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The Future of Cloud, Part 2: Adding Value to the Cloud

(This is part 2 of a 7-part series sharing insights from Cisco partners about the Future of Cloud.)

Chris Kemmerer, Director, Mobility Solutions, Verizon, had a lot to share with me at CiscoLive! “What I’m seeing this year is very transformational,” said Kemmerer. “What we’re seeing is how to take some of these foundation services and layer applications and more value on top of them.

“For example, our Cisco Powered hosted collaboration service has been very successful as we see the market shifting from premises-based phone services to cloud-base phone systems. Our traditional focus in the cloud space has been infrastructure as a service (IaaS). We’ve taken the underlying infrastructure of our IaaS platform and started to layer applications to provide software as a service (SaaS) on top of that with some key partners.”

Organizations can benefit greatly from these value-added services. “Why put your communications in the cloud? I think customers learn very quickly about the speed with which they can execute in a reliable, responsible manner. When customers are looking to stand up new locations, in the old days, it would be a month or two just for planning. Now we’re doing it in weeks.”

However, not all clouds are created equal. “Being a carrier, there’s an expectation from our customers that we are five 9s reliable, however you want to calculate that,” said Kemmerer. “The way we look at it, when we say we’re providing an enterprise-class service, it’s going to be over an application-aware network. It’s going to be secure. It’s going to offer SLAs. These are the things that, in my mind, are going to differentiate our services from say a commodity or best effort service.”

You can also learn more about how providers are addressing the need for enterprise class services in the latest edition of Unleashing IT.

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Want to hear Cisco’s POV on the top 5 questions about the Future of Cloud?

Gee Rittenhouse answers the top 5 questions about #CloudAccording to GigaOM, the use of cloud-based resources will be what’s “next” for IT in preparation for an in-depth look at the infrastructure that will drive the next decade of application development.

At the recent Structure event, GigaOM tapped into the minds of cloud-technology industry leaders, seeking insight into the “Top 5 Questions for the Titans of Cloud.”

In this post, Gee Rittenhouse, Vice President/General Manager, Cloud and Virtualization Group at Cisco, provides answers and insight on cloud infrastructure, exchange, data security and more.

 

Top Cloud Question #1: “When will all the major clouds support the same set of APIs?”

 

Today, there is a three-horse race between two proprietary APIs (Amazon Web Services and VMware’s vCloud API) and one open API (OpenStack). For now, the two proprietary APIs will continue to be the dominant players, leveraging their large public cloud (in the case of AWS) and private cloud (in the case of VMware) deployments.

But, as an increasing number of service providers and enterprises adopt and deploy OpenStack cloud solutions across both public and private models, the balance will shift, more than likely over the next two to four years.

Cisco’s approach is different from other, more infrastructure-centric public cloud offers. We believe that the open API model OpenStack will eventually be the dominant cloud API model and will ultimately become the de-facto standard.

Looking to the future beyond just a hybrid cloud conversation toward the Intercloud, an interconnected global cloud of clouds, built with a commitment to open standards and based on OpenStack, will feature APIs to connect any cloud or hypervisor to any other cloud or hypervisor.

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Do You Want to Help Shape the Future of Cloud?

Please take 3 minutes to take the 17-question 2014 Survey to weigh in on key issues to be discussed by North Bridge, Gigaom, and industry colleagues over the next year. Hear the issues debated first hand during the Gigaom Structure “Future of Cloud Computing Survey” panel on June 18th!

Please take 3 minutes to take the 17-question 2014 Survey to weigh in on key issues to be discussed by North Bridge, Gigaom, and industry colleagues over the next year.

The 4th annual Future of Cloud Computing Survey is underway! Cisco, along with North Bridge and Gigaom Research, and over 60 industry collaborators aim to explore the types of cloud computing technologies being used today and in the future.

