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Hybrid – The Next Wave of Cloud Innovation

Today more than ever, CIOs are tasked with creating technology strategies that fuel the business and help their organizations achieve positive business outcomes. At the same time, they must be mindful that the new technologies or services they use to achieve those outcomes minimize security risks and maximize choice and control. This careful due diligence can create an inaccurate impression that IT is slow to respond, often says “no,” or is out of touch with the fast pace of business. To avoid the strict regulations imposed by IT, many line-of-business leaders use cheap IT and cloud services available on public clouds without the CIO’s knowledge thus creating a situation known as ‘shadow cloud.’ The quick and easy use of public cloud services hosted on cheap infrastructure is an attractive and inexpensive option at first. However, the workloads put on public cloud services are not always secure or encrypted. Also, as that cloud usage increases exponentially over time, so does the cost which can easily drive up a company’s operating expenses.

The inexpensive, commodity infrastructure services driven by the public cloud players is the first wave of cloud innovation, and this is a very popular option for many companies today. However, the proprietary cloud model of larger public vendors like Amazon and Google operates on the belief that companies will only need one vendor for their cloud services.

We believe the next wave of cloud innovation will come in the form of open, secure connectivity that drives a globally connected network of clouds—a model which we call the Intercloud. The Intercloud is a hybrid cloud model based on a mix of private, public and partner clouds that offers flexibility, security and policy management to CIOs. Our definition of hybrid cloud doesn’t just mean connecting public clouds to private clouds. It also includes connecting to partner clouds as well. Since this model is open it also allows CIOs to move workloads between all these different clouds, versus locking them into using one single cloud environment as many public cloud companies do. With hybrid cloud models such as Cisco’s Intercloud, organizations can enjoy both the level of control offered by on-premise private cloud solutions and the freedom to choose public clouds for other workloads.

As CIOs begin to assess their own hybrid cloud strategy, they should factor in two key attributes: securing control, and maintaining flexibility and choice.

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Welcome to the New Cloud Blog

Last March Cisco announced plans to build the world’s largest global Intercloud with partners. We have been working diligently to create a world of connected private, public and hybrid clouds based on secure, open connectivity. The Intercloud ecosystem now has over 50 partners with more than 350 data centers, in over 50 countries! We are pleased with the significant industry interest and adoption.  work everywhere

While every cloud has a data center, the overall cloud architecture and ecosystem represent far more than just the data center. The same is true for our Cisco blog platforms. We have had a data center blog platform but no cloud blog platform to represent all of the topics related to our Intercloud vision and strategy.

Today, we’re introducing Cisco’s first dedicated cloud blog channel.

Cisco Blogs Cloud (Bookmark will host private, public and hybrid cloud topics, designed to educate you on what a world of many clouds can do for you.  We are moving beyond just the data center. I hope you find these topics informational and useful.

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Cloud Comes to Life at Cisco Live!

What a difference nine months can make!

Last April, Rob Lloyd walked on stage at PS14 and announced our Intercloud strategy. Fast-forward to Cisco Live! last week, where Gee Rittenhouse and Faiyaz Shahpurwala were on the main stage talking with customers and partners about how they’re already bringing Intercloud to life. Cloud was one of the hottest topics this year. No wonder – in a relatively short time, we have become a force to be reckoned with in the world of cloud.

It was exciting to see the Cloud, Software, and Managed Services engine step up a gear at Cisco Live!. Keynotes, demonstrations, booths, and breakout sessions were all about cloud as an enabler for capturing the Internet of Everything (IoE) opportunity. We need to build on that momentum, because the transition is happening now, and it’s happening fast!

There’s a real ‘start-up’ energy to this proactive disruption we’re driving. Accenture is only one of the many industry “big hitters” amongst the 45 partners that have joined us. Together, we will make Intercloud do for the cloud what the Internet did for all those disconnected, proprietary networks back in the ‘80s.

Are you wondering if we have the credibility to lead the charge? Let me tell you … yes, we do! Read More »

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Security in the Hybrid Cloud

Security is a primary concern for many organizations making the transition to cloud.  In the blog, “Taking a Hybrid Cloud Approach to Security”, cloud provider Presidio shares how building a hybrid cloud enables you to maximize security while maximizing flexibility at the same time.

Security in this instance can be thought of in terms of risk.  For example, sensitive data and mission-critical applications need a higher level of security than a devops test environment.  The challenge for organizations is to accurately assess their risk and align their security strategy with their business objectives.  Threats can come from outside – and inside – an organization.  The best response to threats goes beyond just the technology underlying your data center and that of your cloud provider.

The truth is, your organization is unique.  This means your security strategy is going to be unique as well.  The foundation of a solid, comprehensive strategy is, of course, an enterprise-class architecture with end-to-end security.  To be complete, however, security policies must be in place which meet the specific security needs of your organization and regulations of your industry.

The architecture must also be supported by procedures that enable the members of your organization to easily comply with these security policies.  These procedures must be effective while at the same time not getting in way of the workflows or corporate culture already in place.

Developing – and successfully implementing – such a security strategy can be extremely complex.  For organizations new to cloud, especially hybrid clouds, understanding the nuances of comprehensive security may be outside their expertise.  This is why an experienced cloud provider is crucial to any secure hybrid cloud deployment.  One size does not fit all, nor are all clouds created equal.  The right cloud provider can be a powerful partner in maximizing your ability to benefit from a hybrid cloud.

How can you find the right partner?  Ask how much they can do for you.  Not just what they offer every customer.  What can they bring to the table in terms of experience with your industry?  Can they help assess your requirements and risks?  Do they offer security beyond the commodity-based cloud offerings so common in the market?

A hybrid approach to cloud has much to offer organizations of all sizes.  And when deployed with the right partners, you can have confidence in the security of your data and applications.

Learn more about how Hybrid Cloud and Cisco Powered cloud and managed services can transform your business.

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Introducing Cisco ONE Enterprise Cloud Suite

Forrester research indicates that private cloud has entered into the formal IT portfolio by becoming a core part of data center strategy.   I have been writing about the sea change underway in private cloud.  This sea change means that automating the provisioning of virtual machines and their infrastructure is inadequate in a world where your users  expect continuous delivery.

Application developers want to accelerate application stack design and deployment.  Your customers expect to consume applications and their supporting infrastructures on-demand and take delivery within minutes.

Doubt this fact?  I consistently hear from senior executives about the growth of shadow IT within their organizations simply because the data center cannot meet delivery expectations.

At CiscoLive Milan today, the Cisco ONE Enterprise Cloud Suite was introduced.  I can hear your response now…..What another cloud management platform? So I will respond:  no way!

Many of today’s solutions are simple toolkits that require IT administrators to customize and maintain integrations between tools, processes, applications and teams.  IT needs to become software and infrastructure engineers.  End users have expectations of simplicity and out-of-box operation and these tools simply frustrate meeting end users expectations.

Cisco ONE Enterprise Cloud Suite is an engineered software solution not a platform. It delivers a hybrid-ready private cloud software solution that contains out-of-box installation and content.  There are out-of-box utensils designed specifically to accelerate the design and deployment of your existing and cloud-first applications – across private and hybrid environments.  Learn more by watching this video.

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