definitions and configurations for roles, business rules, dynamic form rules, and entitlement.
  • Cisco Process Orchestrator  – The delivery engine that makes the Move/Add/Change/Delete (MACD) changes to the steady-state configuration of the computing, network, storage, and application infrastructure (“Infrastructure”) needed to deliver the requested new service or service change. Orchestrator processes automate workflows which interact with applications, systems, and devices in the environment.
  • A database stores configuration, state, and runtime information from the above systems.
  • Cisco Network Services Manager (NSM) Server – a specialized engine for network provisioning. Cisco Network Services Manager’s policy-driven approach allows clouds to be created within single or multiple network Points of Delivery (PoDs), each with potentially different and unique offerings and operational behaviors.
  • Cisco NSM Controller – a local element near network devices within a network PoD which performs direct device interactions to achieve network provisioning at the direction of the NSM Server.
  • Cisco Server Provisioner – provides bare metal provisioning (remote installation) of an OS or hypervisor on a physical or virtual server, as well as bare metal imaging for system cloning and backup.

 

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Customers Sprint and CSC Share Their Cloud Transformation Best Practices

Cloud service providers, Sprint and CSC, collaborated in a joint webcast hosted by Cisco to share their cloud transformation best practices. I find it impressive to see how far the conversation around cloud has come along in the last few years. It’s no longer a question of “Should we?” but it has evolved to become a “What’s the best way?” mindset. There are many routes to success in a world of many clouds, and Sprint and CSC are two examples from the supply side of the equation. Read More »

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What Is Cisco UNIFIED FABRIC? Why Should You Care?

Is your network ready to help you transform and be the strategic partner that you can be? Let’s face it… Today’s data centers are challenged with siloed resources and facilities… Limited scalability… Poor resource utilization… Growing complexity…Perhaps the biggest challenge is time.  When 80% of your resources are dedicated to “keeping the lights on” and managing all what you have, there is very little time left for innovation that benefits the business.

And the reality is that the role of IT has to change – from a cost center to a business strategic partner!  Why? Because there are increasing demands on IT to help your business differentiate in order to survive and grow in these rough economic conditions. And let’s not forget that the increasing cost pressures, technology changes, and the advent of game-changers like cloud are forcing IT executives to look at how to deliver IT differently. 

These growing demands put even more pressure on the shoulders of IT especially given the current state of your Data Centers. The data center network sits at the core of IT and is key to how IT can deliver services and provide value back to the business.

So what do you do?  The good news is that …

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Electronic Testing Services (ETS) Uses Cisco Cloud Computing to Deliver Standardized Testing

Cloud-based computing is being viewed by schools, colleges and universities as an increasingly attractive option for delivering education services more securely, reliably, and economically.

Cisco cloud customer, Electronic Testing Services (ETS), took part in a joint webcast to discuss the economic advantages of cloud computing. If you weren’t aware, ETS hosts the advanced placement exam for students. Their previous infrastructure saw low utilization rates due to once-per-year exams. By using Cisco cloud computing, ETS now sees revenues more closely matching expenses.

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Cloud Bursts into Higher Education

Universities are embracing cloud computing services models for research, student engagement, and cross-university collaboration but struggle to determine the best way to use these services given high security concerns. As a result, there has been a strong interest and investment in private cloud solutions and interest in community clouds specific to the higher education sector.

Forrester Consulting, on behalf of Cisco, recently investigated the degree of cloud adoption by 12 universities in the US, the UK, Australia, New Zealand, and India, primarily around learning, collaboration, research and administration.

What cloud technologies are being used — private, public, hybrid, or community — and what drove Universities to cloud? What benefits did Universities receive from the cloud and the challenges they faced. Also, what were the IT leaders’ evaluation of the vendor(s) they used and the kind of services vendors could provide?
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