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Cisco’s Data Center and Cloud Team at Gartner IT Summit this Week

June 4, 2012 at 9:22 am PST

Will you be at the Gartner IT Infrastructure Operations and Management Summit in Orlando this week?  The Cisco data center and cloud team is.

We’ll be featuring our Unified Data Center and Unified Management solutions, including UCS and Intelligent Automation for Cloud.  And our experts will be on hand to discuss key topics including data center virtualization, desktop virtualization, and private cloud.

Even if you won’t be at the event, you can get a preview by watching this 20 minute video webcast on how to get started with a private cloud. Register and view the webcast here.

And if you are going to the Gartner summit this week, here are some Cisco activities that you won’t want to miss:

Read More »

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Measure Twice, Cut Once

If you’re like me, you’ve ignored this sage advice a time or so.  Thankfully my most recent rush to a solution was remedied by a trip back to the home improvement store and $100 or so.  Most IT “goofs” extract a much dearer cost.  In this third installment of Cisco Insights – Cloud, Bob Dimicco profiles a non-profit company who successfully resisted the pressure to jump straight on the Cloud project bandwagon.  Instead they opted for a thoughtful, measured approach.  Partnering with Cisco, they first conduced a thorough strategy and business justification assessment.  By focusing on their key business drivers and desired outcomes, they were able to get a complete picture of benefits, costs, and a deep understanding of where the true ROI would be.  They allowed the facts, not the hype or pressure to guide their direction.  Watch the video find out where they went next on their journey to cloud.

Read about two other companies’ cloud stories in my previous two blogs:

  1. Good Help is Essential – A Software Company Partners with Cisco Services to Uncover Cloud Opportunities
  2. Public Cloud with Confidence --  Find out how Cisco Helps a Leading Consumer Packaged Goods Manufacturer with Cloud Management

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Cloud – CIO Insights (Video)

June 1, 2012 at 12:00 pm PST

Rebecca Jacoby, Cisco Senior Vice President and Chief Information Officer, discusses Cisco’s journey to the cloud. Cisco is running a private cloud as a utility and is moving toward an inter-cloud approach. This capability will give Cisco the business process opportunity to source services from multiple places and deliver them seamlessly to employees in a flexible, cost-effective manner.

To view the complete interactive, please visit http://www.cisco.com/go/ciscoit

For more information on Cisco IT’s journey to the cloud:
Cloudy With a Chance of Data Center Savings
Parting Clouds and Being Real About Virtualization
ITIaaS Clouds Over ITIL

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Go Fishing in a Barrel with Partner Plus: The right tools, right Intelligence, and the right level of support to Catch Great Deals

If you’ve ever gone fishing, then you know it requires a great deal of patience. So, what if you could fish in a barrel, and catch a lot of fish, rather than fish in the ocean and risk coming away empty-handed?

That would be great, right? Well, guess what, that ability to “fish in a barrel” is one of the advantages that is offered by Partner Plus, which was announced at Partner Summit last month. Partner Plus is targeted at partners who invest in selling Cisco to mid-sized customers, which IDC estimates as a $61B market opportunity. Aimed at accelerating business for these partners, Partner Plus provides incremental incentives, virtual engineering support, marketing, sales enablement, and customer intelligence to partners who commit to a highly collaborative selling approach with Cisco to accelerate their business more quickly than the market.

Partner Plus will bring together the power of Cisco sales and the partner sales force to go after the fast growing market opportunity with mid-sized customers. Watch this video to learn about the impact that Partner Plus can have in your business.

Read on to learn more about how Partner Plus can help you drive sales.  Read More »

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Part 1: 10 Things Vmware Server Admins Should Know About Self-Service Catalogs and Lifecycle Management

This part 1 of the series “10 Things Vmware Server Admins Should Know About Self-Service Catalogs and Lifecycle Management” that I’ll be publishing over the next few weeks--I hope! (The boy is nothing if not ambitious).

1. The service catalog is a tool for driving users to standard configurations.

To get the operational efficiencies we hope to achieve from virtualization and / or cloud computing, we need to establish standard configurations. This is tough, for a couple of reasons.

First, the challenge is the gap between the language of the customer, and the detail needed by the operations group typically generates a lot of back and forth during the “server engineering” process.  Instead of having “pre-packaged” configurations, every thing is bespoke.

Instead of having useful abstraction layers and levels, the customer has to invent their own little bit of the data center. This made sense when the new app meant a whole new hardware stack to which the app would be fused to and the concrete poured on it. It doesn’t make sense now.

Second,  there’s resistance from customers to adopt standard VM builds.  Sometimes the reasons are valid, other times less so. The issue arises because the technical configurations have not been abstracted to a level the user can understand what they get and what’s available for configuration.  Nor can they compare one template to another in ways that are meaningful to them.

The service catalog is the tool to help deal with these two obstacles.  The service catalog is a useful tool to communicate, in the language of the customer, the different options available from IT for hosting environments.

A service catalog will support multiple views (customer, technical, financial, etc) so that when the customer selects “small Linux” for testing, this generates both a bill of materials and standard configuration options.  Once that base is selected, self-service configuration wizards provide both guidance and gutter-rails so the customer is both helped to the right thing and prevented from making errors.

From this customer configuration, the environment build sheet is generated which will drive provisioning and configuration activities or to execute any policy automation in place.

And the catalog allows the VM admins to figure out what their “market” is buying; which is very useful for capacity planning.

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