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Introducing the Solution Accelerator Community for Intelligent Automation for Cloud

We are excited by the demand for Cisco’s Intelligent Automation for Cloud Starter Edition designed for pilot cloud deployments.   Just Recently we announced the new version of our stack, Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC) 3.1.  The release of Cisco IAC 3.1 continues to demonstrate Cisco’s commitment to enterprise customers and service providers to successfully deploy and manage their private, public or hybrid cloud environments.

There are so many opportunities to build private, public, and hybrid clouds with our Cloud Portal, Process Orchestrator, Server Provisioner and Network Services Manager.  Over a year ago we embarked on a journey to build cloud behaviors  into our product through  a concept we call Accelerator Packs which are XML  files containing the service catalog, data model and orchestration workflows that snap into Cisco IAC Starter Edition or Cisco IAC 3.1.  Accelerator packs extend Cisco IAC’s ability to manage multiple cloud environments such as Openstack, Amazon EC2 and VMware vCloud Director.   Accelerator packs were designed to meet the needs of our differing customers:  large service providers, or enterprises acting as a service provider, that desire completely custom behaviors, and other customers that are looking for pre-built and Cisco supported cloud-in-a-box solution.

Our platform is like the iPOD.  When installed and turned on you have a blank slate, no music ships with that iPOD.  Our automation packs are like the music and video files that upload and then your iPOD comes alive.  With our 3.0 Starter Edition and the 3.1 release, we have productized many playlists for a starter and enterprise grade cloud.  This means more than 70 pre-built portal services and over 150 orchestration workflows.  But wait, there is one more thing:   Cisco Advanced Services, Cisco partners and customers can build their specific content to extend the productized behaviors and content.  It can be transportable from one instance of Intelligent Automation for Cloud to another for leverage and integration.

How do we encourage sharing between all the 100’s of folks building content for this platform?

We are introducing the Solution Accelerator Community Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud.  Anyone with a Cisco.com registration can access this site.

This will be the place for Cisco, Partners and Customers to post, download, improve, upload content for sharing within the community.  This content can only run on the Intelligent Automation for Cloud software, so if you would like purchase a version of the platform for non-production test and development use, please go here.  While the solution accelerators are NOT open source, the use of this site is governed by these terms of use.

We have placed our Multi-Cloud  solution accelerator on this site and we are extremely proud of our integration with Openstack (and Amazon AWS and VMware vCloud Director).

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Superheroes of the Cloud Part Four: Every Cloud Service Provider needs a Cloud Cheerleader

I am of often surprised by how much interest Intelligent Automation for Cloud receives from Service Providers and enterprises that are building ITaaS.  I come across another individual who fits the mantle of Cloud Hero, someone who really stands out in their drive and passion to transform their organization and achieve a pragmatic cloud for their stakeholders.  Enterprises have choices to either build their own private cloud their way (which many are doing) but they can also choose to leverage a service provider as well.   There is a broad ecosystem of players in this space from of course Amazon, Rackspace, to traditional Telco’s to more focused and nimble smaller cloud service providers.  How you as a service provider (or a cloud architect at your enterprise) think about and drive your organization toward the right choices for your cloud is absolutely critical the adoption, revenue, and ease in operational excellence.

Do you compete at the low end – what some call a commodity cloud?  Do you go after complete multi-tenancy based upon Cisco Network architectures and compete on functionality?  Do you think through how you are going to sell services and what your value proposition will be?  Are there creative angles that you can enable with your Cloud Orchestration framework?  Which of your internal systems do you really need to integrate with?  All are great questions.   Producing a revenue generating (or charged back private cloud) requires the attention to a multitude of details.  Organizations need an energetic individual who speaks their mind and can lead an organization the right balance of business, technology, and ultimately success in monetizing the cloud.

This cloud hero is Karl Marsh, Staff Manager, Tools & Orchestration at Windstream Hosted Solutions, http://www.windstreambusiness.com/

Previous Superheros:

Superhero 3:  Ravi Rajamani and Brian Krug of Cisco Advanced Services.

