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Evaluating Fixed and Mobile Networks for Cloud Readiness

Access networks are fundamental to superior cloud experiences

As a complement to the fourth annual update of the Global Cloud Index, or GCI (see media release), we’ve once again included the Cloud Readiness Supplement. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (or NIST), which is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, one of the five essential characteristics of cloud computing is broadband access.

  • Broad network access: Capabilities are available over the network and accessed through standard mechanisms that promote use by heterogeneous thin or thick client platforms (e.g., mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and workstations). See complete NIST Cloud definition.

The Cloud Readiness Supplement provides a recommended set of access requirements to support a range of cloud services (both individually and concurrently).

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Cisco Global Cloud Index (2013 – 2018): Data Center and Cloud Traffic for the Next Five Years

What do our GCI Forecast projections mean for you?

Today, Cisco released the fourth annual update of its Global Cloud Index, or GCI (see media release). For most people who follow cloud-computing, it’s no real surprise to learn that global data center traffic will nearly triple over the next five years or that cloud traffic is expected to nearly quadruple. Examining the trends within the top-line forecast projections is where we begin to see what this growth means for service providers, businesses, and consumers (and how data center networking is being transformed).

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For Service Providers and Data Center Operations:

GCI Highlight: The workload density (that is, workloads per physical server) for cloud data centers was 5.2 in 2013 and will grow to 7.5 by 2018. Comparatively, for traditional data centers, workload density was 2.2 in 2013 and will grow to 2.5 by 2018.

The Benefit: An important factor in the rapid expansion of cloud computing is increasing data center virtualization, which provides services that are flexible, fast-to-deploy, and efficient. Virtualized data centers require fewer physical servers and offer great scalability than traditional data centers. This can ease capex and opex pressures (allowing for investment in other areas).

For Large Enterprises and Small-to-Medium Business Read More »

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Inside Meraki and Cloud Networking

November 3, 2014 at 8:30 am PST
Robb Boyd and Jimmy Ray Purser decide where to dig around inside Meraki

Robb Boyd and Jimmy Ray Purser decide where to dig around inside Meraki

“If it seems to good to be true…”

In this statement lies the central problem to a couple of guys with a career in networking: Meraki does some beautifully complex things…but in a deceivingly simple wrapper.

Meraki originally came on the scene with a new approach to cloud based wireless “as a service” that succeeded on a great many fronts. This success brought not just an acquisition, but subsequent forays into switching, routing and security. These are your core technologies -- anyone in business is depending on these in some fashion..and the Meraki Cloud Model is now offering network sophistication in a greatly simplified package.

There is beauty in the simplicity. There is also a model for how and why the cloud matters. Yes there is hardware for every bit of the solution being offered but the true ‘service’ is delivered quite elegantly through the cloud. It enables a great many things in a manner that can make you wonder what you may be missing.

So this is what we do. We go to San Francisco, where it all began…and where these engineers continue to innovate. We peer through the clouds and show you what is going on so you can decide if it is right for you.

Watch the show RIGHT NOW

Couple of questions we sought in general:

  • Where are the edges for Cisco’s On Premise technologies that offer many of the same features as Meraki?
  • Can you put your trust in something you cannot see?
  • Can you still do some of the more complex things your network demands?
  • Where do they go from here?

One of the bigger challenges right now within Cisco is how to position this technology. It is very complimentary to our core networking line but they remain a distinctly unique choice to make.

See our extended shownotes for more details, or just watch the show!

Preview:

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Cisco and NetApp – Partnering for the Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid cloud is finally here.  Since cloud came on the scene a few years back, companies have had the choice of building a private cloud, which they managed on premises, or buying services from a public cloud provider.  Typically, companies had to pick one or the other for a given application.  With the Intercloud, IT departments can take advantage of the world of many clouds with all the associated benefits:  application mobility between the clouds, mapping the application to the best delivery model, and taking advantage of the cost benefits of cloud overall.

Cisco and NetApp began working together three years ago to deliver FlexPod, a portfolio of integrated infrastructure solutions optimized for private cloud deployments.  With the new capabilities NetApp is delivering today, customers can realize significant benefits in how NetApp storage, particularly as part of a FlexPod, can extend into the hybrid cloud.  These capabilities include the extension of data management into a cloud environment and the ability to move data between cloud models and providers.

Cisco’s UCS Integrated Infrastructures when paired with NetApp’s technology in the FlexPod portfolio delivers an important on-ramp to the Intercloud.  Through our partnerships with cloud providers and our delivery of industry-leading solutions, IT departments will get even more flexibility in how they choose to map the application to the best cloud model.

NetApp’s new hybrid cloud solutions complement Cisco’s cloud strategy, provide businesses with the flexibility to manage changing environments, and give customers a smooth on-ramp to the Intercloud.

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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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