Stretching the Olympic theme of my previous blog, where I used the analogy of a 100m sprinter and his backup team to introduce the new Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud Deployment Services, I’d like to now discuss how to roll out new cloud projects in the data center. Thinking again about a team of Olympic champions -- and the Team GB (Great Britain) cycling team, illustrate this principle so well -- with their fabulous winning streak, not least the incredibly exciting keirin event win by my countryman Sir Chris Hoy (yes, fellow Scot, however that’s where the association ends ). Such teams don’t often win with a “big bang” all-at-once, approach. Their training and successes usually builds incrementally, over several years and phases.
In the case of Team GB Cycling, they have developed from practically “also rans” in 1998 to consistent world beaters in Beijing 2008 and now London 2012. They have improved incrementally, event by event, year by year, demonstrating incremental successes as they went along, to be world beaters. In essence, they have used an approach we in Cisco sometimes call “Crawl, Walk, Run”, illustrating the progress to success. From my experience over the past 25 years in IT, there are big lessons here for IT project delivery. Let’s use a Cloud Automation project as an example.
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Tags: cisco_services, cloud, cloud_computing, data center, intelligent automation
Recently, I wrote an article on PaaS for IT BusinessEdge entitled the road PaaS, understanding your post IaaS options. Here’s an excerpt.
The Road to PaaS
PaaS is an enticing proposition that has generated a lot of market buzz.
But PaaS forces tradeoffs and it shouldn’t be seen as a one-size-fits-all proposition.
To understand, I like to draw the distinction between what I call “Silicon Valley PaaS” and “Enterprise PaaS.” The majority of the discussion in the market today revolves around the Silicon Valley PaaS pattern, which is a truly abstracted “black box” approach to software platforms.
This form of PaaS exposes a set of standardized services to which you write your applications, completely sheltering developers from the underlying complexity below the PaaS abstraction.
It makes a lot of sense for brand-apps built with modern frameworks like Python and Ruby in greenfield development environments that are highly standardized.
The basic premise of the post is that PaaS for an enterprise is VERY different from PaaS for a Silicon Valley start up. And nowhere is it more different than in the network requirements.
The PaaS customer is a developer who will code an application, use the underlying services offered by the PaaS stack, such a database, storage, queueing, etc. The developer deploys the code, selects a few options and code is live.
So what’s going on with the network? Well, the PaaS layer will need to auto-scale, fail-over and deliver performance at some level. It may need it’s own domain as well. That PaaS layer will need to talk to underlying network services such as firewalls, switches, etc. That PaaS really needs access to infrastructure models that deliver network containers to whatever PaaS abstraction the PaaS layer has.
Hard enough to do when all the containers are the same, as it would be in a Silicon Valley PaaS offering.
It doesn’t work with the existing enterprise platforms. This is a big opportunity for innovation
Tags: Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud, cloud, Cloud Management, intelligent automation, orchestration, paas, Service Orchestration, unified management
As the London 2012 Olympics kicks off today, the 100m sprint event will be one I’ll definitely be watching on TV. And with Cisco as the Official Network Infrastructure Supporter for London 2012 - an event that is generating huge excitement here in Cisco UK and Ireland as well as Cisco globally, let me use an Olympics analogy to illustrate how Cisco Services helps you accelerate deployment of our recently announced Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud Starter Edition, described in excellent detail by my good colleagues Wayne Green and Jason Schroedl.
The Acceleration is in the Preparation
While the 100m sprint will (hopefully!) be won in a sub-10 second time, without doubt the winner will have taken much, much longer in preparation. Like all the Olympic sports, the 100 sprint is an event where the participants will have prepared for several -- if not many -- years. They are at the top of their game. As I learned recently in a seminar at our Cisco Scotland office with Olympic medal winners Roger Black and Steve Backley, what is maybe not so visible is that they all have an extensive team behind them, helping them deliver that fantastic time. And despite their own expertise, commitment and talent, they will have called on specialist expertise -- physios, expert trainers, even sports psychologists -- to help them accelerate from those starting blocks and over that finishing line in record time. And for those competitors participating for the first time in such a major event, this background team will be all the more important in helping them develop their race plan.
So now onto cloud automation, and how Cisco Services can -- in an analagous manner -- help you accelerate from the starting block with Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud Starter Edition ….
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Tags: ciso_services, cloud, cloud_computing, data center, data_center, intelligent automation, London Olympics
Wow, lots of excitement this week with all the news in the cloud space. All very interesting and very much validating of the work that our Intelligent Automation Solutions Business Unit is doing around automation of the cloud. Now on to actually showing ROI right now for your CIO.
We in the Cisco Intelligent Automation Solutions Business Unit define the cloud operating model as a set of behaviors that define the operational characteristics of your private or public cloud. Our Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud models a private cloud operation through a set of behaviors around the following areas:
- Catalog of Services
- Tenant / Organization Model
- Site / POD model
- Lease/Capacity management
- Network Segregation
- Lifecycle management
- Administrative capabilities
- Image Management
- Storage and Network Automation
Let’s take a look at each of these items and show how this work in our Intelligent Automation for Cloud Starter Edition:
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Tags: Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud, intelligent automation, network automation, orchestration, starter edition
I was recently vising a few customers south of our corporate offices in the Los Angeles area and I was jolted into realizing that I need to add one more significant benefit of deploying our Intelligent Automation for Cloud software.
When I talk about benefits of Private (and Public ) Cloud I usually focus on these four business drivers:
- Drive towards shorter provisioning times (for both Physical and Virtual Infrastructure) and self service
- Desire to reduce infrastructure costs by moving from a provision for peak loads on each application to one of pooling of resources and “averaging” out the workload peaks and to enable the pay for usage
- Users (and management) was a predictable SLA for provisioning achieved through orchestration and automation
- Need to reduce VM sprawl and increase governance and compliance over the provisioning process.
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Tags: intelligent automation, orchestration, private cloud