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Riding the Cloud To Improve Your Top- and Bottom-Line Economics

A cloud revolution is brewing, and it promises to radically transform the way we compete, collaborate, and consume business services.

Join the live webcast with Sprint, CSC and ETS on the impact of cloud computing on business models and bottom lines.

Wed. April 25, 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. PDT – No registration required: www.ustream.tv/ciscotv2

What are the factors motivating businesses to rise up to the cloud opportunity? One key advantage is business agility: Cloud offers the ability to address unpredictable application events weighing on a company’s data center, meeting the challenge from sharp, sudden usage spikes. At the same time, cloud promises more efficient ways to address new products, customers, and selling situations.

In other words, cloud drives top-line growth and improves the bottom line.

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FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud: 1st Solution Validated for Microsoft’s Private Cloud Fast Track Program

April 19, 2012 at 5:00 pm PST

We’re pleased to announce that that Cisco’s and NetApp’s new FlexPod 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.

To learn more details on the FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud architecture, please visit:  http://www.cisco.com/en/US/solutions/collateral/ns340/ns517/ns224/ns1150/ns1154/ucs_flexpod_ms_netapp.pdf  

 

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Cisco and Microsoft’s Private Cloud Fast Track Program

April 17, 2012 at 9:41 am PST

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.

Learn more about Cisco’s Microsoft solutions and capabilities at www.cisco.com/go/microsoft

  

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After Two Years in the Cloud, New Paradigms Prevail

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:

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Cloud Owner Manifesto: 12 Habits of Successful Cloud Builders

People of IT:

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.
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