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Cloud Computing – When Change is Hard, Standards & Structure Help

In my journeys to various industry events over the past 6 months, one element of Cloud Computing has begun to resonate over and over from attendees (customers, service providers, systems integrators) -- that we’re well past the stage of discussing or debating “what is Cloud computing?” and that we’ve moved to the stage of many live deployments.

But there is still some confusion or reluctance to reach broad deployments. The bottleneck seems to be less about technology and more related to the challenge of dealing with change. Not only is IT trying to figure out how to evolve their skills to new technologies (converged infrastructure, virtualization, and automation), but they are also trying to evolve their operating models to serve the business in faster, more efficient ways. And so many IT organizations are trying to figure out how to make the first steps to get over this critical hurdle, to provide a more standardized way for the business to interact with IT and derive value from improved pace of application deployments.

The journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step” -- Confucius

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To Cloud or Not to Cloud?

Everyone seems to have their head in the “clouds” these days.  At my house, we are CNN junkies.  If you want to get the low down on top business news of the week in a humorous way, watch Quest & Ali (Q & A).  They recently discussed, “Should you ditch your hard drive for the cloud?”  Being a consumer and/or a small business it’s a decision worth investigation.  By using the cloud over a hard drive, you can access your data from anywhere, it’s more efficient and you can’t lose it.  US eCommerce says, sales for cloud computing equated to 142B last year and an added 100B expected this year.

The old school hard drive users are not quite there with the cloud.  They realize it’s the future but not yet.  Some feel the cloud offers too many risks with security, viruses and bugs.  They also don’t believe it is more cost efficient to use a cloud server than their own hard drive.  Small businesses have found cloud computing to be worth the risks according to 75 percent of respondents to a Cisco survey.  At my house, my totally tech husband can’t wait to have our home computing in the cloud.

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Does your Cloud have “Cisco UCS and Cisco Nexus” Inside?

When I meet with customers and analysts, I’m often asked about Cisco’s Cloud Computing strategy. Many of us have written about it before, including Lew Tucker (Cisco Cloud CTO) and other executive leaders. While we talk about technology innovation, an open ecosystem of partners and driving new ways for customers to solve business problems, there is a key element that is sometimes overlooked. That element is Cisco’s stated direction NOT to compete with our customers (service providers or systems integrators), instead focusing on delivering the critical infrastructure (hardware and software) for building private, public, hybrid and community clouds.

While many of our partners agree with this approach [1][2], some of our competitors do not. Fair enough, everyone needs to figure out their own business models. One of the byproducts of our strategy is that we’re able to take the learnings from certain market segments and quickly apply them to other market segments. We’re not restricted in trying to put together the best possible solutions for our customers. In fact, we’ve created Cloud Builder programs to encourage our Channel Partners and Services Providers to work more closely together to solve customer needs. Read More »

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Welcoming newScale to Cisco – Storefront to the Cloud

As a follow-up to this discussion about Cloud Management, at EMC World 2011, I had the chance to do this quick video with Jeff Winter to discuss:

  • An introduction to newScale
  • Where newScale fits into a Cloud Computing environment
  • Why Enterprise and Service Provider customers choose newScale
  • newScale’s alignment with Cisco’s Cloud vision
  • Open integration with leading Cloud Computing tools and platforms

As you can see, newScale is a great platform to build your Cloud storefront and extend your Journey to Cloud.

To learn more about Cisco’s Cloud Solutions, please visit the Cloud homepage

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Cloud Management Confusion? Not Here…

Just the other day, one of our competitors crowed that Cisco customers must be confused about how to manage Cisco equipment when attempting to build a Cloud Computing environment. From their perspective, customers should embrace the mainframe days when a single company delivered all the hardware and software, along with an army of ever-present consultant to make it all work. Don’t worry about complexity Mr.Customer, there isn’t any because you don’t ever see it. And don’t worry about the $bill$ either, because the contract will rollover from one IT administration to the next IT administration.

Based on Cisco’s presence at EMC World last week, I can understand why they would be confused. Not only did live, managed Cisco and VCE Vblock equipment show up in several keynotes (Pat Gelsinger, Paul Maritz, Sanjay Mirchandani), it was also discussed in packed breakout sessions, and in the booths of Cisco, EMC, EMC IT, VCE, newScale, BMC, CA and VMware.

Within the Cisco booth, we highlighted just one of our Cloud Management solutions, Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud, in the context of our broader “Cisco Cloud Solutions” strategy.

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