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My First Cloud: Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud – Starter Edition

Please be aware that this product is no longer sold.

Introducing Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud -- Starter Edition. Or as I like to call it, My First Cloud.

I’ve written in the past of cloud being journey to a new operational model and thus makes demand on the technology, process and organizational model.  It changes the relationship between the provider and the consumer of a service.

This operational model is one with resource pools available on demand, metered, pay as you use.  The reality for many enterprises is this is aspirational and not a realistic first step.

Today, he resource pools are funded by department, there’s no automation or self-service to meet the on-demand self-service aspect of cloud.

And there’s lots of fears beyond security; like the fear of rampant waste and capacity outages.

There’s also the issue of complexity and where will the skills to do service design and automation will come from? Global 2000 companies can easily afford big ticket consulting engagements, but smaller ones can’t.

The channel is key to serve the rest of the market but where are the channel partners for cloud?

So complexity and lack of expertise, in our view, were seriously hindering the adoption of cloud operations.

Our response is the first in a series of products to bring cloud operations capabilities to different market segments.  For example, the needs of a mid-size organization are very different than the needs of global enterprise and different again from a service provider.

Even in service provider, there are huge differences in operations and scale between traditional managed hosting provider, an outsourcer, a webscale company and a national telco or network provider.

So the way to simplify delivery for midsize business,  enterprise departments or smaller managed hosting provider is to embed an operational model, pre-packaged automation and a set of competent channel partners that can quickly and inexpensively turn on your first cloud at a reasonable price.

This is what Intelligent Automation Starter Edition represents: a simple, inexpensive way to get to a customer’s first cloud.

Customer’s can use it to learn how to operate the first basic offering; also, it’s upgradeable to Cisco’s Intelligent Automation -- Standard Edition when the customer  needs additional, more sophisticated service offering

I recommend start with a video demo.  Information page is here.

Jason wrote about it, so head there as well

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Build and they will come…

“If you build it, they will come” is one of those cliches that have been proved wrong over and over again throughout history. Cities, railway systems, buildings, airports, luxury residents and other such structures have been built, but barely or ever used. There are many interesting reasons for such failures -- cost, location, convenience, surrounding dependencies to name a few, but all of these boiled down to some aspects of planning or lack thereof.

It is always fun to build something, say for example, a new Cloud infrastructure. Ok, I am sure you saw this Cloud association coming ! With all the technology and tools available to us, building a Cloud environment to meet our business needs is a challenging but interesting venture. Once this infrastructure is built, now what ? It is one thing to have a kick-”donkey synonym” state-of-the-art Cloud Data Center, but a whole different ball game to actually put users on it ! This is what I want to focus on, the “..they will come” part.

For most enterprise environments applications and data have evolved over time and it’s fair to state that they have a very complex dependency model. At the same time, the network, servers, storage and other Data Center elements have also evolved. Cloud service providers, regardless of what flavor of Cloud (Private/Public/XaaS), will have to think about how to interface the new Cloud environment with existing, often legacy environments.

Migrating and on-boarding tenants and applications from an existing system to new Cloud environment is not an easy process. If this is not thought through and diligently planned, then you run the risk of a Cloud environment under-utilized or idle.

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Ready, set, go with Virtualization Experience Infrastructure – Hiren Desai

Ready…

Over a year ago, I blogged about the evolution of Enterprise Desktop environment and what it takes for an IT organization to evaluate a VDI project. Much has changed in a year – there has been an explosion of devices such as smart phones and tablets and employees and C-level executives are increasingly demanding access to corporate networks and data through their personal mobile devices. While it’s proven to be a productivity boon for employees, this consumerization of personal devices in workplace – the phenomenon known as Bring Your Own Devices (BYOD) –  has forced IT and data center administrators to reconsider everything from network security to bandwidth capacity and is at the forefront of most IT administrators’ business plans.

After listening to a wide variety of customers from many different markets, there is one thing that has become very apparent – it is all about apps, data, and a rich user experience. When it comes to day-to-day collaborative applications such as voice, video, and WebEx, they have to run seamlessly from a variety of devices. In short, the perfect storm of BYOD clients, rich media applications, access methods, and compliance requirements are influencing IT decision makers to re-evaluate their approach to desktop virtualization implementation. Many of our customers are looking for a solution that supports voice/video/collaboration in a VDI environment and asking for help architecting their datacenter, network and end point strategy so that they can accommodate richness of devices and various collaboration applications. While it is important to have a well-designed datacenter, we need to stay focused on user experience in a virtual desktop environment while building architecture that addresses security, management and faster provisioning.

Set…

Cisco’s Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) incorporates technology innovation in datacenter, network, collaboration applications, and end-point devices – a new Unified Workspace.

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How Cisco Partners Help Customers to Accelerate Innovation: Submit Your Success Story for a Video

April 16, 2012 at 4:00 am PST

This week in San Diego Cisco,  partners from all over the world are converging to learn about the latest trends in IT organization, and latest solutions from Cisco at the  Partner Summit 2012 ( follow on Twitter the hashtag #ciscops12)
If you are a Cisco partner, we hope that you plan to attend either physically or virtually. Check  my previous blog for details on the data center program.

Let’s be real! Our great success in the Data Center relies  mainly on this incredible ecosystem of talented professionals who believe in Cisco vision and products. These companies are  bringing  an unique value add, in building solutions designed specifically for more and more demanding IT customers -- Customers under a lot of pressure to deploy solutions which are cost effective and extremely agile to meet the business requirements.

We recently met in London, one of our key partners , Dimension Data.   A perfect “Mise en Bouche ” just before the Cisco Partner Summit!

Dimension Data entered the data center networking market about 3 years ago and it has been the fastest growing area of our networking business over the  past years . It is now a significant contributor to our business and because of that we will double our investment in this particular space.  It allows us to grab business across the 50 countries that we operate in, and it also allows us to get far more strategic with our clients and build  up the network platform inside the data center that enables our clients to achieve the savings and benefits  and more exciting opportunities in the market. So we certainly will be investing far more in the space together with Cisco to execute better in the market.  Watch Gary Middleton , Dimension Data Business Development Manager, share his satisfaction to work with Cisco in the data Center space.

To illustrate Gary’s statement, here is a perfect and recent example of the momentum  created by Cisco and partners, when working together  :

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Secrets to a Successful Data Center Move (part 2)

April 13, 2012 at 10:00 am PST

Ah, moving day.  You’ve spent weeks packing your valuables into boxes and are now fervently hoping your movers treat them like priceless artifacts rather than testing their bounce factor.  Sure, said movers are either complete strangers you’ve hired or friends you’ve enticed with beer and pizza, but what could possibly go wrong?

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