We’re pleased to announce that that Cisco’s and NetApp’s newFlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud solution is the first design validated by Microsoft for their updated Microsoft Private Cloud Fast Track 2.0 program.
Built on Windows Server 2008 R2, Hyper-V, and System Center 2012 this new FlexPod offer helps customer reduce infrastructure and application deployment times from days to hours while helping them achieve greater utilization of their physical and virtual resource pools.
Various integration points of the solution were demonstrated for the first time this week at Microsoft’s Management Summit 2012 (MMS) in the Cisco booth as well as the NetApp booth. Here MMS attendees learned about, and saw in real-time action, the extremely tight integration with System Center and Windows Server that both companies have engineered in the solution.
The Cisco UCS Management Packs and NetApp® OnCommand™ plug-in to System Center 2012 allowing customers to monitor and manage FlexPod and any applications running on top—from a single interface. Customers can then comprehensively manage NetApp storage systems and Cisco UCS from within System Center 2012, and they can automate compute and storage workflows across their cloud infrastructure.
This morning at Microsoft’s Management Summit event here in Las Vegas Microsoft announced their new Private Cloud Fast Track program. Cisco is pleased to be recognized as a charter member of this program. Private Cloud Fast Track, a joint effort between Microsoft and Cisco, enables our clients to quickly get up and running with pre-configured Windows Server & Hyper-V based private clouds utilizing Cisco UCS, Nexus, and UCS Manager technology.
At Cisco we believe we are moving to an interconnected “World of Many Clouds” – our Fast Track offerings will enable our clients who choose a Microsoft private cloud environment to quickly activate and deliver an agile, efficient, and simple IT infrastructure.
Co-written by Bryan Mobley, Director, IBSG Service Provider
The business world’s rise to the cloud has been dramatic and increasingly rapid. From an initial attitude of vague interest mixed with trepidation, organizations have begun to embrace the transition in a big way. Some are already realizing the expansive benefits in costs, efficiency, and innovation that come with this game-changing technology.
To keep with the pulse of cloud migration, Cisco initiated a series of roundtable discussions two years ago. The philosophy of each meeting was to bring together 10 to 20 decision makers from a variety of enterprises, midsized businesses, and government agencies. So far, we’ve held 15 of these discussions across North America. In addition to providing a unique opportunity to share our thought leadership, these sessions provide an ideal forum for hearing our customers’ thoughts on cloud: the benefits, the inhibitors, and even a few war stories. In the end, however, it is the advantages of cloud that spark the most contagious conversations.
Here are some of the key trends that have emerged from two years of discussions:
A powerful global change has begun. Through cloud services and automation, people are discovering and inventing new ways to deliver IT services with blinding speed. As a direct result, IT Operations are changing — and those that adopt a pragmatic cloud are creating competitive differentiation for their business faster than most companies.
But there are many stones on the road to Damascus on which to stub you toes.
Some IT shops moving to a cloud are not yet ready to take ownership of that Private or Hybrid Cloud deployment or to change their operations. These shops will not be successful.
Some expect their vendor to build it and own it. Other shops are relying on third parties. This will work at first but it will quickly get too expensive.
Finally, some of the visionaries want to own it themselves but don’t know where to start. These organizations need to build a maturity roadmap that gets them started quickly and easily so they can learn what works and what needs improvement.
We have worked with a large number of organizations. This has given us perspective on the 12 habits of successful cloud implementations. Here they are.
12 Habits of Successful Cloud Builders:
1. They invest in training from their cloud automation software provider so that they can take ownership of and drive the technical work.
2. Cloud builders are indeed that, their goal is to build: over time they rely less on vendors and third party services to build their cloud; they have a plan for that transition.
3. Moving to cloud requires new roles. Builders define new roles in their organizations to take into account the new skills and competencies needed. They think through career implications and pathways. Read More »
Some people say that in the next few years that Infrastructure as a Service cloud deployments will be focused mostly on private clouds. And then they say that enterprises will migrate to public clouds after they have become “experienced” in running a cloud. About a year ago I could really see this story played out. Now, fifteen months after we introduced Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud, I have some different points of view. I would have thought that by now that private cloud architectures would have begun to converge to a few standard patterns. This has not happened. The world is still diverging when it comes to both Private and Public cloud architectures.
I do see patterns arising in successful cloud deployments and here are some of the key ones:
#5: Pragmatic Approach: IT shops that come with a long list of RFP requirements and questions take a long time to source a technology provider and to achieve production success. Others that are pragmatic (can I say Agile in their approach) get to cloud quicker and learn from their successes and missteps alike.
#4: They Have a Cloud Instance Roadmap: After a cloud deployment, some IT organizations think that is it, they are done, next project, my move to cloud is complete. Hold it right there, did you know that cloud is not a single step where you through a switch, but a succession of deployments of great scope from one step to the next? A roadmap is needed that covers: hardware, network, storage infrastructure, virtualization technology and release version, management and orchestration software instance version and finally the services that you are offering to the end users and how the service catalog is changing over time. Those that have a roadmap roughed out are generally more successful than those that have a big bang perspective.
#3: Appreciation for Challenge of Management of Change:Moving to cloud is a big change in an operating model; careers are created and new roles are defined. How does an organization move to the new model with different technology, processes and people? When a team proactively manages the change in the non-technical they ensure long term success. It is not just about self service, cloud catalogs, orchestration, domain management and virtualization. It is more about service designers and automation authors and changes in operational processes.
#2: Rise of the Cloud Architect: Since cloud is about a new operating model a new position and role is needed. If you have a cloud project and do not have a cloud architect tying it all together from cost models, to hypervisors, to orchestration and orderable service definitions, you need a organization role tune up ASAP.
#1: A Service Centric Approach: Most people get this one right away. Service centric projects are the key focus for ITaaS. However, I can’t tell you how many times when I am talking to an IT team, the opening bell results in a speeds and feeds conversation around provisioning that piece of infrastructure and that virtualization API. If you ask the question about what services they want to offer their end users for self service ordering you will get a request for more time to answer that question. Service Centric IT shops will take the time to start first with the business requirements and the perspective from the end user point of view. Transform your cloud project approach to a service centric agile project and you will go far.