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Data Center and Cloud Management Software at Cisco Live Milan

January 26, 2014 at 4:00 am PST

Ciao! The data center and cloud management software team is in Milan this week to showcase our Unified Management solutions in the Data Center and Cloud booth as well as the Cisco ONE Platform booth at our annual Cisco Live customer event in Europe.

In particular, we’ll be showcasing new software releases including Cisco UCS Director version 4.1, Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC) version 4.0, Cisco Prime Service Catalog version 10.0, and Cisco Prime Network Services Controller version 3.2.

So, please check out the live demos, join our breakout sessions, and take this opportunity to how our Cisco’s Unified Management software solutions can help your organization improve efficiency, become more agile, and reduce costs.

See below for details and stay tuned for some exciting announcements …

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Cloud-based ITaaS: Transforming IT from Support to Service Brokerage

Cloud computing is more mainstream today than ever before, but it’s important to note that there are still significant opportunities for IT leaders to innovate and leverage cloud delivery options to capture new business opportunities and implement new IT models.

The Evolution of ITaaS: The Convergence of Two Roads

On one hand, traditional private cloud services within customer IT services are driving different degrees of completeness depending on organizational needs. Virtualization, consolidation and on-premise shared services are some of the drivers within the private cloud space.

On the other hand, public cloud services are evolving to include Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS), Software as a Service (SaaS), and Platform as a Service (PaaS).

Today, these two tracks are intersecting to create demand for a hybrid cloud model. While the concept of the “Hybrid” cloud has developed mostly as a consequence of the availability of different cloud services, this same availability is also driving the evolution of IT as a Service.

What does this mean for business? It means that fundamentally, IT is adopting a supply chain management logic by deciding whether to make or buy a specific service based on a variety of organizational goals, market pressures, and available options.

The Ongoing IT Sourcing Strategy: Make vs. Buy 

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Introducing Cisco Prime Service Catalog version 10.0

I’m excited to announce the recent release of our next-generation service catalog software, Cisco Prime Service Catalog version 10.0.

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As previously introduced in my colleague Song’s blog post, Cisco Prime Service Catalog is an industry-leading IT service catalog solution for any managing any type of service request – from desktop to mobility to data center. If you aren’t familiar with our product already, make sure to watch this video:

In most organizations, there is no single system or “app store” that end-users can use to request all the IT tools and services they need to do their job.  There are typically different siloed processes for ordering, fulfilling and tracking each of those IT resources (e.g. mobile devices, laptops, applications, infrastructure, access to systems). And with the continued proliferation of new technologies and applications, this has become increasingly frustrating for end-users – and more challenging for IT service delivery teams. Cisco Prime Service Catalog provides a modern and unified approach to solve these problems, with a simple and user-friendly service catalog that eliminates the complexity of ordering services across these different IT silos.

The results? Increased productivity for end-users.  Faster and more efficient IT service delivery. Higher IT customer satisfaction scores and greater IT-business alignment.

So what’s new in the latest version of Cisco Prime Service Catalog? Version 10 is packed with several new features and enhancements, including:

  •  A next-generation HTML5 user interface with new capabilities. The user experience for our IT service catalog was inspired by consumer internet sites and app store concepts, and developed in collaboration with Cisco’s own IT organization.  In this modern new user interface, end-users can easily search and filter for different apps and tools to find specific services, select and configure the options they want, and place them in their shopping cart.

Depending on who they are in the organization, end-users will have a different view of the catalog – based on role-based access controls.  So your employees can search and browse through the catalog to find and download different mobile and desktop apps:

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And your developers can sort and filter for standard application stacks that they need for testing and development:

Service Catalog | Cisco Prime Service Catalog

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  • Flexible policy frameworks to enable greater control of available IT services. For example, we’ve added new quota functionality for managing IT resource requests.  Quotas are especially useful when automating the delivery of finite resources like storage or compute capacity, or managing against departmental budgets or grants.  Another examples is our new policy alerts and enforcement for lease expirations, to notify users before auto-expiring their access to particular resources. Providing your users with the option to automatically extend or cancel their lease can improve resource utilization and increase customer satisfaction.
  • Finance and demand management enhancements for showback and a “bill of IT”. All IT service providers charge for their services, but the concept of pricing and costing is still new for many enterprise IT organizations.  Showback is a typically starting point, and we’ve added new capabilities to differentiate pricing for different classes of service (e.g. gold, silver, bronze) for different departments or tenants. Chargeback is often challenging for many IT departments to implement organizationally, but showback can provide a “bill of IT” with the details of who is using how much of what – without actually implementing cross-department charging. In other words, it shines a light on actual IT consumption and costs. In this new release, we’ve also made it easier to integrate with 3rd party billing systems and tools (e.g. Cloud Cruiser) to help automate financial cross-charges between departments

