This is a follow up from my post last week that announced this webcast. Today it was a treat to have Richard Noguera as our special guest and who is uniquely qualified to speak on the topic of key imperatives for today’s CISO for the data center. Rich is a youthful InfoSec veteran who has led teams at Yahoo, Symantec and McAfee as well as held consulting roles and presently at Accenture in a Security and Risk management strategy role. I wanted to provide you access to the slides as well as summarize some of the key points Rich educated us on today.
As a concept, cloud is the one that most interested our audience today. We are seeing heavily virtualized data centers with private clouds, cloud attached data centers that leverage Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) facilities for rapid service deployment or capacity management, and hybrid clouds that mix/match based on implementation needs. Most of our customers have embraced one of the above models. And, so I am going to focus on our imperatives accordingly.
Imperative 1: Enable IT to Play a More Strategic Role
Gartner predicts with market maturity that enterprises will increase migration of *mission-critical* functions to *public* cloud services over the next 3-5 years. IT and InfoSec must adapt and consider an alternative means to maintain the confidentiality, integrity, and availability of their business services, data, and users. For the ‘extended enterprise’ to operate effectively then, access control and data exchange between cloud service providers (CSP) needs to be standardized. Organizations should look to implement a Cloud Services Brokerage (CSB) – whether internally or externally, utilizing private/public/hybrid clouds – to accelerate service implementation and integration and also ensure visibility and cohesive security policy across multiple cloud service providers.
Imperative 2: Business-driven Security and Risk Metrics
Recently I spent time at Cisco Live Orlando where I caught up with Trey Layton, CTO, VCE. We had an opportunity to talk about automation and orchestration of Vblock with Cisco UCS Director (formerly Cloupia). Over recent months, we have been doing even more work for our customers, collectively between our companies, to do deeper integration and to simplify the management, administration, provisioning and automation of our converged infrastructures.
As we see the continued trend to move to a services model in IT and adopt a private cloud infrastructure, Cisco UCS Director is the only solution to provide single pane of glass automation and provisioning of all virtual and physical assets and can provide end-to-end orchestration across server, network and storage resources. With Vblock, it provides our mutual customers an elastic pool of resources to be able to consume and adapt to various applications and use cases that customers are deploying in the virtualized or bare metal environments.
We are excited about the developments around both what UCS Director and Vblock are delivering, and there is a lot more in the works moving forward to continue to support simplification and agility for our customers’ data center architecture.
The next release of UCS Director will add VMAX and VNXE storage support to the product by September. This will allow UCS Director to support all Vblock models with complete server, network and storage provisioning automation.
The UCS Director task library will include over 50 Vblock specific tasks to allow users to easily build model-based automation workflows to dynamically provision the system.
Cisco continues to innovate, delivering technology and solutions that provide real value to our customers. Tomorrow starts here.
Be nimble, be agile, take informed risks, and apply innovation to how you’re using data in your business. That’s the strategy of Garry Whatley, VP of IT and business services for Staples Australia, and it’s been paying off.
Whatley believes that in the online retail industry, with high volume and large amounts of data, access to that data and analytics is essential. And to get this, the retailer would have to make a considerable investment in technology.
With a strong partnership in the past, Staples consulted with Cisco for expertise and implementation of a sturdy IT foundation. Together, they chose to implement the Intel® Xeon® processor-based Cisco® Unified Computing System™ and the Cisco Business Warehouse Accelerator to deliver the most effective technologies to achieve its vision.
Upon implementation, Staples began its mission to gain a strategic advantage. Regular automated reporting now allows for visibility around performance levels, and inventory management is much simpler and more efficient with data transparency.
The investment has allowed Staples Australia to become more agile and respond to the insight they receive. In addition, customer service is progressing and inventory holding has been decreasing. And there’s more to come. Staples will be integrating more functionality into its business operations, allowing for automation and breakdown reporting of sales, trends, and customer actions.
Operational process and governance, as I discussed last month, is “Domain 10″ in the Cisco Domain Ten(SM) model for data center transformation. It’s so important in my opinion, and so often disregarded or de-prioritised when planning and executing data center transformation, that I’ll cover it twice!
Domain Ten: Process and Governance aka Operations Management
Last time, I discussed some of the “Process and Governance” questions that may- indeed should -- be on your mind when planning data center changes. While you may think of Cisco Services as primarily an architecture and design specialist organization, I hope my Cisco Domain Ten blogs series has shown you we can help you with a lot more than infrastructure design.
In fact, recently, we revised our data center operations management services that we offer to help customers like you accelerate operational success with the new technologies and solutions that they are deploying. We’ve consolidated the best of our service provider and enterprise operations management service offerings, including ITIL focus, together with our internal experience in running “Cisco on Cisco” – resulting in what we now call Cisco Data Center Services for Operations Enablement, illustrated below.
A couple weeks ago, we wrapped up a very successful Cisco Live event in Orlando for more than 20,000 attendees. During the conference, we announced a new name for our software product formerly known as Cisco Virtual Network Management Center (VNMC).
Over the last couple of years, Cisco Prime Network Service Controller (Prime NSC) has developed into Cisco’s primary management platform for Layer 4 through 7 network services deployment in a cloud or virtualized environment. Today the software supports multiple different use cases for network services, with several hundred customers worldwide.
Cisco Prime Network Services Controller is the control point and management software for the InterCloud solution – providing VM workload mobility between a private and public cloud while retaining the same IP address and Layer 2 connectivity. As outlined in a recent blog post by my colleague Gary Kinghorn, our new Nexus 1000V InterCloud solution for hybrid cloud was a big hit at Cisco Live. During the InterCloud demonstration at Cisco Live, we showed how this Cisco-created technology allows enterprise organizations to extend their Layer 2 network to public clouds like Amazon Web Services.
The screenshots below illustrate how InterCloud enables the secure migration of a VM to a public cloud environment:
At Cisco Live, we also announced our new fabric path technology called Cisco Dynamic Fabric Automation (DFA). This new Unified Fabric technology enables simplified network automation and provisioning for both physical server and VM deployments. In the DFA architecture, Cisco Prime Network Services Controller is responsible for managing network services insertion – including firewalls and load balancers – when provisioning or moving VMs.