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Bookends That Prevent Your Cloud from Getting Away From You

Cloud platforms are an increasingly viable option for a growing set of enterprise and service provider workloads. A recent IDC report estimated that private cloud software, including hosted private cloud, represented 62% of IT spending in 2012.

Cisco is a unique cloud provider because it delivers solutions for the two critical management bookends for your journey to the cloud. The first bookend, Cisco UCS Director, automates converged and multi-vendor infrastructure, and I’ve written a lot about that. Today I’m focusing on the second bookend that completes the journey, Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC).

Cisco IAC delivers all the critical elements required to deliver speed, flexibility and the competitive innovation promised by cloud-based deployments. These include:
• A self-service portal and standardized menu of services
• Service delivery automation
• Operational process automation
• Resource management automation
• Service life cycle automation

There are a lot of value statements about cloud but they all center on these basic propositions:

1) Cloud delivers simple, abstracted environments that are presented to end users for consumption on-demand. The business experiences faster and easier development and deployment of new applications or services.
2) Cloud allows organizations to focus on what makes them different and effective rather than on mundane tasks that do not add value to the business.

So, does cloud do this? Here are two customer stories that answer this question with real evidence.

ASE-IT is a service provider that was founded in 2001 and has used cloud automation to gain a competitive advantage and grow to one of the top 10 service providers in Australia.

Aurecon provides engineering, management and specialist technical services for both the private and public sector. Faced with a rapidly expanding business and a data center that had reached the end of its life, Aurecon utilized cloud automation to get closer to their stakeholders and develop new innovative services.

By deploying Cisco IAC, both companies reported the ability to:
• Accommodate rapid business growth without adding additional IT staff
• Standardize their IT environments providing the ability to grow the size, scope and
scale of services delivered to their customers
• Increase their customer base and global presence as a result of the nimbleness and agility of their IT environments
• Increase collaboration among development and IT teams resulting in new automation use cases to drive even greater innovation

In order to have visibility into your cloud and manage it properly to achieve your business goals, you need a bookend solution like Cisco IAC. Otherwise, cloud control can and will drift, and your organization will feel the impact as goals become harder to reach.

To learn more about Cisco IAC, you can watch this video or visit the Cisco IAC website.

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Data Center and Cloud Management at Cisco Live Orlando, 2013

June 24, 2013 at 5:00 am PST

We’re excited to showcase Unified Management solutions in the Data Center and Cloud booth at Cisco Live Orlando this week!

There are a wide variety of opportunities to meet and engage with Data Center and Cloud Management experts at Cisco Live, and learn about the latest developments in data center management and automation software solutions.

Make it easy on yourself and download the Unified Management @ Cisco Live At-a-Glance for a daily guide to the breakout and theater sessions, demos, keynotes and customer events you don’t want to miss.

Data center and cloud management solutions will be featured in over 20 breakout sessions, track sessions, and keynotes. See below for examples:

10+ breakout sessions on Cisco UCS Director (formerly Cloupia), Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud, Cisco Prime Service Catalog (formerly Cisco Service Portal), Cisco Prime Network Services Controller (formerly VNMC), and others

2 Cisco on Cisco, Inside Cisco IT sessions and 2 IT Management Track sessions on Cisco IT’s Private Cloud and eStore / BYOD initiatives using Unified Management software

2 Tomorrow’s Cloud Program sessions with Jamie Lerner of CSMTG on Orchestrating & Automating Tomorrow’s Cloud and Rebecca Jacoby providing a CIO’s View on ITaaS

2 Keynote mentions, with Rob Lloyd highlighting UCS Director as well as our SAP IT Process Automation and David Yen providing an overview of Unified Management

View more Unified Management sessions and abstracts here.

You’ll find demos of Unified Management software in many locations throughout the World of Solutions Expo, including:

Cisco Data Center and Cloud booth

◦       Cisco UCS Central and UCS Manager

◦       Cisco UCS Director (formerly Cloupia) – Converged Infrastructure Management

◦       Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC) – Cloud Management Multi-Cloud and DevOps Solution Accelerators – Cisco IAC + OpenStack, Puppet, Chef

◦       Cisco Prime Data Center Network Manager (DCNM) and Next-Generation Unified Fabric

◦       Cisco Nexus 1000V InterCloud – with Cisco Prime Network Services Controller

◦       Big Data – with Cisco UCS and Cisco Tidal Enterprise Scheduler (TES)

Cisco Prime booth 

◦       Cisco Prime Service Catalog (formerly newScale)

◦       Cisco Prime Network Services Controller (formerly VNMC)

Cisco IT booth

◦       Cisco eStore (powered by Cisco Prime Service Catalog)

◦       Cisco IT Elastic Infrastructure Services (powered by Cisco IAC)

