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Top 4 Ways I Know My First Private Cloud is Successful

My users are happy:  Having clearly identified and targeted my end users (did I focus on  business application owners, trusted business IT folks, IT solutions team, or my administrators?), I can see that the adoption of the cloud automation is growing.  This does not mean they are able to do everything they want in my first cloud deployment, but it means they are getting value out of it and I can see the anticipated number of physical and virtual servers provisioned.  I also see deprovisioning occurring.  After a few months I might still see three times to the provisioning going on as deprovisioning. I also have other teams beyond the first deployment angling for their turn.

IT Operations / the Cloud Command Center are cautiously monitoring the people, processes and technology:  Let’s face it, getting into production was intense and we had to make tradeoffs.  We did not get everything we wanted in the first deployment.  We cut the tape and users jumped in the cloud pool.  We got lots of feedback.  We tweaked one or two things; we got even more feedback.  We breathed a sigh of relief.  We looked forward to chapter two and built long lists of what we wanted.  We adjusted our roadmap.  We reviewed the success, learnings and failures with our management.  We identified and quantified the ROI.  We realized that we had lots of work to do.  Our Data Center operational processes were so spread out among our staff.  We had to think very clearly about managing the change from routine to strategic and how our workforce needed to transition to new roles.

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Self-Service Arrives for Workload Automation – and Saves the Day

It’s close to 11 p.m. on the last day of the quarter in a large corporation. IT gets an urgent request to postpone a closing of the books process because there’s a large order stuck in the CRM system.

This means that the order won’t hit the books and be recorded as a booking.  The customer won’t get her order, the salesperson won’t get paid, and finance will show a missing number.

This generates an urgent call to the team that manages the workload automation platform: Hold the closing workflow!  Stop the presses!

The admins have to get to their console to find the job and pause it.  Not a huge deal, except there are thousands of jobs to be run and hundreds of business people calling on a regular basis, at all kind of hours.

Some customers have created help desks for their workload automation teams or they may even off-shore the call center to serve these kinds of requests.

No more.  Introducing self-service for workload automation.

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Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud – Openstack Support (and AWS, vCloud, vCenter)

In support of our Openstack Edition, Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC video) is introducing a community supported “Multi-Cloud Acceleration Kit” (MCAK) that extends IAC Starter Edition to enable provisioning of OpenStack clouds as well as vCloud, Amazon EC2 as well as vCenter and UCS blades. IAC provides both a real service catalog and an orchestration tool that help OpenStack be adopted by the enterprise. IAC provides rich Role-Based Access Control,physical provisioning and adapters to a large variety of back IT systems including help desks, CMDB’s, directories and many other systems.

 

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Attend a Cloud Workshop by Cisco

I have previously blogged about the value of a having a Cloud Workshop to drive success for your first Private Cloud.   Well now Cisco’s Cloud & Systems Management Technology Group and Cisco Corporate IT will host a Workshop at the 11th International Cloud Expo.   Register to hear the best “true grit” about the Private Cloud.   I will be presenting with Rodrigo Flores, Joann Starke and Brian Cinque.

See you there.

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Workplace Services. A Brief Personal History of the Service Catalog and Its Evolution

When Cisco acquired netwScale (my company), in addition to our cloud portal, it also brought in the Cisco Workplace Portal (formerly RequestCenter).

There was a lot of curiosity as to what Cisco would do with an ITIL style service catalog and what the future of such product would be within Cisco.   Well, it’s 18 months later and it is doing quite well, with an exciting roadmap and some new things already shipped and some in the wing.

In this post, I want to discuss what are workplace services, how they have evolved, how they are evolving and what it means to the service catalog.

Workplace services are those services that employees need in order to do their jobs. They include computers, phones, offices, new employee set up, terminations, access to applications and anything else you can imagine.  I have seen tens of thousands of service definitions both common and unusual.

Common ones are the desktop computer variety, but even these sometimes have an unusual bent. For example, banks have different workstations for tellers than admin staff.  Other have engineering workstations that are  different salespeople. Role definition becomes a pretty important aspect of a service catalog implementation.

Unusual ones were “Report chemical fire”, “Order Executive Sedan”, “Inter-factory mail”, and “File patent idea”. Patent as a service, if you will

If it was something that could be requested, it went in the catalog. Today some customers have 1,500+ service definitions in their catalogs with user bases in the 350,000 employees.

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