This month the Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG), a Boston area based analyst firm, published a white paper commissioned by Cisco and Microsoft on the topic of the private cloud. In it ESG covers the best-of-breed technologies and solutions that Cisco and Microsoft bring to market together for Windows Server 2012 R2 / Hyper-V based private cloud configurations.
Below are “The Bigger Truths”, as ESG phrased their summary of findings on the Cisco / Microsoft better together story – please feel free to take a look, it’s a good read!… :
Accelerated time to market: Enter markets quickly with easy access across multiple consumption models driven by Cisco infrastructure and Microsoft software.
CapEx and OpEx savings: Savings on CapEx and OpEx costs can be achieved by virtualizing the server environment with no additional CapEx when moving to the cloud, minimizing implementation complexity, enabling virtual management with increased control, and gaining the ability to scale as required.
Rapid ROI: Because this environment is software-defined, and its infrastructure is efficient, it can quickly pay for itself by simplifying provisioning, efficient time to value, and operational efficiencies.
High availability: Because the Cisco Unified Data Center fabric has no single point of failure, it unifies compute, storage, networking, and management resources into a single, fabric-based platform that can increase operating efficiency and availability, simplify the data center, and provide business agility. Microsoft solutions compound this value with data protection solutions for on- and off-premises protection.
Increased IT organizational efficiencies: Due to the ease of implementation and management, IT pros can be shifted to positions where they are most productive and leverage their current Microsoft and Cisco certifications.
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Tags: Cisco, Cisco UCS, FlexPod, Hyper-V, Microsoft, Microsoft Windows Server 2012, Nexus 1000v, private cloud, vspex
With “clouds” being the hot new term in IT, many high level executives are looking for ways to incorporate clouds into their enterprise environment. Sometimes, these decisions are rushed, and poorly designed solutions are thrown into place. These solutions almost always fail to gain traction within the corporation due to lackluster features, or they are just plain too hard to use. Cloud solutions in the corporate environment can be a very powerful tool that can extend to all parts of the company. It just needs the proper design and implementation to be successful. Remember, just how every corporation is different, so needs to be the cloud solution. Read More »
Tags: #ciscochampion, Cloud Computing, cloud solutions, devops, private cloud, Research and Development
Cisco’s announcement on Cisco Cloud Services “Introducing Cisco’s Global Intercloud” is the next step in our transformation towards being an end-to-end cloud platform and software function solutions vendor. This announcement underscores the importance of the Internet of Everything and network-centric SaaS application areas like collaboration to Cisco’s strategy. A key component of this strategy is the enablement of application centric performance and scale.
Cloud computing has rapidly matured in the market. Many businesses have adopted private and public cloud strategies and deployed infrastructure and support systems. With this adoption, applications need to address a new set of performance capabilities. These capabilities consist of an application centric marketplace, open source software development ecosystems, software defined platform, and application service orchestration control policies.
This diagram presents the application and presentation framework that integrates to the cloud platform. The integration components of importance for application centric performance are in the Application Infrastructure services, Services Framework, Content Management, and Business Services API. As an example, as a developer publishes code to production, the Application Infrastructure services will validate the Cassandra instances in the platform are available. As the service is being consumed, the APIC controller will validate the network latency, throughput, and services dependencies on all application services supporting the application. In this example, if the Cassandra instance fails, APIC will proactively re-route the traffic to the next Cassandra instance with the best performance required for the service.The figure below shows how the consumer contracts are abstracted from the services and service providers to enable application centric cloud performance.
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Tags: ACI, cloud, Hybrid Cloud, InterCloud, private cloud, Public Cloud, SaaS
At a recent event I saw a T-shirt that said “Remember when cloud only meant rain?” In the days before cloud computing, asking someone what they thought about cloud usually invoked a response about an animal-shaped formation or looking at cumulonimbus and predicting precipitation. One thing that today’s IT clouds have in common with their heavenly-based brethren is the ability for IT clouds to make it rain for your business. When cloud is a part of your business strategy, they can increase business agility and effectiveness that translate into revenue generating opportunities.
Every day customers tell me what keeps them up at night is not how to reduce costs but how to survive. Cloud can take you far beyond survival to thriving by delivering everything from data center services to applications to even office supplies. But to get this benefit you need to bring together IT and your business strategy. And you need a new way of managing all these components in a unified manner.
Traditional management strategies and solutions utilize fragmented tools dedicated to specific systems. They are ineffective in an environment where end users are empowered to request services on-the-fly and expect delivery almost instantly.
