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The Origins of Fast IT

Fast IT – It started in our Data Center, and now it’s everywhere

“Fast IT” started for Cisco as “Easy IT”. It was our data center infrastructure engineers who saw that they could automate a 3-week job (building virtual server infrastructure in the data center) in under 15 minutes, and of course they jumped at the chance. They built a set of scripts to automate these processes and saved themselves a LOT of work.

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You Are Not Alone

On the surface, moving your operations to the cloud sounds relatively straightforward. With IaaS, for example, you simply migrate workloads to run on a server in your service provider’s data center instead of your own. In some respects, it is this easy. It is when they need to select which workloads to move that many companies begin to realize how challenging migrating to the cloud can be.

For many companies, the move to cloud is a transition. It begins with a toe-in-the-water approach, so to speak. A few non-essential operations are moved to the cloud to see how it all goes. As the cloud proves itself out, more and more operations can be moved. The organization builds what is known as a hybrid cloud, one that blends the best of public and private clouds with a company’s own data center to maximize performance and efficiency while minimizing risk and cost.

Key to a successful move to cloud is working within your own comfort levels. In the blog, Getting Ready for the Cloud, service provider Netelligent describes some of the key factors to consider as you build out a cloud plan. First and foremost is that you focus on what drives your business, not what drives IT. By understanding your business goals and priorities, you can then more accurately determine how the cloud can best help your organization.

What’s important here is remembering that you are not alone in your journey to cloud. Many providers, like Netelligent, offer a variety of professional services designed to help you make a smooth transition to cloud. You have access to experts who can work with you to clearly identify your business needs and the best way to meet them. They can also help you identify your comfort level so you can move to the cloud at your own pace and have confidence in your cloud plan at every step. You can also utilize professional services from Cisco, giving you direct access to our vast experience in expanding organizations into the cloud.

Don’t invent the cloud on your own from scratch. Learn more about how Cisco professional services or professional services from our partners can help you build the right cloud for your business.

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Overcoming Cloud Jargon

These are three conversations that I had recently with a partner, a customer, and a Cisco executive (not necessarily in this order):

“Cloud refers to only private and hybrid cloud, right?”

“I thought infrastructure-as-a-service is public cloud, not software-as-a-service.”

“We know how much public cloud we are using because we know what infrastructure-as-a-services we are using. What I need to know is what SaaS applications we are using.”

This stood out to me in a major way. While the term “cloud” has been around for a while, there is still confusion as to what it actually means.


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Simpler IT Management Increases the Effectiveness of Advanced Technologies

Advanced technology assists your business on its journey to becoming more efficient and agile so it can keep serving the rising expectations of customers.  But, how can you help these advanced technologies serve your business well?

Technology headlines focus on the individual tools to help you support advanced technologies; but the pivotal reality is that the foundation for all such technologies is your data center infrastructure.  If your infrastructure cannot meet the speed and flexibility needs of these new technologies, they won’t help your business become more efficient or agile.

The good news is that Cisco has made automating your infrastructure straight forward with Cisco UCS Director.  This solution replaces manual tools and processes with automated workflows to deliver infrastructure resources within minutes.  It reduces data center operational complexity across Cisco and multi-vendor infrastructure components.

Need proof?

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All about that BaaS: Cisco UCS and CommVault Simpana

With Richard Jacobick
baas3Cisco and CommVault have teamed up on a solution aimed squarely at contemporary data protection challenges. Data is the lifeblood of the enterprise, yet the playbook for how you preserve, protect and provide access to data may have been assembled years ago… and a lot has changed in those years.   Consider the transformations around compute, networking, storage virtualization and cloud that have occurred over the last decade.

A data protection policy is similar to auto, home and life insurance because the ultimate goal is to mitigate risk by investing in an instrument that keeps the things you value most protected and safe. What would happen to the business if an unplanned event triggered a loss of data access today because of an outdated plan? There is a very good reason why we review our insurance policies on an annual basis and your data protection policy should go through the same periodic review.

A recent survey conducted by market research firm Vanson Bourne outlines how data loss and downtime has cost enterprises nearly $1.7 trillion over the past 12 months. The lack of a well-defined data protection process and comprehensive Disaster Recovery (DR) plan is most often the root cause in cases where data loss or downtime had a significant financial cost to the business.

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