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A Public Manager’s Guide to Cloud Computing

Cloud computing—delivering infrastructure, services, and software on demand via the network—offers attractive advantages to the public sector. For example, it has the potential to reduce information and communications technology (ICT) costs by virtualizing capital assets like disk storage and processing cycles into a readily available, affordable operating expense.

One of the most significant cloud computing opportunities for the public sector is the ability to share ICT resources among multiple agencies. While governments have tried hard to create frameworks geared toward shared services, these have not always been successful. Cloud computing offers an easier and less burdensome route to more efficient and effective public sector information management.

Of course, cloud computing is not without its challenges:

  • A service provider residing outside of a government’s legal or territorial jurisdiction may put access or security at risk.
  • Open standards and interoperability may not be guaranteed, leading to the risk of vendor lock-in.
  • Data privacy is a concern when using public clouds. This can be addressed by the development of private clouds.
  • Business continuity will continue to be a concern. Cloud computing, however, may also mitigate this risk, as cloud vendors are likely to use more robust and better-maintained computing platforms that provide more redundancy and are less likely to fail.

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Partners are Going to Love Cisco CloudVerse

December 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm PST

It seems like you can’t open an IT magazine these days without being bombarded by cloud, cloud, cloud. Going to tradeshows you see traditional vendors that have taken their existing solution packages and rebranded them as cloud.  For Cisco partners and customers this can be confusing; especially since cloud comes in so many types/flavors: IaaS, SaaS, PaaS, and however people are positioning themselves.  When I think of cloud I think it fundamentally boils down to an industrialization/simplification of IT.  You focus and clearly define what you as a solution provider are providing, and by doing so, drive out the cost.  Look at MS office for email etc. has literally thousands of options or ways to use it, but has a high cost/user/month.  Gmail limits those options and by offering it free to everyone, it costs Google an ever decreasing fraction of a dollar/month.  The economics are compelling.  Customers like economics in their favor and partners get excited when customers want to make a transition.

On Dec 6th Cisco announced CloudVerse – an integrated set of capabilities combining Unified Data Center with Cloud Intelligent Network to deliver Cloud Applications and Services.  The beauty of this position is that we aren’t telling our partners, “Thanks, we’ll take it from here!” We’re looking to them to offer this integrated Cisco vision to their customers.

“We’re putting our partners in the position to offer CloudVerse as a portfolio and new cloud capabilities.” As Ralph Nimmergood, VP of WW Channels at Cisco, stated in a CRN article published last week.

Partners are key to our cloud strategy and we’re excited to be on this journey with them.

Click here to read the entire CRN article.

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My Connected Life in the Cloud

Over the last decade I’ve studied the practical applications of ethnographic research.  I’ve performed detailed use-case analysis of requirements, and I frequently volunteer as a participant in the development of prototypes for applications that are hosted in the cloud.

Why did I choose to invest my own time in alpha tests and beta trials?  To gain the first-hand knowledge of what it really means to create a user experience that is remarkable.

While I’m not a user experience designer, I’ve developed a keen sense of the personal productivity gains that can be achieved by software UI ease-of-use improvements.

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Now Is the Time for Service Providers To Invest in Cloud Services for Small and Medium Businesses

Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) are leading the way to cloud services. In fact, SMBs represent two-thirds of the public cloud market, outpacing the growth of enterprise cloud adoption by about 10 points, according to a recent McKinsey report (“Outlook—Overcast and Bright: How the Cloud Is Transforming IT for SMEs,” McKinsey & Company, July 2011). Yet, many service providers (SPs) are wondering whether the rate of SMB cloud adoption makes it worthwhile to invest in cloud and managed services for SMBs. They are asking:

  • Is now the time to invest in SMB-focused services?
  • What do SMB customers want?
  • How do SMBs want to consume cloud services?

SMB Cloud Watch is ongoing research from the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) designed to answer these questions. Here are some highlights of our most recent findings: Read More »

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CloudVerse Is Here!

Today we are announcing Cisco CloudVerse, an integrated set of capabilities that enables customers to deliver cloud applications and services by uniquely combining the unified data center and cloud intelligent network. CloudVerse is the culmination of Cisco’s data center and network innovation over the last few years and provides our customer with the platform for their journey to the cloud.

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