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.
It has been three months since we launched the most complete end-to-end cloud solution in the industry with Cisco CloudVerse, and so far it has been a huge success. The data center has finally been unified, and now it is connected to the intelligent network to deliver applications and services anywhere, and at any time.
2012 marks the beginning of an explosion in cloud traffic. Cloud services, combined with the shift towards mobile consumption and bring-your-own-device (BYOD), are driving IP traffic at an unprecedented rate. Just look at these statistics from Cisco’s Global Cloud Index: Read More »
You are probably thinking that CITEIS is a typo – but it’s not. In fact, CITEIS stands for Cisco IT Elastic Infrastructure Services and it’s the name that Cisco’s IT department coined for our internal private cloud.
You can read more about CITEIS here, including an explanation of the two options: CITEIS “Express” for on-demand access to virtual compute resources from a shared pool of resources; and CITEIS “VDC” (Virtual Data Center) to provision your own virtual data center with a reserved pool of compute, storage, and network capacity.
We recently recorded a brief demo video of the Express version so you can see how it works: