Contributed by David Flesh, Sr Manager, Product Marketing, Cisco Network Management Technology Group
Many service providers today are implementing or investigating cloud computing to take advantage of its inherent operational advantages and as a platform from which to offer differentiated cloud-based services. By abstracting IT resources and services from the underlying infrastructure, service providers are achieving highly elastic, multitenant environments and savings. For example, cloud-based environments facilitate provisioning in minutes; time-to-market reductions of more than 50 percent; high server and storage utilization; 50 percent reductions in capital costs; and 25 to 30 percent reductions in operational costs.1
At the same time, cloud-based services are highly attractive to providers’ enterprise customers. Service provider-based cloud services offer greater scalability and performance without requiring premises-based infrastructure and management. Self-service, scale-on-demand, and pay-per-use features increase user convenience and IT flexibility, while automated recovery and cloud-based backup significantly enhance risk management.
The good news is that service providers today are uniquely positioned to take advantage of cloud computing. Infrastructure as a service (IaaS) -- a cloud utility architecture -- provides an easy entry point for many service providers who are already expert at provisioning, managing, and scaling infrastructure-based services for multiple customers. IaaS helps enable service providers to increase return on investment through existing infrastructure and to deliver high-margin multitenancy services and support new competitive offerings. According to the Cisco Internet Business Systems Group, a 2009 study has forecast IaaS service revenues to be approximately $15.6 billion by 2013.
Last week I presented and participated at the The Open Group Forum in Austin, TX. It was a great event, with insights into Enterprise Architecture, Business Architecture and Emerging Architectures. There were several breakout tracks in the Forum, including, the most popular -- Cloud Architectures Track. The sessions ranged from connecting architecture frameworks (TOGAF) to Cloud Architectures, to Cloud Architectures development. My session was on “Architecture & Considerations for IaaS Clouds”. This session was more focused on technology aspects of the Cloud Architecture. Also, it could be applied to either an enterprise private cloud or a service provider cloud settings. Just to level set everyone in the audience, I started out with a taxonomy and reference architecture (RA) review. I utilized both NIST’s published and a simplified version of Cisco Cloud RA. The Cisco RA review was the case in point for this session, where Infrastructure, Service orchestration, Delivery/Management and consumer layers were discussed.
Yesterday, fellow Channels blogger Alex Krasne hosted a live Channels Chat video broadcast called Tapping the SMB Opportunity in the Cloud: An Interactive Discussion for Service Providers.
During the broadcast, Steve Hilton, Principal Analyst at Analysys Mason, and Ellen Berlan, Director, Global Service Provider SMB at Cisco shared cloud trends and offered advice on how Service Providers can capitalize on the growing market within SMBs. Steve also offered several recommendations, from how Service Providers need to approach the growing cloud market, to the ways in which Service Providers can launch a cloud offering.
For those of you who prefer to read about the broadcast, we have a text summary below with timestamps to identify key topics. We also have Ellen and Steve’s answers to audience questions submitted via Twitter. Read More »
Today Cisco Live! in North America kicks off in Las Vegas with about 14,000 attendees. This will be the first of a number of worldwide Cisco Live! events this year with others planned in Mexico, the United Kingdom, and Australia. All around the world, Cisco Live! has evolved to become an event where Cisco experts can interact with us and each other, learn technical skills, and stay up-to-date with what’s relevant in the industry. This year’s tag line, “Learn. Connect. Collaborate Together”, applies well to the Cloud market as we bring forward a smarter, stronger, and faster methodology for service delivery. Together.
If you’re going to be here in Las Vegas this week for Cisco Live!, here are some sessions I suggest you check out:
Exhibit Floor: Open all week, I hope you will swing by the World of Solutions. The World of Solutions has demonstrations from a number of innovative cloud partners. As an example, you can see our Service Provider Cloud pod with a demo showing our work with BMC on the Integrated Cloud Delivery Platform and my team will be glad to talk to you about where you stand today, opportunities for us to work together on, and answer any other questions.
Movie Theater at our Partner Pavilion: We have great videos to share with you, including a 3D movie called “Journey to the New Services Universe” and great videos from SAVVIS, NaviSite, Qwest, CSC, BT Global Services, and Terremark to name a few. While over at the theater, please check out what some of our other partners including PAETEC, SunGard, NEC, and Dimension Data are there to talk about regarding the Cloud and their specialties in improving your business.
Enabling the Service Provider Cloud Evolution (Wednesday, Noon-1:30 PM PST): A registration-required lunch event where Cisco invites you to join a distinguished panel of experts (including Jeff Spagnola, VP Sales – Cisco Cloud and Managed Services, Alex Rigaldo, Chief Operations – Orange Business Sytems Cloud Computing, Jesper Andersen, Senior VP – Cisco Network Management Technology Group, Dave Lively, Director – Cisco Systems Development for Cloud/DC, Sidney Morgan, Cisco Distinguished IT Engineer, Vikrant Karvir, VP, Cisco Global Cloud/DC Virtualization Services, and myself) to discuss the latest advances in Cisco’s Service Provider Cloud Architecture. Cisco’s approach to cloud opportunities includes helping to build out the data centers powering the cloud, as well as applying capabilities in the network to enable intelligent connectivity within and beyond the data center. Please use session identification GENSP-4743 to register for the event.
The Network’s Role in Cloud (Tuesday, 8-9:30 AM PST): A brand new session directed at the Service Provider crowd led by Pat Adamiak, Sr. Director, Cisco Service Provider Data Center/Cloud Marketing, on the pivotal role that the network plays for Service Providers in the creation and delivery of differentiated services. The session will cover innovations within the network that enable cloud services, discussing core features, instrumentation, and intelligent automation services to leverage the full capabilities of the SP network and capture the cloud opportunity. This session is listed under BRKSPG-1701 in the event agenda.
Summers tend to be a bit cool in San Francisco, but acceptance of Cisco’s Unified Service Delivery (USD) solution by Service Providers searching for the best path to cloud is heating up. We’re excited at the progress so far -- including recent records set by the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) which just placed 3rd globally in the x86 blades category in a recent IDC report. A little over two years ago people questioned Cisco’s entry into the compute segment of the data center. The large number of Cisco customers have proven that innovation that brings new levels of efficiency to the data center wins out every time. We’re proud of our customers and the services they’re bringing to market more quickly using the Cisco USD solution and its key foundation technologies like Cisco UCS.
Industry analysts are also seeing a need for an end-to-end solution like Cisco USD and noting the importance of resource optimization, management consolidation, service improvements, and cost reduction as fundamental tenets of efficient cloud service delivery.
Below is a short video commentary by IDC analyst, Courtney Munroe, VP, Worldwide Telecommunications. Courtney talks about the market challenges SPs face and how they can benefit from a transition to Cloud-delivered services. Pay special attention to the core things he believes SPs must address for Cloud: virtualized fabric for the computing platform in the data center, how the data center and the network work together and security across the entire delivery chain.
Cloud Services: Challenges and Opportunities for Service Providers