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Superheroes of the Cloud Part Three: The Original Cloud Builders

In my journeys of talking to IT organizations I come across individuals who really stand out in their drive and passion to transform their organization and achieve a pragmatic cloud for their stakeholders.  This is the third in a series of Blogs on the Superheroes of the Cloud.  What makes these individuals and their organizations special is that they distinguish their organizations by having a unique angle to their Journey to the Cloud.   I won’t spell out the exact formula but I will offer some tidbits on why I am impressed by these superheroes.

Who said that building a cloud operating model is easy?  It is not.  It takes complete focus on the end goal and a systematic approach to defining the many levels and subsystems of the cloud management and automation framework.  It takes lots of time learning from missteps and successes.  You are pressured to hasten the timeline and deliver under budget.  You have to be a visionary and yet be the most pragmatic individual on the block.

When Cisco Intelligent Automation added Cloud Automation to our core DNA, we looked for individuals in our services organization who would stand up and be the original builders and architects of the pragmatic clouds for our customers.  They would train an entire group of people within Cisco and at our partners to build those clouds.  Their students became teachers in their own right.

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Superheroes of the Cloud Part Two: Be in Touch with your Customers

In my journeys of talking to IT organizations I come across individuals who really stand out in their drive and passion to transform their organization and achieve a pragmatic cloud for their stakeholders.  This is the second in a series of Blogs on the Superheroes of the Cloud.  What makes these individuals and their organizations special is that they distinguish their organizations by having a unique angle to their Journey to the Cloud.   I won’t spell out the exact formula but I will offer some tidbits on why I am impressed by these superheroes.

The move to the cloud and the force of that current has surprised analyst, vendor, and customer alike.  We at Cisco believe in a strong Partner Ecosystem to support our customers in their journey.  Four years ago we had probably a dozen experts in Intelligent Automation Software on the planet.  Today that number probably exceeds 200 and will be soon be above 1000.    We are actively training and enhancing expertise at our IA for Cloud partners so that they can help their clients leverage the value of our cloud stack.

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Superheroes of the Cloud Part One: Differentiate Your Company through a Proactive Philosophy

In my journeys of talking to IT organizations I come across individuals who really stand out in their drive and passion to transform their organization and achieve a pragmatic cloud for their stakeholders.  This is first in a series of Blogs on the Superheroes of the Cloud.  What makes these individuals and their organizations special is that they distinguish their organizations by having a unique angle to their Journey to the Cloud.   I won’t spell out the exact formula but I will offer some tidbits on why I am impressed by these superheroes.

Traditional IT organizations have silos.  I know we are tired about hearing about these silos and the problems it creates, but human nature is one that abhors that change.   This superhero has a philosophy based upon the value of converged infrastructure, namely VCE, Inc. vBlock.  The transformation from legacy infrastructure to vBlocks causes the IT organization to get over the “this is not the way we do it in the network team” philosophy.   Moving to converged infrastructure because of the organizational and human factors issues is quite a statement.   It is a difficult uphill task, but the spoils are indeed great.

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Don’t Fear the Cloud Workshop (Part 4 of a 4 part series “Who moved the IT cheese while I was getting production back up?”)

Part 3 — Your Cloud Journey and Roadmap with Intelligent Automation for Cloud

Part 2 — How Agile is your Cloud?

Part 1 — The End of Big IT Architecture

This is a real story.  Places and names have been changed …

By now, this blog series has hopefully convinced you to throw out the old school approaches and turn the calendar to July, 2012.

I really enjoy talking to groups of people in IT about a specific problem.  There is an organizational dynamic that occurs when good collaboration is going on.  Even constructive confrontation has its place.  The best and most forward looking IT shops realize that they don’t know it all and especially for a new area that they need the benefit of a Cloud Workshop.

What is a Cloud Workshop?  It is a one day slice of time where the Intelligent Automation team at Cisco helps a customer group envision their near term and future cloud value.  It usually unlocks a stuck team.  It can raise standards.  It can clarify a path through the old school thought forest.  It can be challenging on both sides.  It is critically important to get a cross section of all major departments:  service management, the desktop team, virtualization, identity management, compute, network, storage, infrastructure engineering, and program management.  What do we do with this cross sectional group?

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Your Cloud Journey and Roadmap with Intelligent Automation for Cloud (Part 3 of a 4 part series “Who moved the IT cheese while I was getting production back up?”)

Part 2 – How Agile is your Cloud?

Part 1 – The End of Big IT Architecture

(with contributions from my teammates Mike Eisenstein and Jim Kao)

This blog guides you through the considerations after you have taken the first step in your Journey to Cloud with the Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud Starter Edition.

Once you have deployed the Starter Edition, you can take some time to experience the benefits and begin to start noting where you need your company’s cloud roadmap to go next.   What are the key things that you, your business, your users, and your operations need to take them to the next level?  Many of these will be in the next edition from Cisco, others will require building an integration into a system that is critical such as your ERP environment to enable chargeback.  Let’s break the discussion in some key areas:

Compute

Starter Edition works with UCS and vCenter.  While Cisco would like to see your entire datacenter filled with UCS and Nexus, we do realize that you may have other vendors on your approved buying list.  You may decide you want to leverage your Cloud Portal, Process Orchestrator, and Server Provisioner across a number of computing hardware vendors.   We have customers who provision both physical and virtual servers across Cisco and other vendors.  It is one of most common heterogeneous integrations that we do.  This allows the end user to order compute as a service with little regard to which flavor the physical server is.

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