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Easy to Build, Easy to Manage: Cisco OpenStack Private Cloud

What if a private cloud could give your developers the easy, fast, and predictable experience that public cloud delivers, but inside your own data center, behind your own firewalls?  It’s what more and more companies are looking to provide.

Different clouds for different crowds

Innovative organizations are increasingly deploying two modes of IT — traditional IT and agile IT. Traditional IT is what we’ve all know. The focus is on “doing IT right,” with approval-based governance, and price-for-performance. Agile IT is focused on “doing IT fast,” supporting prototyping and iterative development, rapid delivery, continuous, and value to the business.  Gartner calls this model “bimodal IT” and estimates that 45% of CIO’s already deploy a second, agile mode of IT.

Cisco has a long history of providing infrastructure for traditional enterprise private cloud environments. In fact, we lead the industry with Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure solutions such as vBlock Systems, Flexpod, and VersaStack. With the acquisition of Metacloud in September 2014, we now offer an agile IT environment for developers.

Enter Metacloud

The Metacloud product, now available worldwide as Cisco OpenStack Private Cloud, delivers the engineering and ongoing operations to provide a public cloud experience within the firewalls in an organization. The advanced operations subscription to Cisco OpenStack Private Cloud takes the burden of engineering and operations of the private cloud environment away from your teams, so they can focus on automating the testing, deployment, and scale of your applications.

Metacloud solved the challenges of running a sophisticated OpenStack® private cloud that delivers an easy, fast, predictable “public cloud-like” experience to developers. But under our original model customers are still left with the challenge of building an OpenStack private cloud—cobbling together the data center components of your private cloud, using  traditional IT models for getting those set up and configured.


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Five Reasons You Can’t Ignore OpenStack

Five Reasons You Can’t Ignore OpenStack

1.    It’s growing dramatically.
OpenStack User Survey, Nov 2014
Source: OpenStack User Survey, November 2014

·       The growth trajectory of OpenStack® is similar to that of Linux, and is on track to grow even faster. What started as a sandbox for developers has now become significantly more stable and mainstream.

·       Many larger enterprises are now using OpenStack, even in limited deployments, and as the advantages become more apparent, use will increase.

·       The code itself has matured dramatically since its introduction five years ago. Updates are now far more likely to be bug fixes and usability improvements rather than major new code releases.

·       An impressive number of technology and cloud vendors now offer OpenStack solutions and tools. Almost every major cloud vendor now has a presence in OpenStack. We are nearing critical mass.

2.    The OpenStack community is vigilant about protecting flexibility.

·       The biggest advantage of an open-source approach is that you can create a much more flexible and vendor-neutral cloud environment. As a result, you can lower your costs, avoid the risks of vendor lock-in, and add new capabilities and approaches much more quickly and easily.

·       The cloud is still an incredibly dynamic, rapidly evolving marketplace. New features and approaches are being introduced all the time. If you lock yourself into a single vendor, you’ll be on that vendor’s timeline to bring those new capabilities to your business. Your success may well rest on responding more quickly than your competitors.

3.   It can make a big difference in productivity and staffing.

·       Using OpenStack on an integrated infrastructure platform, like Cisco UCS® offers significant productivity benefits, because the two architectures work together to eliminate many of the manual tasks involved in building a cloud. OpenStack defines how computing, networking, storage, and other essential cloud elements will interoperate, so your IT engineers are free of repetitive deployment tasks and can focus on more value-added projects.

·       If you lock your cloud environment into a single vendor’s approach, you’re limited to staff who specialize in that vendor’s technology—or to long ramp-up times to train existing staff who don’t.  But open source technologies are a smart investment and many of today’s developers and engineers are adding open source to their skill set, expanding the number of people qualified to support your OpenStack cloud.

·       OpenStack is growing rapidly. Even if you’re not planning to begin implementing an open-source approach right away, it’s critical to start building OpenStack skills in your team now, so you won’t be scrambling to catch up later.

4.    Are you avoiding OpenStack because you think using an open-source solution means a long, complex do-it-yourself project?  Not necessarily.

·       Hardened, enterprise-class OpenStack solutions are now available from open-source leaders like Red Hat®, often as part of pre-integrated, ready-to-deploy solutions developed in partnership with vendors like Cisco.  Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure for Red Hat OpenStack is a fully documented design guide and bill of materials, designed to accelerate deployment of your OpenStack cloud.

