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Navigating Your OpenStack Roadmap: Why You Should Run a “Pilot”

The road in my picture below – the A82 that winds through Glencoe in Scotland – was used in the James Bond “Skyfall” movie in one of the amazing car chase scenes.  This road winds through sparsely inhabited territory, has lots of ups, downs, bumps and turns and if you’re not careful it can be a dangerous road.  I’ll draw the analogy here with the challenges of introducing new technologies: there can be ups, downs, bumps and turns into the unknown, if you are not careful.  And in my case here, I’ll use this analogy to illustrate the challenges of adopting OpenStack: without the right kind of approach, without a carefully managed exploratory “pilot” investigation and subsequent roadmap planning, you may find that adopting OpenStack – or any other open source software solution, for that matter – has its share of challenges, ups, downs, bumps and turns into the unknown.

The Road Along Which James Bond Raced!

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Cisco and Its Partners Drive OpenStack Innovation and Adoption

OpenStack sure has come a long way since the first Design Summit in San Antonio back in November 2010.  As my team prepares to attend OpenStack Summit in Hong Kong this week, you’d never know that just three years ago there were just 250 people at the first public OpenStack Design Summit that kicked off what has become one of the fastest growing open source projects ever.  This week, more than 4000 are expected to attend the Summit, representing more than 500 companies and nearly 50 countries. What makes this Summit just as exciting as the first is the progress we’ve all made delivering on the mission laid out back in 2010.

To produce the ubiquitous open source Cloud Computing platform that will meet the needs of public and private clouds regardless of size, by being simple to implement and massively scalable.

The OpenStack community continues to innovate at an even greater pace with 910 contributors to the new Havana release, a more than 70 percent increase from the Grizzly release six months ago. More than 145 OpenStack ecosystem members employ developers who contributed to this release. While there’s still more work to do, most of us feel OpenStack has reached the level of maturity and deployment success that’s needed for production deployment by organizations of just about any size.

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Summary What Moving to the Cloud Means for Healthcare Organizations

A lot of our data center customers are in the healthcare industry –  This topic is close to my heart, as I used to work in this field several years ago. Healthcare organization are facing specific challenges  in moving to the cloud, that Cisco and partners address carefully.

IT innovation and integration in healthcare is on the rise, causing a fundamental shift for healthcare organizations. As economic factors and government regulations begin to push more and more independent physician practices to the cloud, healthcare organizations now work with cloud service providers and share the responsibility to meet regulatory demands set forth in the recent package of HIPAA changes.  So what does this move to the cloud mean for healthcare organizations?

According to Kathy English, Global Senior Director for Cisco,

“As more healthcare professionals move to the cloud, IT organizations need to evaluate how to federate public cloud services with their private cloud efforts. This type of transformation will require organizations to look beyond just building a private cloud. They need to build and buy a secure, scalable, and reliable network that supports privacy, high availability, and mobility, all while meeting cost targets.”

It is clear that the new HIPAA regulations require a more shared responsibility between IT and service providers, but with a certified Cisco Powered cloud provider, healthcare organizations can be empowered to expand both their private and public cloud solutions.

Read the full What Moving to the Cloud Means for Healthcare Organizations blog post to learn more and join the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag, #CiscoCloud . We’d love to hear from you!

 

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Simplifying Cloud Infrastructure Deployments with Cisco Common Cloud Architecture built on Cisco UCS and OpenStack

In three short years OpenStack has become cloud management platform that is “Too Big to Fail” (according to Citi Research). Whether it is true or not, OpenStack is definitely gaining traction and is making a profound impact not only as a viable Cloud management option, but also on the software economics for Cloud solutions.

Cloud computing is rapidly transforming businesses and organizations by providing access to flexible, agile, and cost-effective IT infrastructure. These elastic capabilities help accelerate the delivery of infrastructure, applications, and services with the right quality of service (QoS) to increase revenue. Cisco’s approach—innovative and unified data center infrastructure that provides the underlying foundation for OpenStack technology—enables the creation of massively scalable infrastructure that delivers on the promise of the cloud.

Cisco Common Cloud Architecture built on Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) with OpenStack provides the foundation for flexible, elastic cloud solutions enabling speed and agility.  As the saying goes “Every Skyscraper is built on a strong foundation of pillars”, the OpenStack platform requires the core requirements from the underlying infrastructure – simplification, rapid provisioning, self-service consumption model, and elastic resource allocation. Cisco UCS uniquely provides a policy based resource management model, which simplifies by integrating compute, networking and storage with the ability to scale and automate deployment.

This foundation addresses every stage of cloud deployment be it private or public cloud offerings. Some of primary workloads targeted for OpenStack based deployments are:

  • Self-service development and test environments
  • Massively scalable software-as-a-service (SaaS) solutions
  • High-performance, scale-out storage
  • Web server, multimedia, big data, and cluster-aware applications
  • Applications with extensive computing power requirements and mixed I/O workloads

To accelerate these cloud infrastructure deployments, Cisco has developed starter configurations focused on compute-intensive, mixed or heterogeneous and storage-intensive workloads. The various server nodes are typically sized to include the OpenStack controller, compute, Ceph storage, Swift proxy and Swift storage.

 

Cisco UCS Solution Accelerator Paks for Cloud Infrastructure Deployments

Screen Shot 2013-10-31 at 10.12.12 AM

Scaling beyond 160 servers can be implemented by interconnecting multiple UCS domains using Nexus 3000/5000/6000/7000 Series switches, scalable to thousands of servers and to hundreds of petabytes storage, and managed from a single pane using UCS Central in a datacenter or distributed globally as shown in figure.

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NCSAM 2013 Wrap-Up: Cisco Thought Leadership Regarding a Different Ghost in the Machine

Is it the end of October already? As has been true for centuries, there is a tradition for children to wear costumes and disguise themselves while going door to door with a simple question: “Trick or treat?” While I am not sure there is a coincidence, but having National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM) end on a day characterized by pranks, false identifications and the like seems appropriate. And what scary stories we had to tell!

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