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Cisco Global Intercloud : Open and Interoperable

Enterprises have taken on many cloud computing opportunities but for the most part the adoption of applications on the cloud is very early and mostly for new applications and for development and test use cases.  Many  enterprise applications have not been considered for cloud due to their legacy deployment models or application architecture.

Many companies have made the mistake of thinking that legacy enterprise virtualization technology, enterprise  software methodology, enterprise provisioning systems, and enterprise management systems will survive their company’s business transformation.  Unfortunately time and time again these systems are not able to scale, adapt quickly enough for the business, and frequently cost up to 10 times more than open source based  solutions.

The reason for this lies in the power of community and the scalability of software propose-built for scale and adaptability.  OpenStack definitely fits this requirement and has finally matured enough to be a force in the  transformation of your enterprise business.  Cisco announced the largest global Intercloud, which is based on OpenStack and other open source software to deliver a cloud that can scale to 100s of thousands of virtual  instances and 100s of instances provisioned in minutes.

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As important as that is for cloud scale, interoperability, and adaptability, the message in this announcement is   much bigger.  Cisco is committed to OpenStack and open source projects and is taking the lead in developing  and driving software defined network, network function virtualization, application policy control, cloud  optimized computing, security, orchestration, and service assurance innovations back to the open source  community . Cisco’s contribution focus is operationalizing Openstack for the enterprise scale, reliability, networking, and compute scheduling needs. In Havana, Cisco contributions included the Neutron Cisco plugin framework, feature additions to the Nexus plugin for physical Cisco Nexus switches, introduction of the new Cisco Nexus 1000v virtual switch plugin, and actively leading and participating in the design of the Neutron Modular Layer 2 plugin framework. Cisco’s contribution in these and other areas, such as Layer 3, Firewall and VPN network services including yesterday’s announcement highlighting additional IETF contributions Cisco  introduced with the OpFlex protocol for application centric infrastructure (ACI) .

Join us as we transform the cloud from legacy virtualization technology and custom code that does not scale to  an agile cloud platform that scales and adapts at the speed your business requires.  All supported by an international community of architects, engineers, and developers with your enterprise business interest in mind. Lastly, designed from the bottom up to interoperate with the most popular clouds on the market today while future-proofed via the abstractions in our software innovations.  Cisco is committed to this approach because we believe that a world of many clouds requires openness and interoperability to allow you maximize your  business benefit.  Let’s see what we can accomplish together.

You may want also read a previous blog
What makes Cisco Cloud Services Application centric ?

You can also follow me on Twitter @kenowens12

 

 

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Steria Group : 5 Years of Cloud Business Expansion with Cisco UCS

April 1, 2014 at 5:30 pm PST

As we have been celebrating over the past weeks the Cisco UCS 5 year anniversary, here is another great example of an enthusiastic customer and partner .

Steria has been amongst the early adopters of Cisco UCS in 2009, as the IT organization was looking for innovative solutions.

5 years after the inception,  Eric Fradet , CTO on Infrastructure Management, reflected on the achievements and shared at Cisco Live Milan how transformative for his IT organization this “bold” move was .
Thanks to the UCS deployment, Steria has been able to develop quickly cloud services, starting with the IaaS and PaaS offers, and moving now into the desktop-as-a-service with an offer called Workplace on Command.
Amongst the qualities brought to the market by the UCS concept,  Eric Fradet was prompt to highlight the performances, the ease of deployment and the security .
And it was with great delight that a very satisfied customer  wished a warm “bon anniversaire” to UCS!

Actually the story of Steria is quite remarkable as the offer evolved recently to embrace the desktop with the deployement of Cisco Prime Service Catalog [ Spoiler alert : Stay tuned for more good news around Cisco Prime Service Catalog - Check Phillip Han's blog on this topic in the following days ]

Already one of the largest providers of IT-enabled business services in Europe, Steria is also becoming a global player with a growing presence in India, North  Africa, and South East Asia. With proven consulting skills, and expertise in IT and business process outsourcing, the company decided that the time was right to extend its offer to the cloud with offers targeting enterprise users .
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Achieving Data Center Agility in the World of Many Clouds

Here’s an amazing fact I heard the other day: global network traffic has grown 16-fold since 2005 – 16-fold!  Largely due to the booming popularity of on-demand video, and the explosion of mobile computing including smart phones, tablets, and the Internet of Things, this juggernaut is not going to slow down anytime soon.  Yet, no data center leader I know of has received anywhere near 16 times the budget or staffing levels to keep pace.

I meet frequently with IT executives. What they need the most to keep pace often comes down to one thing: agility.  Agility allows them to meet the organization’s needs on demand.  To scale, and to scale fast.  And to create an IT environment designed to quickly adapt to new technology trends, increase efficiency, fuel innovation, unlock intelligence, and minimize risk.

