Continuing my tour of the Cisco Domain Ten(SM) framework for simplifying data center transformation, with this blog, I’ll build upon my previous blogs and introduce Domain 3, which is concerned with “Automation and Orchestration“.
I’ve asserted previously that having an automated, virtualized data center is a necessary -- but insufficient -- basis for cloud -- and Cisco Domain Ten portrays this very well. That said, automation and orchestration in my view is one of the 2 or 3 most important domains to focus on when transforming a data center, and when planning a cloud architecture. Automation is quite simply fundamental to delivering benefits such as cost reduction, elasticity, rapid service delivery and agility to your end users/ stakeholders/customers. So what are the key problems we in Cisco Services can help you with in this domain?
As we move into 2013 and attempt a glance further into the future, we see shifts in the conversation around cloud collaboration. I’ve outlined a few thoughts on what we can expect soon, over the course of the next few years, and in the future.
In 2013, we’ll see the cloud conversation shift to flexibility and agility as primary drivers of adoption.
“Businesses will have to provide an environment in which their employees are connected in ways they have never been connected before.”
As more companies understand the problems that arise in the collection of big data and the number of employees who work outside the office increases, cloud adoption will grow exponentially. Gartner data shows 71 percent of businesses adopted Software as a Service (SaaS) within the past three years, with three quarters of businesses planning on increasing SaaS spending. However, the reason companies increasingly invest in SaaS will shift. As a recent Forrester survey shows, a decreasing number of businesses are prioritizing lower costs as a reason to adopt SaaS, while an increasing number of businesses are focusing on “business agility” as a reason to deploy a SaaS solution.
In order to compete effectively in the future, businesses will have to provide an environment in which their employees are connected in ways they have never been connected before – connecting employees to customers, partners, and suppliers real time, anytime, anywhere, and providing context to these collaborative sessions. This can only be accomplished through leveraging an increasing set of collaborative technology, and exposing the most relevant data across the traditional mediums of voice, video, and chat. Cloud accelerates the roll-out of this technology consistently across entire companies and their business partners, so they can improve the efficiency of their decision-making and the quality of their customers’ experience. As the cloud and macroeconomic factors increase the speed of business and collaboration, businesses will look to the cloud to as a means to deploy the growing set of integrated collaborative tools and gain a competitive edge.
As cloud collaboration moves beyond early adopters in 2013, hybrid models will proliferate and customers will increasingly demand a seamless, uncompromising user experience between the cloud and the customer premises.
“More than 50 percent of enterprises began cloud migrations in 2011.”
I believe that the New Year will signal three major shifts in education: The Internet of Everything, Shared Services, and Cloud Computing.
We are rapidly moving into a phase that we call “The Internet of Everything.” Today, there are more things connected to the internet than there are people in the world. In the near future, everything that we see will wake up as more and more people, processes, data, and things join what we call the internet and change the way we work, live, learn, and play. For education, this means that the experiences that we deliver to students will be more connected, integrated, flexible, and meaningful. Students will increasingly learn on their own terms, quickly and easily accessing content, joining courses, and connecting with experts across the globe. Connection will happen seamlessly; students will design their own learning experiences. They will be empowered by public education networks and a multi-device mobile world.
This is my first year as an attendee at the Gartner DC conference. I’ve been here once before working demos on the tradeshow floor, but this year it’s purely about information gathering. Tradeshows floors are great. You get to wander around and chat with a captive audience of your industry peers, partners, and “frenemies” collecting pens and light up bouncy balls. Based on where the swag really ends up, I think the pen purchasers really need to start thinking about logo branded crayon packs. But there is so much to learn in the conferences even in the most unexpected sessions.
My primary take aways from the initial keynotes were that Hadoop is a strong early adoption application candidate for cloud in a non-virtual context (Hadoop in the data center was recently covered in Jason Rapp’s blog) , that commodity compute is the leader in cloud computing (I cried a little on the inside with this one), and that personnel development and team building/creation is one of the biggest factors in an IT success story.
