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A Current Affair: Data Center Power Options

August 8, 2012 at 10:00 am PST

What would you do if the next time you drove your car, you noticed a small amount of fuel leaking from it?  What if all cars on the road had similar leaks?

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Crawl, Walk and Run Your Way to Cloud Automation

August 8, 2012 at 6:54 am PST

Stretching the Olympic theme of my previous blog, where I used the analogy of a 100m sprinter and his backup team to introduce the new Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud Deployment Services, I’d like to now discuss how to roll out new cloud projects in the data center.  Thinking again about  a team of Olympic champions -- and the Team GB (Great Britain) cycling team, illustrate this principle so well -- with their fabulous winning streak, not least the incredibly exciting keirin event win by my countryman Sir Chris Hoy (yes, fellow Scot, however that’s where the association ends :-) ).  Such teams don’t often win with a “big bang” all-at-once, approach.  Their training and successes usually builds incrementally, over several years and phases.  

In the case of Team GB Cycling, they have developed from  practically “also rans” in 1998 to consistent world beaters in Beijing 2008 and now London 2012.  They have improved incrementally, event by event, year by year, demonstrating incremental successes as they went along, to be world beaters.  In essence, they have used an approach we in Cisco sometimes call “Crawl, Walk, Run”, illustrating the progress to success.  From my experience over the past 25 years in IT, there are big lessons here for IT project delivery.  Let’s use a Cloud Automation project as an example.

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Accelerate from the Starting Blocks with Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud

July 27, 2012 at 5:39 am PST

As the London 2012 Olympics kicks off today, the 100m sprint event will be one I’ll definitely be watching on TV.    And with Cisco as the Official Network Infrastructure Supporter for London 2012 - an event that is generating huge excitement here in Cisco UK and Ireland as well as Cisco globally, let me use an Olympics analogy to illustrate how Cisco Services helps you accelerate deployment of our recently announced Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud Starter Edition, described in excellent detail by my good colleagues Wayne Green and Jason Schroedl.

The Acceleration is in the Preparation

The Acceleration is in the Preparation

While the 100m sprint will (hopefully!) be won in a sub-10 second time, without doubt the winner will have taken much, much longer in preparation.  Like all the Olympic sports, the 100 sprint is an event where the participants will have prepared for several -- if not many --  years.  They are at the top of their game.   As I learned recently in a seminar at our Cisco Scotland office with Olympic medal winners Roger Black and Steve Backley, what is maybe not so visible is that they all have an extensive team behind them, helping them deliver that fantastic time.  And despite their own expertise, commitment and talent, they will have called on specialist expertise -- physios, expert trainers, even sports psychologists -- to help them accelerate from those starting blocks and over that finishing line in record time.  And for those competitors participating for the first time in such a major event, this background team will be all the more important in helping them develop their race plan.

So now onto cloud automation, and how Cisco Services can -- in an analagous manner -- help you accelerate from the starting block with Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud Starter Edition ….

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Cisco + EMC + VCE + VMWare Spells Success for SAP HANA and Cloud

Do the technology partners that comprise your data center really make a difference?  In the case of SAP HANA and Cloud, the answer is yes.   The Application Data Centers of the future look much different than the Application Data Center of the past.  CIO’s are looking for ways to reduce costs, floor space, and management of their Data Centers while increasing the intelligence they gather from their existing data in order to get a leg up on their competition.

Thanks to their numerous advanced technologies (i.e UCS..)  Cisco and EMC, with the active participation of VMware and VCE have developed over the past years a strong architecture to support the traditional needs of the SAP customers, but also new requirements related to cloud and big data.

With the recent certification of SAP Scale-Out, Cisco and EMC are partnering more closely than ever to provide Application Data Center Managers with the platform and persistent storage needed to solve the issues that keep CIO’s awake at night.

Cisco UCS with EMC Storage for SAP HANA Scale-out Solution from Cisco Data Center

Thanks to SAP HANA, data that previously was unattainable or unstructured, is now reportable to CIO’s in a format that will allow them to make instantaneous decisions to the benefit of their customers and to their bottom line.   Since everything with SAP HANA is real-time in memory, reports that used to take days or weeks are now attainable in seconds.   Cisco and EMC have provided the perfect platform for these transactions giving Application Data Center managers choices they may not have with other hardware vendors.

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3 C’s of Cloud Adoption

Feeling frustrated among all this chatter about Cloud? Want to implement a cloud solution quickly for your business, but don’t know where to start? I can help you understand how to maximize your benefits during the process of adopting a cloud solution. It’s as simple as 3 C’s: confine, clover, and cost.

Today, I will focus on the first “C”—Confine.

Before you can determine what cloud strategy you want to implement, you need to narrow down or “confine” the business problem you want to solve with Cloud. Once you have confined the problem, you can begin your roadmap for success with clear goals and expectations.

But how do you confine the problem? I suggest you take a good look at the market forces that are pushing you to consider cloud. Internally, it may be cost efficiency: reducing IT investment or managing staffing costs. Externally, the forces could be government regulations or competitive differentiations that are leading you to consider a cloud solution. 

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