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Cisco Unified Data Center : Changing the Economics of the Data Center

For the last decade, IT organizations have faced the challenge of managing budgets that are 70-80% channeled towards maintenance costs while business demands are growing faster than ever. The result is that many requests for new projects have to be turned down and more and more business opportunities are missed.

If we look within the data center, the majority of the costs is associated with people and software, but the the root cause of those costs is legacy infrastructure that is very complex and expensive to manage. The flaws of this legacy infrastructure are often masked by layers of complex management software, which have developed to stitch together systems that were not designed to be integrated.

Legacy infrastructure prevents business agility and financial efficiency because it was not designed for environments like Cloud that require fast deployment, automated provisioning of resources, open-API’s, and “self-service” consumption models by business users. Nor was it designed for environments where physical and virtual resources have to co-exist. Finally, it assumed operational models that can’t meet the Performance, High Availability and Security requirements in the context of workload mobility and deep integration between compute, network and storage environments.

As a result of all this, Data Centers have evolved towards an accidental architecture that still contains too many silos of applications that are difficult to maintain and manage.

For these reasons, Cisco has created the Unified Data Center platform, which provides a new approach to design the data center infrastructure and prepares our customers for the opportunities that Cloud will bring along in the future.

Cisco has a long history of anticipating the convergence of technologies in an effort to reduce costs, streamline operations, or unlock new ways for the business to leverage technology. Cisco has a deep understanding of these transitions, having helped reshape the industry numerous times in the past, most notably with the convergence of voice and data. We are now doing the same by bringing together Compute, Network, Storage and Management within and across Data Centers.

Successful transitions involve new ways of not only thinking about the business challenges, but also about designing the underlying technologies to be agile, efficient, and simplified. Bolting together existing technologies doesn’t deliver the desired result.

A Unified approach is needed to unlock this new business potential.

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CloudVerse Brings Power, Flexibility, Intelligence to Customer Networks

December 6, 2011 at 9:33 am PST

While 2012 will be the Year of the Dragon, according to the Chinese zodiac, in IT 2012 will be the year of the cloud. And not just one big cloud, but many clouds.

This world of many clouds means numerous opportunities for Cisco partners to offer customers, whether it’s building clouds, selling cloud services, or designing and implementing cloud-ready networks.

To help ensure partners have a successful Year of the Cloud, today Cisco is announcing a set of cloud capabilities called CloudVerse to help partners build public, private, and hybrid clouds for customers — bringing together the intelligence of the network, the power of the data center, and the flexibility of cloud applications.

Here’s just one example of a unique offering: Cisco partner Logicalis built a customized hosted cloud solution for its clients. Watch this video to find out how they did it. Keep reading to learn about new CloudVerse services and technologies.

There’s no arguing that cloud usage is on the rise. By the year 2015, 50% of all CIOs expect to operate the majority of their applications and infrastructures via the cloud. And global cloud traffic will increase 12 times to 1.6 zettabytes per year – that is the equivalent of more than four days of business class video for every person on the planet.

Despite this meteoric increase in cloud usage, it’s still common for customers to tiptoe into the realm of cloud or shun it altogether, citing lack of cloud talent, concerns around overall user experience, security risks, and cost as major inhibitors to cloud deployment. That’s where Cisco and our partners come together to provide deep expertise in strategy, planning, design, implementation, and optimization.

What are the specific new technologies and services in CloudVerse? Read More »

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Next generation of Cloud Applications

According to Friday’s Dec 2, 2001,  Wall Street Journal , Google will have a 1-day shipping service to challenge Amazon’s Prime service . The news reminded me of some great talks I was able to attend at CA World 2011 in Las Vegas.  One of the talks was by Dr. Timothy Chou of Stanford University on Cloud computing applications. Another was by Cisco VP Marie Hattar on the impact of an intelligent network on our lives. The third was on the future of application development by CA Technologies CTO Dr. Ferguson, who I knew from working in the WebSphere organization at IBM.

Dr. Chou’s talk was in three parts -- namely the economics of the Software business, kinds of applications possible with cloud computing, and the new generation of cloud applications. The service Google is embarking on is precisely the kind of application we can expect where software provides a context sensitive service while understanding the customer’s needs.  Dr. Chou illustrated the evolution of software delivery starting with the traditional license model to open source software, then to outsourcing and finally Software as a Service. He showed the economic efficiency of Cloud computing (Software as a Service).

He went on to state that the ad-based revenue model that Google has embraced allows them to deliver the search software to users at a fraction of the cost of the traditional license model.  In the second part of the talk, Dr. Chou described how cloud computing innovation lies in the business model and not just technology.  He identified application services that can benefit the most from the cloud model, namely high growth applications and those that have highly variable demand characteristics.  He speculated that cloud services would be specialized and differentiated based on location, performance and innovative business models such as spot pricing.

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The World of Many Clouds

Cloud – the combination of computing, networking, storage and management – fundamentally changes the way businesses deliver services to improve economics and flexibility.

While the notion of “the Cloud” is often thought of as a single entity, in fact, there are many types of clouds: private clouds, public clouds, hybrid clouds, and even interconnected communities of clouds serving different verticals, like government, health care or finance. Indeed, we live and work in a world of many clouds.

Cisco’s CloudVerse enables this world of many clouds by delivering: Read More »

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Part 4 – Finally – @ Garter Data Center Conference, London

December 4, 2011 at 3:11 pm PST

Time to close on this topic for me with a brief update from one of Cisco’s strategic partners, VMware, and one of our European customers, Colt.  You can find parts 1, 2 and 3 of my conference update in my previous blogs.

Colt are a European service provider, one of the growing number adopting Cisco Unified Computing (see Cisco UCS gaining serious steam).  A few of my colleagues in Cisco Data Center Services recently helped one of the Colt teams adopt the Cisco Unified Computing System for their cloud roll-out.  The Colt Data Center Services team were at the conference last week -- this part of Colt offer wholesale data center space and I talked to them about their Modular Data Center offering.

With VMware -- who need no introduction -- I asked what was top of mind for them.

You can see and hear from both companies in this short video.

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C1zJdGPSV7c

Oh -- and finally, for a laugh -- being one of two Scots in the Cisco Data Center Services team, I really should point you to the latest VoD on why you should Choose the Right Network:

httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PHLiiwdbKwM

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