Cloud computing has raised a lot of questions with service providers (SPs) and enterprises alike. Because the Cisco Internet Business Solutions Group (IBSG) is in the business of answering questions, we talked to IT decision makers across several verticals in the United States, the European Union, and India to see what companies are thinking.
We found that cloud is happening faster than most people imagine. Almost everyone we interviewed is in the process of evaluating cloud computing. We estimate that by 2013, public cloud computing services revenue will reach nearly US$44 billion, and more than 12 percent of enterprise workloads will be running in the public cloud. A trend toward convergence of the IT and networking departments will ease this transition.
Companies are not jumping wholesale into a cloudy future -- decisions are being made on an application-by-application basis. The factors driving enterprises to the cloud include variable workloads (tax season for financial firms comes to mind), and the ability to quickly set up and get running. Also, some apps just run better in the cloud, such as data entry or process interfaces to partners or suppliers.
Inhibiting cloud are the usual suspects: security, legacy architectures, and sunk costs.
Of cloud computing’s three service models, software as a service (SaaS) is deployed most often. But that trend is shifting: A recent Yankee Group survey revealed that 24 percent of U.S. enterprises with cloud experience are already using infrastructure as a service (IaaS), an additional 37 percent plan to adopt it, and planned deployments are accelerating.
Cisco, too, is seeking to benefit from dynamic cloud service models, using models that offer reduced provisioning times and usage-based chargeback systems. We’ve gotten started by deploying the same unified computing and virtualization solutions we recommend to Cisco customers in our own private IaaS cloud. We call our internal cloud Cisco IT Elastic Infrastructure Services, or CITEIS.
With our local Giants baseball team doing so well Monday night in their journey to clinching the World Series title, I was reminded of the sports maxim of ‘Following through’. Whether it’s with a baseball bat swing, a basketball shot, or a kicking a soccer ball, a follow through is important to take what you started, taking your task through the motion, and setting yourself up for future success. We at Cisco would like to help you follow through with your goal of transforming your infrastructure into a flexible service delivery center and see you symbolically smiling from that winner’s podium raising that trophy.
Part of our strategy for enabling your success is providing validated design guides to deploying our next-generation infrastructure, including the Unified Computing System and Nexus switching family, to speed your journey to the Cloud market while simplifying the transition. We’ve tested these architectures inside our own data centers, with partners, and in customer field trials and have captured and documented best practices around what works (and what doesn’t) in live deployments. As always, these architectures are positioned within our solution frameworks, Unified Service Delivery for Service Providers and Data Center Business Advantage for Enterprises, and we are committed to delivering more value to these Cisco designs.
We publically released a validated design around the Virtualized Multi-Tenant Data Center (VMDC), which allows for the complete end-to-end Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) management of your data center resources across compute, network, and storage. Recent developments include expanded scaling ability which extends support from hundreds to tens of thousands of virtual machines within a single data center. We believe this abstraction of raw resources is an important baseline for extending into the delivery of future applications and services while leveraging a common infrastructure.
In the past, when talking with customers there would be a level of consistency between the CIO and the IT staff about priorities and needs. They needed to improve internal operations by deploying a new ERP system. They needed to improve workforce productivity by rolling out wireless access within the office and smartphones to their sales force. Business needs led to technology implementation.
But over the past year, those conversations have been changing. More and more, the CIO is looking to the IT department to drive new innovation for the business. In parallel, they realize that existing IT organizations have been built in silos to address previous business demands and this will need to change if they are expected to have cycles to drive innovation. Quite often, the CIO is asking how their company can begin to offer IT as a Service to the business, exploring the simplicity that is apparent with public or consumer Cloud Computing services. Read More »