For day one the celebrity keynote was from Captain Chesley Sullenberger which seemed out of place before listening to him. His talk about teamwork, process, and respect leading to his success in pulling off that harrowing landing on the Hudson spanned well from the people aspect of organizations, and was a very enjoyable listen.
These take aways seem to me even more critical as IT organizations have to quickly evolve their data centers to meet demanding business requirements, without expecting additional resources .
Gartner does a very nice job of interactive polling within their conference. For the starting keynote the audience poll (~2,000?) revealed that budgets edging up, but for the greatest number of attendees are mainly flat.
It seems that 34% of the audience has to deal with a flat budget, 20% of the attendees benefit from a marginal increase (<5%), and 14% experience a small decrease (<5%)
Talking about data center evolution, as a Cisco guy, I had absolutely to attend (by choice ) David Yen’s presentation. David is our Sr VP & GM in charge of our DC Technology Group, so he’s the big picture for anything Cisco in the Data Center. He is a Phd, with a very large experience in compute, applications and network, acquired through executive role at Sun Microsystems, Juniper and Cisco. David’s talk was about the evolution of the data center and the relevance of Cisco -You may want to check the blog from Giuliano Di Vitantonio, VP Marketing Data Center and Cloud with slides and videos “ The Evolving Data Center : Perspectives from the Gartner DC Conferences“ In his presentation David Yen covered some of the background for the evolution of the data center model, and the gains to be expected in the fabric model we see through Fabric Path in optimization of the new East/West data patterns.
This all has a strong relationship to our Unified Computing System solution. Which as a server platform “loaded with features “ might be perceived at some disadvantage in comparison to commodity compute, we’re happy to see that in reality our customers have placed us at #3 in datacenter compute world wide, and #2 in the US for an implementation that is only three years into the market, thanks to providing strong management capabilities, system agility, and dynamic integrated network functionality, as well as great TCO. As proof points , you may want to check Bill Shields blogs on this topic, but also the Cisco Buil& Price website with promotions of the month.
This Conference gave me also the opportunity to discuss other “more technical ” topics such as security for cloud and virtual services.
So stay tuned, as I will be back in January for additional conversations.
I have just come back from the Gartner Data Center conferences in London and Las Vegas where I got to witness the increasing relevance of Cisco in the data center. The critical role of the network to enable the world of many clouds has becomes evident, and Cisco continues to establish itself as an innovator in the server market. Our vision and solutions really grabbed the attention of the analysts and customers at a level that I certainly didn’t see last year.
Data center consolidation, server virtualization, and converged infrastructure continue to be chief concerns among decision makers. Emerging topics such as fabric –based infrastructure, hybrid cloud, and network programmability were definitely the focus of numerous presentations and endless conversations.
Cisco continues to innovate on all these fronts, and we had a lot of progress to present to the audiences in London and Vegas.
Three Insightful Conversations
I’d like to share with you three conversations I had at the Gartner DC Conference in Las Vegas. Two are with the sales and engineering leaders for Cisco Data Center, Frank Palumbo (@fpalumbo) and David Yen, and the third is with one of our partners, Siki Giunta from CSC, who participated on a panel on Cloud that I moderated.
Frank Palumbo on convergence, virtualization, network programmability, and SDN
In the first conversation, Frank Palumbo, VP Global Sales, reports some of the major concerns of the IT organization. Our conversation covers:
The new role of the “cylinders of excellence” — servers, network, storage and security teams — when the goal is to implement a convergence infrastructure;
The benefits of deploying unified computing in environments where virtualization coexists with “bare-metal” workloads; and
Network programmability and SDN.
David Yen on the evolving data center
My second conversation was with David Yen, Cisco SVP & GM, Data Center Group, who gave a great presentation to more than 600 attendees called “The Evolving Data Center: Past, Present, and Future.”
David — who brings in-depth knowledge of IT technologies from his years working with Sun Microsystems, Juniper, and Cisco – provides new perspective on the evolution of the data center.
In his presentation David explains how the convergence infrastructure, on the one hand, and network programmability, on the other hand, reshapes the data center landscape to make the world of many clouds possible.