·       And for those who prefer to leave operation of OpenStack to the experts, Cisco now provides a fully-managed, on-premises private cloud option, based on technology acquired from Metacloud.  Cisco OpenStack Private Cloud® gives you all of the benefits of a public cloud in a private cloud environment, so you can focus on application development.

·        The number of tools is growing and responding to the need for support.  OpenStack users have made Chef cookbooks and Puppet configuration modules freely available on GitHub.  In addition, the latest technologies for putting infrastructure at the service of cloud applications and services are being made available for OpenStack.  Vendors now offer software-define networking (SDN) controllers, such as the Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC), that allow you to perform policy-based management of your OpenStack-based cloud environment.

5.   Are you ready for a hybrid cloud world?

·       For many businesses, the immediate priority is to create a private cloud environment to deliver IT as a service (ITaaS). But you want to be able to shift workloads to public cloud resources when it makes sense to do so, as well as meet growing demands from lines of business that want to use public cloud services in the enterprise.

·       Hybrid cloud is growing in importance as it combines the economic benefits of the public cloud with the control and security of a private cloud.  The December 2014 Ubuntu Cloud and Server Survey found that 40% of respondents using OpenStack were planning to implement an OpenStack-based hybrid cloud in the next 12 months.  OpenStack is an obvious candidate for hybrid cloud, with the support of an active open source community, as well as major cloud vendors.

OpenStack may have seemed like a curiosity a few years ago. But it’s becoming a big part of the cloud landscape. If you want to capitalize on the benefits of open source cloud environments before your competitors, start paying attention now—or be prepared to play catch-up later.


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SUMMARY: As Cisco Intercloud Turns One, Two of its Architects Reflect On How The Strategy Was Born

“One year ago this week, Cisco announced a plan and a billion dollar investment to build the world’s largest Intercloud – a globally connected network of clouds from Cisco and our partners. As we arrive at the one-year anniversary, I took a few minutes to chat with Cisco President Rob Lloyd and Cloud SVP Nick Earle – two of the ‘architects of the Intercloud’ – about how the idea came about, and what they have learned in the year since the vision was unveiled.”

Click here to read the full post by David McCulloch
A Q&A with Cisco President Rob Lloyd and Cloud Senior Vice President Nick Earle


Intercloud Birthday

Happy Birthday, Intercloud!

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Why Compromise Your Public Cloud Experience?

Have you used a public cloud? The experience as a developer is truly fantastic. Enter your credit card information and go. Need more resources? Click. Tear down a server and start over? Click. Want APIs for granular access to configure and automate every part of your deployments exactly the way you need them? No problem. Built-in integration with the modern tools and platforms you’re using? Of course.

Traditional IT vs Cloud

Compare that to traditional infrastructure where it takes phone calls or tickets, approvals, and many different platforms that typically aren’t integrated just to get access to servers. Automation is difficult or impossible. Moving fast as a developer just isn’t something you can do. You spend your time wrangling the infrastructure instead of building your app.

The public cloud experience for a developer is liberating. It’s easy, fast, and predictable. It helps them deliver on their promises to the business by removing any obstacles to the resources they need.

Smart companies are freeing their development teams from traditional IT models and helping them move fast by taking advantage of cloud.

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Deliver Services at Internet Speed

How quickly can your organization stand-up a new application or deploy new services?  Most customers tell me, “not fast enough!”   I am clearly hearing from them that the new standard expectation across the organization is to receive precise data center resources in “internet time,” easily and definitely on-demand.

But customers are not the only ones affected by these new expectation standards.  Application developers also expect to receive the resources they need to support their efforts within one hour — without a lot of process meetings and repetitive, slow paperwork.  They want what they want, when they need it, which is always now!  Can’t get it now?  Out comes the credit card and they go on a shopping spree to outside resources.

Developers don’t worry about security, governance or quality of service.  If you are in operations, or you’re a C-level executive, you care.  You need to meet compliance guidelines.  So how can you get everyone on the same team, working together so the organization can succeed, the old “win-win-win?”

At CiscoLive Milan in January, we introduced the Cisco ONE Enterprise Cloud Suite. Watch this replay of our live broadcast.


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