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A Whole New Face to Cloud

Cisco is committed to leading the industry in bringing innovation and value to its customers through the cloud.  Through Cisco Powered, Cisco has driven high standards for cloud services, making enterprise-class performance and reliability the baseline across the industry.  With the recent announcement of over 30 Intercloud partners, Cisco is putting a whole new face on what cloud means.

The Intercloud is a movement that brings together the world of many clouds.  It does so in a way that meets the evolving needs of today’s organizations.  Rather than being restricted to a single, potentially proprietary cloud, Cisco envisions the Intercloud as a global resource for businesses to connect their operations locally and globally.

With the Intercloud, Cisco and its partners offer high-value benefits beyond those available with commodity-class services:

Workload mobility: Organizations will be able to seamlessly move workloads between clouds.  This creates a truly hybrid cloud environment, where an organization can move workloads from its private cloud to a public cloud.  With a Cisco Intercloud Provider, workloads can be moved between different public cloud providers as well.

Data sovereignty: Global organizations need to meet global requirements.  The flexibility of the Intercloud enables these organizations to locate workloads in region-specific data centers.  This enables companies to meet the security and compliance requirements of local governments without compromising performance, reliability, or flexibility.

Partner ecosystem: Cisco’s cloud strategy is to provide the infrastructure, solutions, and services that deliver the value of cloud to organizations.  By working with partners at all levels – providers, builders, aggregators, technology partners, resellers, and independent software vendors (ISV) – the Cisco ecosystem offers unified solutions across a wide range of technologies and applications.

Cisco and its partners are working together to enable a new generation of standardized cloud applications and the proliferation of highly secure hybrid clouds.   In this first phase, the 30+ Intercloud partners offer a combined global reach of 250 new data centers in 50 countries.  To drive the success of its Intercloud initiative, Cisco has also introduced hybrid cloud bundles and Cisco Intercloud Fabric.  And, to leave no doubt to its level of engagement, Cisco has committed $1 billion in cloud financing.

Read about the 30+ partners joining Cisco to build out the Intercloud.

You can also learn more about how Cisco Powered and the Intercloud can transform your business.

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Do Your Own Self-Audit to Get the Most from the Hybrid Cloud

The hybrid cloud offers a key opportunity to businesses and other organizations.  Specifically, a hybrid cloud merges public cloud and private cloud resources.  Private clouds can either be premises-based or managed by a service provider.  By taking a hybrid approach, a company can dynamically extend the capabilities of its private cloud using public cloud resources.

Hybrid clouds offer many advantages over using just public or private cloud resources.  One of the most important is the ability to expand day-to-day operations in a cost-effective manner.  One method for using hybrid cloud in this way is described in the blog, “Do Your Homework Before Shopping for Hybrid Cloud Services” from our partner SungardAS.

Businesses begin by performing a self-audit of applications.  This includes identifying mission-critical applications.  Mission-critical applications are those that, if not available, could prevent an organization from functioning.  These applications are kept within the private cloud.

Less critical applications are those such as infrastructure services, messaging, collaboration, and database applications.  These may be candidates for moving to the public cloud.  In many cases, they can be maintained at a lower operating cost than an on-premises deployment.  In addition, applications in the public cloud can be easily and quickly scaled.  This gives organizations much needed flexibility and agility.  In turn, this enables organizations to act on market opportunities more quickly, giving them a powerful competitive edge.

Cloud applications can also be tightly integrated with network resources under a common management framework, such as those offered by SungardAS in partnership with Sigma Solutions.  This provides even greater flexibility as users move between virtual and physical environments.

With the right service provider, applications in the public cloud can be as or even more reliable than if they were in a private cloud.  For example, the public cloud uses resource pools to assure greater business continuity.  Consider if the server hosting your applications goes down.  In a private cloud, you may experience an interruption in service as your IT team addresses the problem.  With a public cloud, your service provider can move your applications and data to another server.  In many cases, users won’t even notice anything has out of the ordinary has happened.

