Customers have often said to me, “Joann, we have virtualization all over the place. That’s cloud isn’t it?” My response is, “Well not really, that is not a cloud, but you can get to cloud!” Then there is a brief uncomfortable silence, which I resolve with an action provoking explanation that I will now share with you.
Here’s why that isn’t truly a cloud. What these customers often have is server provisioning that automates the process of standing up new virtual servers while the storage, network, and application layers continue to be provisioned manually. The result is higher management costs that strain IT budgets, which are decreasing or flat to begin with. With this approach, businesses aren’t seeing the agility and flexibility they expected from cloud. So, they become frustrated when they see their costs rising and continue struggling to align with new business innovation.
If your IT department adopted widespread virtualization and thought it was cloud, my guess is you are probably nodding your head in agreement. Don’t worry, you’re not alone.
So then, what are the key elements an organization needs to achieve the speed, flexibility and agility promised by cloud?
1) Self-service portal and service catalog
The self-service portal is the starting point that customers use to order cloud services. Think of a self-service portal as a menu at a restaurant. The end user is presented with a standardized menu of services that have been defined to IT’s policies and standards and customers simply order what they need. Self-service portals greatly streamline resource deployment which reduces the manual effort by IT to provision resources.
2) Service delivery automation
After the user selects services from the portal service menu, then what? Well, under the hood should be automated service delivery—which is a defining characteristic of a real cloud environment. Behind each of the standardized menu items in the self-service portal is a blueprint or instructions that prescribe how the service order is delivered across the data center resources. This has been proven to appreciably simplify IT operations, reduce costs and drive business flexibility.
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Tags: amazon, CIAC, cloud, cloud infrastructure, Cloud Management, IAC, OpenStack, process automation, Self-Service Portal, UCS, vCloud Director, virtualization
I recently interviewed Mike Geller, a 15-year Cisco veteran and a security architect, who focuses on securing infrastructure, devices, and services delivered by service and cloud providers to governments, enterprises, and end users. I asked Mike to discuss three key feature sets that firewalls should have today to enable users to securely access the applications in the data center. This topic is very timely as application control is quite the “in vogue” topic.
#1: Network Integration
Mike takes the position that security is an attribute of the network versus a siloed, bolt-on element. With applications delivered from a combination of the cloud, service provider or hosted data center (the on premise data center at the enterprise or the mobile endpoint), security is pervasive across all domains. Integrating security into the network fabric that is used to deliver key business applications is the only way to offer services at the size and scale of today and tomorrow. How do you approach full integration of security? Let’s break it down. Read More »
Tags: application aware routers, ASA, ASA 1000V, byod, cloud, data center, firewall, integrated security, network integration, secure infrastructure, SecureX, security
Businesses and Governments are using multiple clouds in different ways. They are moving core functions in to a controlled private or managed cloud. But they are still using public clouds for new services, content and demand spikes. Some large enterprises are becoming specialized cloud providers for smaller businesses, while traditional providers are using different clouds for different tiers of service. These trends are leading to a world of many clouds with numerous service choices from a variety of cloud vendors. For example IT organizations can:
- Offload complexity and access specialized services (e.g. Virtualized Desktop Infrastructure, Collaboration)
- Share vertical expertise and Intellectual property across data centers (e.g. Regulatory compliance, Data clearinghouse)
- Leverage a Provider’s Capacity for unplanned Demand (e.g. Disaster recovery, Seasonal IT surge)
- Access network-optimized-clouds to deliver content reliably (e.g. Content distribution, Mobile streaming) Read More »
Tags: cloud, hybrid, InterCloud, Nexus 1000v, Public Cloud, Service Provider
As the saying goes, “Change is the only constant.” And as partners have seen, customers are constantly grappling with a love-hate relationship between applications and networking. As new applications appear, the infrastructure is required to evolve, which brings about a whole new wave of application innovation that then forces the infrastructure to evolve again and again. This endless cycle has played itself out as applications transitioned from mainframes to client/server to web and now to cloud.
Cisco is extending the capabilities of Unified Fabric to support a world of many clouds with the scalability and flexibility of the new Nexus 6000 series, the traffic insight of Nexus 7000 NAM, Nexus 1000V InterCloud and VNMC InterCloud hybrid cloud solutions and updates to the Cisco ONE portfolio including the new Cisco ONE Controller.
These upgrades will help your customers protect their investments because it can easily be extended to accommodate new applications and usage models as they emerge, allowing customers to shift from “infrastructure defining what apps can do” to “apps defining what infrastructure must do.”
Here are some highlights of the new offerings: Read More »
Tags: Cisco, Cisco ONE, cloud, data center, Hybrid Cloud, InterCloud, Nexus 1000v, Nexus 6000, Nexus 7000, partner, Unified Fabric
You may have heard of the Cisco® Global Cloud Index. From our predictions, the cloud’s future is both promising and daunting. With the forecast calculating cloud traffic to increase sixfold by 2016, you have to wonder if the Cloud is ready to take on the load.
Cisco thinks so. We are pleased to introduce the latest edition of Unleashing IT, the technology-focused business resource for data center best practices. Unleashing IT showcases the latest technology trends, while experts demonstrate how the path to the cloud is being cleared, and how virtualization is transforming the data center while strengthening businesses.
With a unified architecture and unparalleled infrastructure, companies are bridging the gap between IT and business. Liberty University’s enrollment soars thanks to a consolidated IT infrastructure. Republic Services, a nationwide waste company, provides local-level satisfaction on a budget. From managing Big Data to the possibilities in healthcare through collaboration and centralization, IT plays a prominent role in the workplace.
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Tags: Big Data, cloud, cloud_computing, healthcare, IT Benchmarks, IT bencmarks, Virtual Private Clouds