Superhero 2:  Johan Milbrink of Presideo Networked Solutions

Superhero 1:  Ryan Carrico of Paypal

 

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The Rise of the Progressive SMB [Infographic]

Throughout the recent years we have seen an uptake in a new group of SMB’s – the “Progressive SMB,” organizations that are increasingly encroaching on the territory of their larger competitors. But what makes a SMB progressive?

Check out the infographic below to see what you can learn from progressive SMBs, including how they are going against the grain and investing heavily in technology to improve collaboration, productivity and long-term business bottom line results.

Do you consider yourself a progressive SMB? If so, we would love to hear how you are investing in IT to gain a competitive edge.

 

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Introducing Network Services Manager for Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud 3.1

The release of Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud 3.1 (Cisco IAC) begins to address one of the key questions of our customers who are building public and private clouds:  How can I automate the network services configuration in my data center pod to enable policy-based network infrastructure as a service for my customers?

Some of you may be familiar with the Cisco Network Services Manager (Cisco NSM), part of the Intelligent Automation software portfolio.  With the release of Cisco IAC 3.1, Cisco NSM is now integrated with and bundled as part of Cisco IAC, laying the foundation for infrastructure as a service.

Let’s take a look at some of the features in NSM for Cisco IAC:

Read More »

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Cisco TelePresence-as-a-Service Makes In-Person Collaboration Even More Accessible for All

In this global economy, the people you deal with are more dispersed than ever. Yet at the same time 75% of business executives consider in-person collaboration an imperative. The survey that revealed that figure is an interesting read, and validates experiences that we’ve all encountered first-hand. How many times have you experienced communications that were misinterpreted or failed to engage participants effectively, negatively impacting relationships, projects, and business outcomes? As the pace of business gets faster and more complex, how do you: get everyone on the same page; scale resources to be in more places at once; and maintain face-to-face relationships with widely dispersed colleagues, customers, agencies, partners and advisors?

Visual collaboration is the next stage for many businesses as they put in place collaboration strategies to drive even higher levels of productivity for their business. However, for some organizations the up-front costs — to deploy the technology, train or acquire the right IT skill set, and provide the needed consistent level of inter-connectivity — can be barriers preventing them from accelerating business impact through video.

With our October 16 announcement, customers now have more choice in how they consume visual collaboration with Cisco TelePresence-as-a-Service (TPaaS). Cisco TPaaS places the Cisco TelePresence infrastructure in the cloud, powered by Cisco’s best-in-class architecture and network and managed by trusted Cisco certified partners. With this as-a-Service offering, there are even more flexible options for the deployment of telepresence and the acceleration of business impact through video. With Cisco TPaaS delivered from the cloud, organizations experience a predictable OpEx model, simplify operations (including interoperability with legacy video solutions), reduce risk of technology obsolescence, free IT resources to focus on core and strategic initiatives, and gain capabilities to scale based on business demand.

Expanded Cisco TPaaS service options help users:

Meet any time with an in-person experience. New “rendezvous” meeting options provide a personal conference bridge which can be used to meet securely with your colleagues, customers and partners — no scheduling required.

Work the way they want/need to work. With cloud-based Cisco TPaaS, it is simpler and quicker for businesses to scale video and telepresence to those specific people who can create the greatest impact using video. Companies simply provide or lease the video and telepresence endpoints needed to meet users’ varying needs — from immersive in-room solutions to desktop to employees’ personal mobile devices. A qualified Cisco partner handles the rest.

Customize and control their meeting environment. New active meeting management options enable real-time meeting controls to help users create the appropriate atmosphere for the topic and attendee profile. For example, hosts can quickly and easily manage participant add or drops, creating personalized messages, changing the layout, muting background conversations, securing meeting access, extending a scheduled meeting or capturing a meeting roster.

In our November 14 webcast, our Cisco product experts will provide more detail on Cisco TPaaS and other cloud collaboration announcements, and also provide some guidance on finding the right deployment model for your business. Hope you can join us.

Mark

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