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My First Cloud: Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud – Starter Edition

Please be aware that this product is no longer sold.

Introducing Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud -- Starter Edition. Or as I like to call it, My First Cloud.

I’ve written in the past of cloud being journey to a new operational model and thus makes demand on the technology, process and organizational model.  It changes the relationship between the provider and the consumer of a service.

This operational model is one with resource pools available on demand, metered, pay as you use.  The reality for many enterprises is this is aspirational and not a realistic first step.

Today, he resource pools are funded by department, there’s no automation or self-service to meet the on-demand self-service aspect of cloud.

And there’s lots of fears beyond security; like the fear of rampant waste and capacity outages.

There’s also the issue of complexity and where will the skills to do service design and automation will come from? Global 2000 companies can easily afford big ticket consulting engagements, but smaller ones can’t.

The channel is key to serve the rest of the market but where are the channel partners for cloud?

So complexity and lack of expertise, in our view, were seriously hindering the adoption of cloud operations.

Our response is the first in a series of products to bring cloud operations capabilities to different market segments.  For example, the needs of a mid-size organization are very different than the needs of global enterprise and different again from a service provider.

Even in service provider, there are huge differences in operations and scale between traditional managed hosting provider, an outsourcer, a webscale company and a national telco or network provider.

So the way to simplify delivery for midsize business,  enterprise departments or smaller managed hosting provider is to embed an operational model, pre-packaged automation and a set of competent channel partners that can quickly and inexpensively turn on your first cloud at a reasonable price.

This is what Intelligent Automation Starter Edition represents: a simple, inexpensive way to get to a customer’s first cloud.

Customer’s can use it to learn how to operate the first basic offering; also, it’s upgradeable to Cisco’s Intelligent Automation -- Standard Edition when the customer  needs additional, more sophisticated service offering

I recommend start with a video demo.  Information page is here.

Jason wrote about it, so head there as well

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API Compatibility: From cruising at self-service speed to “we gotta have a meeting”

Today’s announcement that Citrix is dropping support for OpenStack has reverberated through the clouderati sphere like a new Justin Bieber song through my niece’s third grade class. Super important but will not matter much when the next idol arrives.

In any case, a lot of smart people have written about it. I’ll leave them to explain the whole thing.

Cloud Avenue has a good in-depth coverage post. And so does James Staten of Forrester. Randy Bias also weighs in as well.  I’m sure I’m missing other worthy commentators.

But the post that most caught my attention came from Thorsten at Rightscale‘s.  We both share something in common: we both build products that connect to cloud API’s. Including vendor who have API’s that claim to be compatible EC2. This experience, I think provides a useful point of view when thinking about API compatibility. Not to mention it creates a jaundiced view of the human soul.

Thorsten writes.

I’ve said it many times and I’ll repeat it again: it’s the semantics of the resources in the cloud that matter, not the syntax of the API. This means that “API compatibility” has to reach very, very deep to be meaningful. Let me give you a couple of examples around EC2.

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Automation and IT-as-a-Service at Cisco Live in Melbourne

We’re in the sporting and cultural capital of Australia this week for Cisco Live! Did you know that Melbourne is the only city in the world that has five international standard sporting facilities surrounding its central business district?

You might see a rugby match while in town, but I’d suggest you also tackle the Cisco Live World of Solutions expo.  We have an exciting demo to show you in the Cisco Data Centre booth: Intelligent Automation for Cloud, a key component of the Unified Management pillar of our Unified Data Center platform.

Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud is a cloud management and orchestration software solution that complements Cisco UCS and Nexus to provide self-service on-demand provisioning of IT resources.  This new solution is becoming as ubiquitous as the sporting facilities in Melbourne.  Cisco partners including Alphawest / Optus, CSC, and VCE are also showcasing our Intelligent Automation for Cloud software in action at their booths.

Essentially, this solution will help you tackle the challenge of deploying infrastructure-as-a-service – and adopt an IT-as-a-Service (ITaaS) strategy. Here’s a short analyst video on delivering ITaaS with Cisco Intelligent Automation:

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Private Cloud Roadshow: CITEIS – Coming to a City Near You!

You are probably thinking that CITEIS is a typo – but it’s not. In fact, CITEIS stands for Cisco IT Elastic Infrastructure Services and it’s the name that Cisco’s IT department coined for our internal private cloud.

You can read more about CITEIS here, including an explanation of the two options: CITEIS “Express” for on-demand access to virtual compute resources from a shared pool of resources; and CITEIS “VDC” (Virtual Data Center) to provision your own virtual data center with a reserved pool of compute, storage, and network capacity.

We recently recorded a brief demo video of the Express version so you can see how it works:

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Cloud Management with Cisco Intelligent Automation + vCloud Director at VMware Partner Exchange

This week is a busy one for the Intelligent Automation cloud team, with both VMware Partner Exchange in Las Vegas and Cloud Connect in Santa Clara.

Cloud Connect is (as you might expect) all about cloud.  At VMware Partner Exchange, you’ll learn about virtual desktops, virtual workspaces, and VXI with Cisco and VMware View.  But you can also learn about more about Cisco and VMware’s complementary cloud management solutions – to help our customers accelerate their journey to cloud computing.

You may have heard about the Cisco IT internal private cloud (CITEIS – Cisco IT Elastic Infrastructure Services) by now.  At VMworld last fall, our IT team gave a presentation on how they deployed Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud together with VMware vSphere and vCloud Director for this successful initiative:

If you’re at VMware Partner Exchange this year, you’ll have an opportunity to learn how we did it, how it works, why it delivered great results, and how you can deploy a similar solution.  Just make sure you visit Cisco in booth 308 to see a demo of cloud management with Intelligent Automation – and attend our sessions below.

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