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Don’t Fear the Cloud Workshop (Part 4 of a 4 part series “Who moved the IT cheese while I was getting production back up?”)

Part 3 — Your Cloud Journey and Roadmap with Intelligent Automation for Cloud

Part 2 — How Agile is your Cloud?

Part 1 — The End of Big IT Architecture

This is a real story.  Places and names have been changed …

By now, this blog series has hopefully convinced you to throw out the old school approaches and turn the calendar to July, 2012.

I really enjoy talking to groups of people in IT about a specific problem.  There is an organizational dynamic that occurs when good collaboration is going on.  Even constructive confrontation has its place.  The best and most forward looking IT shops realize that they don’t know it all and especially for a new area that they need the benefit of a Cloud Workshop.

What is a Cloud Workshop?  It is a one day slice of time where the Intelligent Automation team at Cisco helps a customer group envision their near term and future cloud value.  It usually unlocks a stuck team.  It can raise standards.  It can clarify a path through the old school thought forest.  It can be challenging on both sides.  It is critically important to get a cross section of all major departments:  service management, the desktop team, virtualization, identity management, compute, network, storage, infrastructure engineering, and program management.  What do we do with this cross sectional group?

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Cisco @ Microsoft WPC 2012: New Channel Partner Opportunities

Microsoft’s annual channel event – their Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) – kicks off in Toronto in a few days on July 8. Cisco is a gold sponsor at WPC this year and we will be showcasing our Cisco UCS Intel-based server and Nexus switch families to the expected 15,000 Microsoft System Integrators, distributors, LARs, and VARs in attendance.

Cisco, with UCS and Nexus, provides tremendous data center engagement opportunities for channel partners to drive revenue generation. Microsoft will continue to roll out new product revisions for Windows Server, System Center, and SQL Server over the next few months.

With a 73 percent Intel Server market share as measured by IDC, Microsoft Windows Server and associated workloads are present in most all commercial and enterprise accounts worldwide. Here are a few actions you can take to leverage Cisco UCS and Nexus engagement for your clients and customers:

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Your Cloud Journey and Roadmap with Intelligent Automation for Cloud (Part 3 of a 4 part series “Who moved the IT cheese while I was getting production back up?”)

Part 2 – How Agile is your Cloud?

Part 1 – The End of Big IT Architecture

(with contributions from my teammates Mike Eisenstein and Jim Kao)

This blog guides you through the considerations after you have taken the first step in your Journey to Cloud with the Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud Starter Edition.

Once you have deployed the Starter Edition, you can take some time to experience the benefits and begin to start noting where you need your company’s cloud roadmap to go next.   What are the key things that you, your business, your users, and your operations need to take them to the next level?  Many of these will be in the next edition from Cisco, others will require building an integration into a system that is critical such as your ERP environment to enable chargeback.  Let’s break the discussion in some key areas:

Compute

Starter Edition works with UCS and vCenter.  While Cisco would like to see your entire datacenter filled with UCS and Nexus, we do realize that you may have other vendors on your approved buying list.  You may decide you want to leverage your Cloud Portal, Process Orchestrator, and Server Provisioner across a number of computing hardware vendors.   We have customers who provision both physical and virtual servers across Cisco and other vendors.  It is one of most common heterogeneous integrations that we do.  This allows the end user to order compute as a service with little regard to which flavor the physical server is.

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Kaon 3D Data Center Models Will Help Shorten Your Sales Cycles

Imagine you’re at a lunch meeting with prospective customers and they begin to ask you questions about the Cisco Nexus 5010 Switch. Wouldn’t it be great if you could use your iPad or other mobile device to show a demo of the switch before your entree even arrived?

The Kaon 3D Data Center Models make it possible for you to do just that. Download the interactive 3D models of the Cisco data center products to your iPad, iPhone, laptop, or desktop. Once it’s downloaded, you’re able to quickly and easily demo Cisco data center and switching products anytime, anywhere. No need for access to an in-person demo center or actual product to show off the features and benefits to prospects and customers.

What would anytime, anywhere access to Cisco data center products mean to you? Shorter sales cycles, of course!

Take a tour of this handy tool and find out how you can start using it today.  Read More »

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The Intelligent Network Delivers the Cloud

We are proud of our customers and their success in the marketplace. They are changing the way business is done by providing scalable, enterprise-grade, secure, and affordable cloud solutions. By tying together the Unified Data Center with the Cloud Intelligent Network and applying Applications and Services on top as end-to-end solutions, these cloud providers are delivering differentiated services with high-level SLAs necessary for end-users’ strategic applications. That’s what US Signal is doing for their customers.

But for some more background, last week at Structure, the conversations swirled around how to handle Big Data, the future of software-defined networking, data center compute technology, database and programming types, and open versus proprietary. Two of our CloudVerse customers, Terremark and SunGard both had strong booth presence and Terremark also had a packed presentation delivered by Jim Anthony, VP, Tier II Solution Architecture Team. Compared to last year, there was a stronger agreement that cloud providers are fully capable of providing public or virtual private cloud services with trust, scalability, and affordability, instead of companies taking on cloud internally by themselves. There are many needs for cloud services out there and that means there are opportunities to provide a differentiated service.

As such, with data usage increasing exponentially, it’s clear how important the network is for connecting the many clouds out there. Let me explain how US Signal is leveraging their expertise with an end-to-end delivery network to success in cloud. Read More »

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