A customer told me this week that he believed all cloud management solutions were the same. This is simply not true and two new reports from EMA and IDC provide supporting evidence.
Cisco’s cloud solution understands that your journey is a multi-step process. You need to first automate your physical and virtual infrastructure to provide a foundational base for as-a-service, across heterogeneous hardware. Let’s be honest – how can you increase efficiency when your solution manages a single hardware stack or hypervisor?
Cisco UCS Director delivers unified management and automation across both physical and virtual environments from a single pane of glass. Designed to manage integrated and converged infrastructures utilizing Cisco UCS and Nexus fabric, UCS Director also manages third-party infrastructures such as HP, Dell and Brocade. Its innovative model-based orchestration tracks configuration changes ensuring that your business workflows run to completion, even if a switch is down or unavailable. UCS Director frees up your IT engineers from mundane daily management tasks allowing them to focus on more advanced projects.
Once infrastructure is automated, you can expand your horizons to automating the delivery of applications or general business processes. Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC) is a full-stack cloud solution that includes embedded application provisioning, governance and usage tracking all from an end-user portal and service catalog that spans multiple cloud platforms and tenants. Leveraging its networking strength, Cisco IAC simplifies cloud-based deployment and management of network services with out-of-box templates for firewalls, load balancers and VPNs eliminating the need for manual, trouble-ticket based provisioning.
Watch these videos to learn more about Cisco UCS Director and Cisco IAC.
Earlier this week, Cisco announced its open, hybrid cloud solution, Cisco Intercloud. Cisco IAC is one of the management solutions powering this offering and is an example of Cisco IAC’s flexible cloud service capabilities – flexibility that your company needs.
With cloud becoming strategic to your organization’s IT strategy, Cisco’s two step solution of Cisco UCS Director and Cisco IAC gets you on the path to anything-as-a-service and your organization on its way to experiencing those rain making opportunities.
Tags: cisco IAC, cisco intercloud, cloud automation, Cloud Management, Hybrid Cloud, private cloud, Public Cloud, ucs director, vcac, vCloud Suite, virtual network services, VMware
Imagine that you head the leading telecommunications provider in Italy and you are watching traditional service and revenue streams struggle under intense competitive pressure. Customer retention is a major issue because the types of services required by your residential and business clients are changing. Clearly, you need to retain customers and do so by offering new services. It is a generally known business fact that often it is more cost effective to invest in retaining customers than trying to get new ones in such competitive industries.
So, how would you do it?
FASTWEB, a Swisscom company, asked Cisco exactly that question. FASTWEB’s analysis indicated that offering cloud-based service delivery would be an excellent opportunity to retain existing business while capturing new revenue streams from Italian businesses looking for new IT solutions. But FASTWEB struggled with execution due to insufficient resources to develop and deliver these new services.
So, FASTWEB adopted Cisco’s Unified Data Center architecture which includes Cisco UCS Blade Servers and Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC). Cisco UCS servers were selected for performance, reliability, and the ability to integrate smoothly with other heterogeneous elements in their solution stack. They thoroughly analyzed cloud management solutions, and Cisco IAC scored the highest in their evaluation for:
• Openness and flexibility
• Ease of use by users and administrators
• Single management console access to the entire cloud service lifecycle
• Ability to build services without deep technical skills
Teaming with Cisco Services, FASTWEB implemented cloud service delivery across six distinct use cases. Because of UCS they did so with minimum server hardware, gaining a complete cloud infrastructure that consumes only a few racks. With this Cisco Unified Data Center strategy and solution, FASTWEB estimates their customers can save around 50 percent over three years utilizing FASTWEB services compared to on-premises infrastructure.
What’s more FASTWEB relies on Cisco IAC to offer customers a portal that is intuitive with fast delivery thanks to strong automation and orchestration of all cloud elements, including network. None of their competitors in the Italian marketplace has an offering equal to this unified solution from Cisco.
Now FASTWEB’s cloud services are growing smoothly thanks to technology that scales as quickly as their business does. FASTWEB plans to expand its use of Cisco IAC to offer new services as such PaaS and SaaS for their customers.
Read more about FASTWEB’s implementation in this case study and this recent CiscoLive Milan presentation.
Tags: Cisco, cisco IAC, Cloud Management, cloud management platform, Hybrid Cloud, paas, private cloud, Public Cloud, SaaS, UCS, Unified Data Center, vCloud Director, vCloud Suite, VMware