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Workload Automation, Job Scheduling, Applications and the Move to Cloud

In an earlier part of my career I learned the extreme importance of Workload Automation, aka Job Scheduling.  Workload automation is the oldest IT technology on the planet coming from the need to schedule jobs on an IBM Mainframe.   Job Scheduling has evolved from driving JCL (Job Control Language) to Workload Automation where the Scheduler stitches together batch and real time activities across mainframes, proprietary OS systems, x86 systems, applications (both packages and commercial off the shelf such as SAP or Oracle or Informatica) and now web service enabled applications whether they be onsite or in the cloud.  Walk into the operations center of any data driven company and you will see multiple screens where operations are monitoring the state of these jobs.  Why are they so critical?  Over 50% of all transactions that occur on this planet are batch in nature.  They are scheduled based upon specific times or based upon dependencies being met.  These workloads can be a complex  and interrelated set of activities.  Effectively these job streams are the business processes that drive modern enterprises.

Without these jobs companies don’t get information (and large amounts of it) in the right place at the right time.  Most companies today could not close out their financial quarters without enterprise schedulers to move data from their disparate systems into a consolidate place for either the general ledger to close out or for a critical Business Intelligence report to run to drive placement of the correct product into the specific physical location to serve the global economy.  Workload automation tools open and close stock exchanges and process all the transaction data from trades.  They also drive compliance checks.  This is important stuff for the global economy!  This was my realization in touring key operations centers and realizing that half of the big monitors were covering the movement of batch data in the enterprise.

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Partnering with Cisco helps Savvis set the bar for enterprise cloud

February 2, 2012 at 9:53 am PST

We invited Mike Taylor, Vice President of global infrastructure engineering and operations at Savvis, to provide his insight on Savvis’ journey to the cloud. Read below for what he has to say. Check out related blog for an additional perspective.

If you’ve been following the cloud services market, you’ve likely heard the term “enterprise cloud” proclaimed by various vendors. But really, what does that mean? How do you differentiate an enterprise cloud from a mass market option?

At Savvis, a CenturyLink company, we love talking about our enterprise cloud offerings and what distinguishes them from the mass market clouds that continue to flood the marketplace.

First, let me be clear: In some areas, enterprise and mass market clouds are the same. Benefits for both include flexibility, quick provisioning of compute power and a virtualized and scalable environment. However, it’s important to note that enterprise clouds also provide a range of security options, unprecedented speed-to-market and vastly improved collaboration between the end-user and the vendor.

Savvis’ enterprise cloud is a VMware-based service differentiated by an array of built-in security features, as well as many optional managed security capabilities. Savvis built its cloud solutions using the same trusted suppliers – including Cisco – used by enterprise customers in their own data centers. Our cloud services are divided into tiers, providing different levels of performance and availability for different types of application needs. These services are delivered in a multitenant way and can also be delivered as a single tenant.

So how do you realize the promise of enterprise cloud infrastructure? My colleague Steve Garrou, vice president of global solutions management at Savvis, recently shared on the Savvis blog a list of items that should be addressed when considering a move to enterprise cloud. Rather than reinvent the wheel, here are the items that Steve outlined:

Decide whether you are going to maintain two infrastructures or consolidate.

  1. Understand what applications are currently running in the existing environment and expectations for moving certain solutions to the cloud.
  2. Analyze the architecture of the application environments.
  3. Determine how much capacity you need to run the applications; are the capacity requirements seasonal or variable?
  4. Assess compliance and security requirements.

Years ago – before “enterprise cloud” was common terminology – Cisco and Savvis shared a vision for a cloud service that offered enterprise-required services, not simply compute virtualization. That vision became reality two years ago when we launched Savvis Symphony Virtual Private Data Center, one of the industry’s first enterprise-class, multi-tenet cloud solutions. A key element of the cloud architecture was the Cisco Unified Computing System.

Partnering with trusted companies like Cisco helps Savvis set the bar for enterprise cloud. I recently sat down with Cisco to talk about our collaboration. You can see the results of those conversations in the case study and video.

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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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Just in time for the holidays: cloud data!

With the emergence of cloud computing, our customers have looked for real-world data that could help them understand the nature and scope of the cloud phenomenon. But that kind of data has not been readily available.

Not satisfied with this lack of information, a research team at Cisco reviewed 30Tb of data each month, more than 45 million speed tests, analyst forecasts, and inputs from our customers.  The result?

Today, Cisco released its first Cisco Global Cloud Index report — a forecast of IP data center and cloud-based traffic growth and trends worldwide, 2010-2015.

Similar to the Cisco Visual Networking Index in purpose and approach, the Global Cloud Index enables organizations to make strategic networking and management decisions and governments to make informed public policy decisions.

Some highlights from the report reveal: (all data global)

1.    Cloud traffic is growing twice as fast as data center traffic, increasing from 130 exabytes in 2010 to 1.6 zettabytes annually by 2015

  • 1.6 zettabytes is approximately equivalent to 22 trillion hours of streaming music
  • 76% of this traffic will remain within the data center itself
  • By 2015, 57% of all data workloads will be processed in the cloud Read More »

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Networking Forecast: Cloudy with Increasing Zettabytes

With the onset of cloud, we’re being asked more and more by our customers about the architectural requirements that result from it.  While the customers have an instinct as to what’s needed, there seems to be less actual data to that effect than what they would like.  When confronted with a similar situation over 5 years ago about the network, we developed the Cisco Visual Networking Index which focuses on the amount of traffic carried across the network to the end user to help gauge the extent of infrastructure needed to support the data deluge.  Now with the network becoming inextricably linked to the data center and cloud, we realized we need to look at the other half of the equation as well to get a truly comprehensive architectural view.  To achieve this, we reviewed 30Tb of data each month, more than 45 million speed tests, analyst forecasts, and inputs from our customers.  The result?  The inaugural Cisco Global Cloud Index, released today.

Here are a few takeaways to consider:

  • Global data center traffic is estimated to grow four-fold to reaching a total of 4.8 zettabytes annually by 2015.
  • The vast majority of the traffic – 76% — surprisingly, doesn’t even hit the network but instead stays within the data center itself, as workloads are constantly being migrated to different virtual servers.
  • Of the total data center traffic, about 11%, or 130 exabytes of annual data center traffic in 2010 is considered part of the cloud  – however that amount is going to grow significantly in the next half decade, reaching more than a third of data center traffic, or 1.6 zettabytes annually, by 2015.

Cloud may be the concept-of-the-day for the industry, but with growth like that, it shouldn’t be discounted as a passing fad but rather a lasting trend whose impact will fundamentally affect network architectures going forward. Read More »

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