Downtime is never convenient.  Which is why enterprise-class service is the standard for our partners who provide Cisco Powered services.  Even when an application itself isn’t mission-critical, the people using it may be performing mission-critical tasks.  Such tasks could include team collaboration to meet a crucial deadline or closing a sale with an important customer.

Hybrid cloud is already transforming the way we do business.  Want to learn more about how your business can take full advantage of the hybrid cloud from market leaders like Cisco, SungardAS, and Sigma Solutions?  Then click here for access to tools to help you, including the white paper, “The Compelling Business Case for Hybrid Cloud Services.”  You can also learn more about why Cisco Powered is the industry standard for cloud and managed services.

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OpenStack Juno: The Basics

Guest Blog by Mark Voelker, Technical Lead, Cisco http://blogs.cisco.com/author/MarkVoelker/

Today, the OpenStack@Cisco team is in a celebratory mood: OpenStack 2014.2 (“Juno”) has been released!  The 10th release of OpenStack contains hundreds of new features and thousands of bugfixes and is the result of contributions from over 1400 developers.  You can find out more about Cisco’s contributions to Juno here.  What’s more, in just a few short weeks we’ll be joining the rest of the OpenStack Community in Paris for the OpenStack Summit, where plans for the next release (“Kilo“) will be laid.  We think that OpenStack’s appeal has never been higher, and are excited to see continued growth forecast for the OpenStack market.  Since OpenStack continues to see new growth, we thought this would be a good time to take a step back and review a few basics for those of you that are just beginning to get acquainted with today’s dominant open source cloud platform.

First, a bit of history.  OpenStack was founded in the summer of 2010 as an open source project driven primarily by Rackspace Hosting (who contributed a scalable object storage system that is today known as OpenStack Swift) and NASA (who contributed a compute controller that is today known as OpenStack Nova).  The announcement quickly attracted attention, and in September of 2012 the OpenStack Foundation was created as an independent body to promote the development, distribution, and adoption of the OpenStack platform.  Since then, the Foundation has grown to over 18,800 members spanning over 140 countries and representing over 400 supporting companies.

Simply put, OpenStack is “Open source software for creating private and public clouds.”  Not only is it developed by a wide variety of corporate and individual contributors, it is also used by hundreds of companies (including Cisco!) for a variety of purposes.  You can find a sampling at the OpenStack User Stories and OpenStack SuperUser websites.  The software itself is a set of loosely coupled distributed systems comprised of several discrete pieces of software with a focus on supporting multi-tenancy and scalability for on-demand resources.  Whereas OpenStack originally contained just two major components, today’s integrated Juno release contains 11:

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Strategic IT Roadmap for Government Cloud

It’s an exciting time to be in Government IT. Politicians and executives are constantly re-evaluating how IT services should be governed and delivered to public sector agencies. Their aim is not only to reduce the complexity and cost of technology, but also to sustainably enhance public sector efficiency through modern applications. At the heart of many national digital agendas is the concept of Government Cloud and the re-structuring opportunities presented by Shared IT Services models.

Over the last decade, many public sector organisations have embraced the opportunity to join forces with seasoned experts from Cisco. We offer a blend of business and technology expertise, which enables us to understand your business requirements and link them with tangible IT projects. Across a variety of real-world customer engagements, Cisco has perfected a three-phase methodology that we call “Strategic IT Roadmap” or SITR. Main objective: to connect business and IT strategies.

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A New Partnership for OpenStack

What happens when the market leader in cloud infrastructure partners with an open source expert? We witness a very unique opportunity for disruption.

Recently, Cisco and Red Hat announced an integrated infrastructure for OpenStack-based cloud deployments. OpenStack is a collaborationf developers and cloud computing technologists aimed at creating new, scalable solutions. This partnership will target enterprise and mid-market customers by streamlining deployment and operation of OpenStack-based private clouds while providing access to the InterCloud. The integrated infrastructure will combine Cisco Unified Computing (UCS), Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), and Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform.

Together, Cisco and Red Hat will deliver a set of InterCloud-ready solutions designed to bring OpenStack to enterprise and service provider customers. By combining complementary strengths, Cisco and Red Hat are in the position to capitalize on this disruption and strengthen their positions as market leaders. Read More »

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