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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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For your IT Wish List this Holiday Season: a Virtual Data Center

December 21, 2011 at 6:12 am PST

‘Twas the week before Christmas, when all through IT, not a creature was stirring, not even a sysadmin?

Well, not quite. To support the global operations for a Fortune 100 company, the IT staff are always stirring things up at Cisco. But they may be just a little less busy this holiday season. Why? Because Cisco IT deployed a private cloud earlier this year, with a self-service portal and automated provisioning for infrastructure-as-a-service.

This means that employees throughout Cisco can provision and manage the infrastructure resources they need on their own, anytime and anywhere – so our sysadmins can take a break this holiday season (or more likely, they can focus on other IT priorities).

You may have already heard about Cisco IT’s internal private cloud solution, called CITEIS: Cisco IT Elastic Infrastructure Services. It’s what we call a “Cisco on Cisco” example, using Cisco’s own Unified Data Center solutions – including Unified Computing, Unified Fabric, and Unified Management with our Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud software.

For a quick overview, here’s a short video about the Cisco IT private cloud:

And if you want more detail, watch this on-demand webinar here.

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Top Headlines: Contest Winners, Clouds, Charities, and Cisco Partner Profitability in 2012

December 20, 2011 at 3:38 pm PST

As 2011 comes to a close, what do you think 2012 will bring? We predict it will be the Year of the Cloud!

In this last episode of Partner Update for 2011, Andrew attempts to communicate with the entire CloudVerse, until he learns what it actually is (a set of cloud capabilities that helps our partners build public, private, and hybrid clouds for customers).

What else made the news over the past couple of weeks? We crowned two partners winners of the 25 Words contest for their witty entries, look closely at how Cisco partners are helping to build a fast and secure network to help customer Doss Aviation power fighter jets, learn best practices around Smart Care Services and building better customer relationships, find out how OnPlus can help partners diagnose and fix network issues from virtually anywhere on any device, a services cheat sheet to help build relationships and increase profits, and more.

Tune in and watch our latest newscast covering the top Cisco partner headlines, as always, in under 5 minutes.

Keep reading for links to the top headlines, time stamps so you can find each news item within the video, and more details on each of the stories we covered.

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The Year in Review: the Top 10 Posts of 2011

It’s hard to believe another year has come and (almost) gone. Every year seems to speed by ever faster, much like the pace of technological advancements. We understand that it’s a challenge keeping up with the latest technologies that impact your small business. So we were curious to find out what topics caught your eye this past year on the Small Business Blog.

Security was by far the most popular topic; and security in all forms—from your core network to personal devices to the cloud. That’s not surprising when you consider all the ways in which you can now access data.

Here’s the list of top 10 posts for 2011:

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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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