‘Twas the week before Christmas, when all through IT, not a creature was stirring, not even a sysadmin?
Well, not quite. To support the global operations for a Fortune 100 company, the IT staff are always stirring things up at Cisco. But they may be just a little less busy this holiday season. Why? Because Cisco IT deployed a private cloud earlier this year, with a self-service portal and automated provisioning for infrastructure-as-a-service.
This means that employees throughout Cisco can provision and manage the infrastructure resources they need on their own, anytime and anywhere – so our sysadmins can take a break this holiday season (or more likely, they can focus on other IT priorities).
I was at Gartner Summit in Las Vegas last week after missing the prior year. One thing that struck me this year was the increased dialogue around changes IT organizations need to make in their people and processes in order to prepare for both the convergence of IT infrastructure and the move to cloud. Now I know that analysts have talked about the area of IT operations management for some time but what was different was that customers were talking about it too.
At Cisco Services, we’ve had an increasing number of customers asking us to help them better align their people and process to take full advantage of Cisco’s innovative data center technologies. This growing interest in change was on full display at Gartner Summit, as both analysts and customers were discussing what change would mean to them.
So what are some of the things you should consider to get your IT organization best prepared for change? First, you need a leader committed to changing the way your IT runs. The CIO at Seattle Children’s Hospital, Drex DeFord, says he started by re-setting his organizational purpose, identifying patients as their customers, not employees. He then focused his strategy on removing complexity from his IT organization, not just on the technology side but in his people and processes as well, to allow IT better flexibility to understand and deliver against their customers’ expectations.
In the US, we’re running a 7-city tour, training Partner Sales Reps & SEs on Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud. We’ve just finished training in a fourth city, including Cisco reseller, system integration and technology Partners from the Western Hemisphere. Meanwhile, in London this week, leaders from the Intelligent Automation Solutions Business Unit are conducting sales enablement training for Partners as well as Direct Sales Reps and SEs from all over EMEA. On either side of the Pond scores of people are being brought up to speed on how to identify, qualify, and sell Cisco’s Cloud management solution.
Here in London, a handful of different languages ask the same question “How do we clearly and compellingly articulate the value of cloud computing and cloud management to our customers?”
By now you have may have seen the Cisco announcement of the Unified Data Center and Unified Management http://newsroom.cisco.com/press-release-content?type=webcontent&articleId=578106. This exciting story around Unified Management began in the late summer of 2010 when the engineering team in Cisco’s Tidal Software acquisition began the integration of the Tidal Enterprise Orchestrator and the UCS Manager. We realized that we could take our experience with hundreds of customers in application automation and apply that toward infrastructure automation, specifically around provisioning, virtualization and cloud. Our future was cloudy and that was indeed a good thing.
Five months later after intensive technical and business innovation, in the third week of January in 2011, the Intelligent Automation Solutions Business Unit introduced our cloud automation suite which brought the ease of Amazon EC2 to the private cloud for both physical and virtual clouds. The solution consisted of newScale’s self service and service catalog technology, integrated to the Tidal Enterprise Orchestrator for automation of infrastructure provisioning and IT operations management tool integrations. I had been a customer of both of these companies at a previous job and had experienced the benefits of automating both the end user and back end systems with these two companies. With the new use cases of data center and cloud automation I was convinced that these technologies could be the basis of something transformational for our customers.
Following on from my introductions to what is happening at this data center conference see part 1 and part 2), in this article I’ll talk more about something I’ve not really blogged about in my previous blogs (which is surprising given my NMS background) - data center management and Cisco Intelligent Automation. I managed to catch up with a senior manager in the Cisco IT team, Rich Gore, who game me some terrific insight into their deployment of Cisco Intelligent automation. And I’ll also relate some experience of my own on why, when it comes to the products you produce, you should always (as the US folks tend to say) “eat your own dog food”!