At this year’s Cisco Partner Summit we announced Cisco Global Intercloud, and at Interop Las Vegas we’re adding new Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) possibilities, all to help you as an IT leader become more agile.  As you move away from legacy systems, you need a strategy and a roadmap to transform your data center.  You need to migrate toward a more resilient infrastructure centered on the network, and evolve it along with the needs of your applications.

Cost pressures, technology changes, and game-changers like cloud computing are forcing IT departments to learn how to deliver IT services differently.  With Cisco ACI, we can help you increase the visibility, programmability, and automation of your physical and virtual networks from a centralized point of management, while helping to improve your financial and productivity metrics.

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And, Cisco’s unique unified architecture for the data center redefines the economics of your IT operations, so you can spend more of your resources to deliver value to your business.  With Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS), we can dramatically simplify your IT operations to help increase business agility, and reduce CapEx and OpEx.
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Cloud and the Dark Side of “Easy On”

Cloud providers justifiably tout the ease and speed in which services can be implemented, but behind the curtain a dark reality lurks. “Easy on” is a key selling feature of cloud services and for good reason. I well remember leading enterprise application implementation projects in the pre-cloud era. The initial thrill of taking on a major new initiative that could transform the business was quickly overcome by the stark reality of years of highly complex work before going live, only to find out that you were several releases out of date and needed a multi-million dollar upgrade!

In my first major cloud project (to deploy a cloud service management application to 16,000 service engineers) we had users up and running in a couple of months. The business began seeing results quickly and as the software was upgraded we gained advantage of new features immediately. Soon after implementation, we began experiencing problems. It turned out all of the support and operational complexity had been masked from us. Behind the simple outward appearance lay dozens of different software, hardware, data centers and networks. The cloud service provider took first support calls, but getting issues resolved took a long time – and worse, we never were quite sure who was currently working the issue or the status.

Recent studies have identified service and support as the number one decision criteria for customers purchasing new cloud services. In fact, one recent study of the SMB market for cloud services found that the TOP THREE concerns were service related:

  • Provide an SLA to ensure application is accessible at all times (53%)
  • Provide 24x7 customer support (47%)
  • Provide better notification of upgrades, changes and downtime (45%)

Much as cloud providers would like to address these concerns, it’s very difficult operationally to do so because of the multiple back end providers. Cloud customers, in turn, typically use phone, web or email interface with cloud providers to raise and get status on service incidents, so they have no real-time or proactive visibility into issues or outages. As companies put more mission critical applications into the cloud, this dysfunctional support model is causing growing concern and slowing the adoption of cloud services.

Cisco believes the answer is simple. No matter how many different providers might have to get involved to solve a problem, to the original customer it should look like one organization.  All information, data and workflows would be shared in an automated way, eliminating manual practices and bottlenecks.
Cisco ServiceGrid enables such integration with a “connect once, connect all” approach, integrating all participants in the support process to the cloud platform only once, instead of integrating everyone one at a time. In speaking with customers who have moved to such a model, they report 40% or more reduction in case resolution times and lower support costs. More importantly, the end user sees what’s happening on the case while it is happening – no finding out hours or days later – resulting in real time SLA’s.

The promise of cloud is incredible, however, cloud customers and cloud service providers need to recognize and address the growing concern about how it will all be supported. Together we can remove a powerful obstacle to cloud adoption, by adding an “easy button” for multi-party support.

source: Techaisle SMB Channel Partner Survey 2012

You may want also to read
Multi-Party Support -- The Emergence of a Dynamic Support Network

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IT Leaders can be Brokers of Cloud Technology

We live in a world of many clouds, clouds that are as unique as we are. Today’s IT leaders are helping organizations manage the new demands of rapidly changing business requirements and the delivery of innovative services, all due to the rise in cloud adoption.

“How the Cloud is Changing the Role of Technology Leaders” by Michael Beckley via WIRED Innovation Insights

“How the Cloud is Changing the Role of Technology Leaders” by Michael Beckley via WIRED Innovation Insights

Yet, according to a recent Wired article, the advancement of cloud computing is also redefining the roles of the CIO and the CTO. An IT leader’s job is becoming more complex as they work to navigate the influx of user-provided devices and ensure consistent performance, security and control across the infrastructure. How can IT leaders continue to offer value to their organizations through a strategic approach to cloud technologies?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution to cloud deployment.  IT leaders need to become a broker of change for cloud. They must be empowered to create the right cloud strategy for business needs, support line of business requirements and meet IT demands across disparate clouds without sacrificing security or performance.

Learn more about Cisco’s multiple cloud deployment models at Cisco Cloud Perspectives. Be sure to follow @CiscoCloud on Twitter and join the conversation, #CiscoCloud.

 

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