In the application economy, it is all about time to application delivery and focus on optimizing the entire application lifecycle. With the sustained “cloudification” of IT, supporting multiple applications while reducing cost and complexity in a multi-cloud environment becomes very critical. Most companies suffer from application sprawl with scripting, complex workflows and a cumbersome ticket-based approach defining the application rollout. It is therefore no surprise that many companies hit the “pause” button especially when they are not in a position devise a clear strategy to automate and manage applications in a multi-cloud environment. Unfortunately, this puts them in a holding pattern and at a competitive disadvantage vs. others that are willing to take a more proactive role to transforming the application lifecycle.
The good news is several innovative solutions today are cropping up to address this problem. For its part as a leading infrastructure vendor Cisco is making it really easy to program and automate infrastructure, as well as focus on solutions that build private clouds or establish a mature hybrid cloud presence. Cisco’s UCS portfolio, open NX-OS capability across the Nexus family of switches, SDN controller-based solutions like the Virtual Topology System (VTS) as well as industry-leading innovations like Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) are all making rapid strides in this direction.
The Cisco ACI approach has been focused on making networks (and other network infrastructure components) more application centric for traditional data center as well as cloud-based deployments embracing a mix of Cisco innovations, open source, open APIs as well as a very robust open ecosystem. Several established players as well as innovative startups have seen value in coming on board this ecosystem and delivering joint solutions to customers. One such exciting startup is CliQr, located in Santa Clara – the heart of the Silicon Valley.
The cloud is here and here to stay. No one expects a wholesale move to the cloud overnight, but I’ve been hearing recently from numerous customers whose journeys are well underway, and some common themes are emerging as businesses explore various deployment models. Business agility, flexibility and balance sheet liquidity will drive cloud adoption, and, as the popularity of hybrid models increases, users will demand a seamless end-user experience between the cloud and on-premise systems.
A few weeks ago, I included these themes in my predictions about the future of cloud collaboration. This week I had the chance to speak with two Cisco customers about why issues such as flexibility, cost savings and user experience drove them to deploy cloud collaboration technologies and other cloud solutions. Sheila Jordan, senior vice president, communication and collaboration IT, co-hosted the discussion with me and offered her insights from an IT perspective. She also recapped the discussion, sharing some specific tips for how IT managers can best take advantage of the cloud.
John Jackson, vice president of global infrastructure and vendor management for D+M Group, said that he can relate easily to the prediction about business agility, flexibility and cost when thinking back to his company’s decision to move to the cloud. D+M Group employs people in several different operating divisions around the world and grew through a series of acquisitions, leaving the company to globalize shared-services IT team that did not previously exist. Read More »
Do you think hybrid clouds look like your granny’s network too? Well, that may be extreme, but there is no doubt that hybrid clouds are networked in ways we saw things connected a decade back. Consider a recent example I came across while discussing cloud adoption at a large global enterprise headquartered in the US. Their Asia office wanted to deploy a regional application for local use. It was impractical to deploy it at one of the two large data centers in the US since user experience would be sub-optimal due to latency issues. Hence they chose a local cloud provider to host the application. Sort of a hybrid cloud situation. So what? Read More »