Cisco ONE -- Intelligent Programmable Networks booth 

◦       SAP IT Process Automation (ITPA) by Cisco – with SAP HANA and onePK

See what our partners and customers have to say:

NetApp and VCE booths 

◦       Featuring Cisco UCS Director (formerly Cloupia) in the NetApp booth

◦       Featuring Cisco UCS Director and Cisco IAC in the VCE booth

Windstream demo pod in Data Center and Cloud booth

◦       Cisco IAC + Vblock service provider customer

Other ecosystem partners

◦       Cloud Cruiser (financial management and Cisco IAC) and MapR (Hadoop and Cisco TES)

Cisco Campus

 

In addition to the demonstrations, we’ll have several theater presentations in the World of Solutions including:

Read More »

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Cloud for Local Government Global Blog Series, A Better Economy in the Cloud

My colleague Norm Jacknis (former CIO of Westchester County, New York) passed along a list of CIO concerns for 2013 that was prepared by Alan Shark of Public Technology Institute, a nonprofit that provides technology guidance to local government. The list for cities and counties included:

1. Big Data (Smart City)

2. Consolidation

3. GIS as centerpiece for strategic decision making

4. Mobility and broadband deployment

5. Cyber and network security

6. Cloud-based solutions

7. Legacy/modernization, RFP

8. Unified citizen engagement (311, social media)

9. Consumerization of technology (BYOD)

10. Shared services (across all jurisdictions)

What would you add or subtract?

I’d want to expand on a few of these items to include another emerging issue for CIOs and other government leaders: getting cities to embrace cloud and networking tools – while moving their urban economies forward.

Well, there’s good news to report on that overarching concern. There are several opportunities to learn more about how cities can embrace technology for economic growth:

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Cloud for Local Government Global Blog Series, Cloud and the Smart City: A Brighter Tomorrow

In my last blog, I discussed the benefits of Smart City cloud management capabilities. An intelligent IP-enabled network unites multiple services onto one infrastructure, allowing for tight operations management and lower expenses. Operating this network remotely, through the cloud, further enhances the capability for sustainable, effective city management.

As Smart City visions emerge in various projects in local government, we will see a combination of new ways of thinking, designing, planning, executing, and managing. Busan, South Korea has already discovered the powerful benefits of cloud infrastructure to create Smart+Connected Communities solutions. The government partnered with companies to create a Mobile Application Center to utilize city assets and the connected network. (You can also watch a video series, “Cities of the Future,” on Songdo, South Korea and how this new connected Smart City was designed, planned, and built.)

There are some important steps that other cities and governments can take to harness the power of the cloud to become more connected, efficient, and sustainable. A process on how to answer the Smart City call to action is further outlined in Cisco’s POV paper, “Smart City Framework,” and video.

1.     Use one intelligent, multiservice IP network.

This is the overarching mantra of a Smart City—connect systems and services to improve city livability. While it can seem daunting, it’s important to remember the long-term benefits of a connected city, especially using cloud management. Some of the most promising Smart City projects have shown that it’s possible to use the network to achieve some major goals of state and local government, including efficient city management and economic, social, and environmental sustainability.

Savvy government leaders are recognizing the untapped power of the network and incorporating its potential into the early stages of planning and development. Many cities have experimented with including information and communications technology (ICT) solutions through small-scale “proof of concept” projects. Since budgets are so limited, it can be difficult to adopt a purely centralized approach, which means trying new techniques and learning from the enterprise sector.

2.     Build a foundation for public-private partnerships.

Read More »

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Case Study: Cisco’s Private Cloud and Lessons Learned

This is my talk I gave last week at Cloud Connect in Santa Clara. One slide that did not make the deck are the top reasons why people struggle with building private clouds

  1. Management and operations process.
  2. Culture
  3. Funding Model
  4. Service description and self-service interface

As my deck says, “I got 99 problems, but the tech ain’t one”

Building a “real” cloud involves the following success factors

  1. Well articulated corporate strategy with phases (crawl, walk, run)
  2. Engage existing automation teams for skills
  3. Well-defined, achievable service definitions that are automatable, volume
  4. Platform that does not lock into a specific hypervisor or cloud API
  5. A team that is trained (with specific roles) on the solution so that they can extend it in combination with the vendor’s services organization
  6. Get into production ASAP to drive value and organizational learning
  7. Union of OOB features and specific configurations for your environment.
  8. Articulated strategy for integrating with certain existing/deployed IT assets, and using the new “Cloud” as a way to shed IT baggage
  9. Recognition that your Cloud Management Platform is extensible to other areas in the IT strategy and that partner products may be necessary as well
  10. Have a suite / framework so you can maintain in the long term. And use external resources
  11. Need clear articulation of career paths once you start removing “button pushers.” design, operations, not implementation
  12. Focus on process outcomes, not process activities. Or end up with innefficient processes

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