During the broadcast, he offered an overview of how services are a key differentiator for Cisco partners, and he explained how services can drive partner profitability. Here’s a replay in case you missed it.
Cisco’s services strategy places the partner at the center, according to Bob, because partners are critical to Cisco’s go-to market strategy, whether a partner is selling professional services, managed services, or technical services.
In terms of sales, it used to be that products generated far more revenue for partners than services. Five years ago, 80% of partners’ business was product-based, and 20% was generated by services. Now, partners’ business is almost split evenly between product and services. Bob then told viewers that services help an end-customer see how technology can really generate business outcomes.
Want to learn more? In addition to the video replay above, we’ve got a text summary of the broadcast, along with time stamps to identify sections in which Bob addresses key topics, such as market opportunities around architectures, success stories, and how Cisco’s services are different from those competitors offer.
I have been involved in a lot of Data Center projects over the years and during the design discussions someone almost invariably observes: “it’s not rocket science. We’re just building a Data Center.”
It turns out there is rocket science in some Data Centers after all.
A handful of server environments now incorporate hydrogen fuel cells, the same technology that helped U.S. spacecraft reach the moon as part of the Gemini and Apollo space missions in the 1960s and are still used in space shuttles today. Data Center industry publications have in recent years reported fuel cells helping power server environments belonging to the First National Bank of Omaha, Fujitsu and Verizon.
Hydrogen fuel cells combine hydrogen and oxygen to create electricity and produce heat and water as byproducts. They typically run on natural gas, which although not a renewable energy does emits less carbon, sulfur and nitrogen than other sources. Probably the best known fuel cell on the market is Bloom Energy’s “Bloom Box” that was profiled by 60 Minutes in 2010.
So, are we at Cisco using fuel cells in Data Centers? Watch below to see why or why not.
Cisco Advanced Services has been involved in quite a few Data Center Migration projects over last couple of years. One common theme in most of these migrations was that the projects were never limited to infrastructure migration to shiny new devices. Statements of work almost always included improvements and customization to routing, configuration of QoS across the Data Center Interconnect and the WAN circuits, and to provide some level of instrumentation to validate the traffic flow across multiple different paths. While these requirements seem like a logical extension of any Data Center migration project, fulfilling these requirements was never straightforward.
In most of the customer environments, by looking at the Network topology, we could easily determine safe upper limits of client to server traffic. The real challenge was to determine traffic between the web front-end servers and the application and/or database servers – the east/west traffic. Some wild assumptions were made in some cases since the data was either not available or was inadequate. This lack of network traffic profiling made QoS provisioning very difficult on WAN circuits and almost impossible on the Inter Data Center links.
The Cloud market is certainly heating up. Last Thursday’s announcement from Dell of a $1B (US) investment in 2011 to enter the Cloud hosting market had me reflecting on their new direction. Dell is beginning a two-year build-out of ten data centers around the world to serve enterprises’ public and private Cloud needs. Earlier this year in a similar move, HP announced a set of new Cloud services they are offering ranging from consultancy, Cloud services, and equipment. These options included an “Enterprise Cloud Services-Compute” which will deliver private Cloud services directly from HP’s data centers to end-customers.
There’s a striking difference between Cisco’s strategy and those of HP and Dell. HP and Dell’s strategies will be challenging for some of their customers, especially service providers. Cisco’s strategy is to enable our customers to provide cloud services, whether service provider, public sector, or enterprise.
On one hand, HP and Dell are providing data center packages to enable SP Cloud delivery. On the other hand, both are investing to deliver Cloud services directly to end-users and bypass the service providers. While this is likely to further stimulate Cloud competition, it is directly competitive with service providers who wish to offer their own Cloud services.