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What does a 4 year old have in common with Cisco?

February 28, 2012 at 11:29 am PST

“Ow mommy, my leg huuuuuuuuuuurts,” complained my 4 year old.  After a quick examination and check-in with the doctor (read: I opened a book written by Dr. Sears and consider that a check- in with “the doctor”), I determined the problem was simply growing pains.

Growing pains don’t apply only to small children and adolescents. They apply to small companies and large enterprises alike. And like the growing pains you experienced when you were 4, 12, and 18 years old, they can cause physical (in the form of operational costs) and emotional (in the form of stress) pain for your business.

For my 4 year old the solution to growing pains is a kiss, hug, and maybe some chocolate ice cream. Most businesses (all businesses? There is always an exception) need more than a band-aid; businesses want a long-term solution to business challenges with measurable results. One of the most common “growing pains” for businesses is controlling operating expenditures.

Recent research shows that up to 75 percent of enterprise IT costs are operating expenditures (Gartner ITKMD, January 2011). Let’s explore how Cisco has significantly grown its infrastructure while reducing operating costs.

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How a Customer Crisis Ten Years Ago Helped Me Understand the Challenges of Cloud Service Creation Today (Part 1)

February 23, 2012 at 10:45 am PST

If you are already offering cloud services from your data center, or are starting your planning to do so, there are some key initial questions I’d advise you consider.  And they’re not about the technical aspects of data center architecture!  You find yourself asking “what cloud services should we offer?” and “How do we evolve what we offer today”.  You may, post launch, also find yourself asking “Why is the take up to our cloud services not as big as we initially forecast?”.  Before you say “aha -  these are questions for service providers offering cloud services” .. I would argue that these questions are fundamental to enterprise and public sector organizations too -- assuming that you intend to provide cloud services to your user community that help them do their jobs.  Following one of my colleagues who blogged earlier that, with cloud services, “you need to think like a product manager”, I will assert here that there are some key lessons from product management that can help you in creating cloud services that are actually useful to your customer and/or your internal clients and stakeholders.

As you may have noticed from my previous blogs, I’ve worked in product management of both products and services for a while (since 1997 in fact, when I moved from software engineering into the “dark side” :-) ) …. so what lessons have I learned that may help you address the challenges of creating and defining new cloud services?

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Three Pitfalls to Avoid While “Hitching your Wagon to the Cloud” (Pitfall 1: WAN Does Not Matter)

Last week at the Cloud Connect 2012 conference in Santa Clara, I was sharing a panel with industry colleagues representing the most prominent vendors in the application optimization, cloud infrastructure and network acceleration space . The topic was “hitching your wagon to the cloud”, discussing the importance of the network, particularly WAN, to make your cloud deployments successful. Folks talked about interesting concepts like “stateless branch office”, and “nirvana of Internet as WAN” before someone in the audience retorted, “I need solutions that help me deal with reality!” Read More »

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What Happens When Mobile and Cloud Collide?

Mobility and cloud computing are colliding. So, what does this mean for the future of mobile devices? How soon will video-conference calls on our mobile devices become commonplace? How can service providers (SPs) enhance their competitive position by delivering cloud and managed services?

While research has been conducted on mobile and cloud computing as separate trends, to date very little data has existed on the impact of mobility and cloud together. To understand this dynamic market better, the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) surveyed more than 1,000 business users to understand their current and future needs with regard to the mobile cloud.

The top findings may surprise you:

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First Ever Cloud Infrastructure Test: Cisco Delivers Impressive NGN Innovations

In years past we’ve delivered on what we call “Megatests” -- comprehensive evaluations that validate our performance claims. The most recent “Megatest”  was initiated by Light Reading to assess Cisco’s CloudVerse architecture, and represents the industry’s first and only end-to-end test of public cloud infrastructure. The first of four reports focused on the Unified Data Center, including Unified Compute (Cisco UCS), Unified Fabric (Nexus family), and Unified Management.

The second report, Cloud Intelligent Networks sought to validate the performance of Cisco’s IP NGN infrastructure Read More »

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