Please take 3 minutes to take the 17-question 2014 Survey to weigh in on key issues to be discussed by North Bridge, Gigaom, and industry colleagues over the next year. You can also hear the issues debated first hand during the Gigaom Structure “Future of Cloud Computing Survey” panel on June 18th!

Your participation in the survey is instrumental for our industry to understand how cloud computing resources are being applied. This survey will help shed light on the requirements and needs of the cloud computing market so that vendors can deliver the best solutions.  Accordingly, your answers in this survey will help shape future solutions.

As more and more emphasis is put on shifting workloads across the Intercloud, understanding the drivers and inhibitors will help define accurate cloud strategies across organizations.

Re-cap of the 2013 Survey Findings:

  • Business is driving cloud adoption:   Organizations average 52% current use of applications that advance business priorities, compared with an average 36% that use applications that advance IT priorities – underscoring the increasing value placed by organizations on facilitating the delivery of services beyond IT via the cloud
  • Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) leads but fastest growth is in Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), which will give way to Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) in five years.
  • Agility and scalability are the primary drivers for cloud adoption. However, the need for cloud services to support mobility and the ability for continuous innovation to drive competitive advantage through more integrated business processes are all key drivers for the future.
  • Security is starting to lose its label as the primary inhibitor to cloud adoption as other significant adoption issues arise

The survey closes May 30th, get your responses in now!

2013 Future of Cloud Computing -- 3rd Annual Survey Results from Michael J Skok

 

Addition Resources:

Did you miss CiscoLive? Read the “Moving at #Cloud Speed” recap by Didier Rombaut.  This blogs includes links to many new cloud assets.

Gigaom: Future of Cloud Computing Survey Results, June 18-19 2014 (San Francisco, CA)

Read Nick Earle's bio

Read Nick Earle’s bio

Cloud World Forum:  Nick Earle, Senior Vice President of Worldwide Services Sales and Channels at Cisco will be giving a keynote at Cloud World Forum (London, UK) on June 17th at 16:30.  His masterclass address will discuss how you can align your strategy and business for success using cloud.

 

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Emerging Cloud Models: Community Cloud

There is no disputing that both enterprises and service providers are embracing cloud.  What’s different today is that not only are telcos cloud providers, but enterprises and governments are also becoming cloud providers through a community cloud model.

A community cloud model is a collaborative effort where infrastructure is shared and  jointly accessed by several organizations from a specific group that share specific computing concerns such as, security, compliance or jurisdiction considerations. The community cloud can be either on-premises or off-premises, and can be governed by the participating organizations or by a third-party managed service provider.

A community cloud model   helps offset common challenges across universities, government agencies and enterprises,such as  cost pressures, technology complexity, and spending requirements, security concerns and a lack of sector specific services from service providers.

I recently had the chance to participate in a new Cloud Insights Video Podcast to discuss how CIOs can transform their enterprise IT delivery models and how Cisco is supporting service providers in developing their cloud execution strategies.

User Organizations Are Becoming Cloud Vendors

CIOs have recognized that greater business outcomes can  be delivered for their customers by working together to resolve common challenges and realize common opportunities. It’s also becoming clear to them that using a community cloud model for cloud services is an innovative way to help deliver  on these outcomes.

As we’ve worked with CIOs in governments and universities across various geographies, , we have focused on  building a shared understanding of what can be achieved by moving common services, which are not seen as differentiated to the business, into a community cloud model. For example, all universities offer human resources as a service, and student enrollment services and financial aid services are not considered differentiated. So why not have it as a shared community service that reduces cost outlay and redirects the savings to innovative learning experiences for students?

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Building a New IT Organization

If someone asked you how to build a new IT organization from the ground up, what would you advise? A Cisco Sales employee asked me that very question last week. Her global customer had recently spun off a new regional group which was planning to do just that –build a completely new IT enterprise organization, with new IT infrastructure, new IT architecture, and new IT processes. She asked me if there were any Cisco IT best practices I could recommend to their newly-named CIO.

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