You may have heard the buzz about the internal Cisco IT deployment of Cisco Prime Service Catalog, dubbed the “eStore”.  It’s been featured in a number of articles in the media as the internal enterprise app store that powers Cisco’s BYOD and mobile apps program – and provides Cisco employees with a one-stop shop for all IT services (from desktop to data center).  If you’re attending Cisco Live in Milan later this month, you can learn more about the case study in this “Inside Cisco IT” session here.

Another service catalog case study that we’re featuring at Cisco Live Milan is Steria.  Steria is a great example of one of our service provider customers in Europe; they’ve used Cisco Prime Service Catalog to enable on-demand, self-service delivery for a broad range of IT workplace services, including desktop and mobile applications. You can read more in my earlier blog post – or if you’ll be in Milan, check out the session here.

During the week of Cisco Live Milan, you will also hear more about Cisco Prime Service Catalog version 10.0 in the context of our soon-to-be-announced new release of Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC). Cisco Prime Service Catalog is one of the bundled components within this cloud management software solution, so the enhancements in version 10 are also reflected in the upcoming new release of Cisco IAC.  You can join one or more of the Cisco Live Milan sessions listed here to learn more about Cisco IAC.

In the meantime, check out http://cisco.com/go/service-catalog to learn more about Cisco Prime Service Catalog.

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Cisco Build & Price Launches New Ways to Learn More about UCS Director

January 8, 2014 at 12:01 pm PST

UCSDirector

Build & Price has recently announced the launch of new content for UCS Director.

The launch offers new ways to explore the features of UCS Director via Webinars, Whitepapers & Videos.(Learn more: UCS Director on Build & Price)

Webinars: I think that webinars on UCS Director are an excellent addition. Yes – we all understand that Cisco UCS Director provides end-to-end converged infrastructure management — including automation for both virtual and physical resources across compute, network, and storage. (check  Joann Starke’s blogs on this topics) But really it is a completely different experience to watch it live in action, ask questions to an expert, get your concerns answered and understand  how you can  benefit from UCS Director to lower costs and drive away competition. The Webinars are being offered twice a month in two different time zones.

Don’t miss the next UCS Director Webinar  on
January 14  at 8 :00 am PST or 5 :00 pm PST
Register now here 

Whitepapers & Videos: Build&Price now also offers Whitepapers & solution overviews covering Infrastructure Management with Cisco UCS and Cisco UCS Director, VCE Vblock Management and Flexpod Management with UCS Director.

  • Whitepaper- Better Together: Infrastructure Management with Cisco UCS and Cisco UCS Director
  • Solution Overview -- Comprehensive VCE Vblock Management with Cisco UCS Director
  • Solution Overview -- Simplify Management of Converged Infrastructure
  • Solution Overview -- Comprehensive FlexPod Management with Cisco UCS Director

In addition, there are also multiple videos that offer different perspectives about UCS Director.

Follow this link to explore more about UCS Director: UCS Director on Build & Price. 

 

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#EngineersUnplugged S4|Ep9: Cloud in Translation

January 8, 2014 at 11:07 am PST

Happy New Year! We’re kicking off the year strong with this very special international episode of Engineers Unplugged. Matthew Yeager (@mpyeager) and Juan Manuel Rey (@reypo) discuss cloud adoption in Europe and how the terms get lost in translation, but maintain a key focus: customers.

Metric Unicorn!

Metric Unicorn!

**The next shoot is last week of January at Cisco Live in Milan! If you want to be internet-famous, contact me ASAP to talk about being on the show.**

This is Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:

  1. Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
  2. Subscribe to the podcast here: engineersunplugged.com
  3. Follow the #engineersunplugged conversation on Twitter
  4. Submit ideas for episodes or volunteer to appear by Tweeting to @CommsNinja
  5. Practice drawing unicorns

Join the behind the scenes by liking Engineers Unplugged on Facebook.

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