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The Myth of Greenfield Technology Environments

This is part of a series on the evolution of the Cisco Collaboration Cloud platform, exploring the technical and design principles behind its unique architecture.

In the last post in this series, Jens Meggers talked about the huge importance of user experience, and how essential it is to simplify, connect, and delight. Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) is increasingly essential to delivering those three ingredients.

A true SaaS platform can provide continuous delivery, enabling rapid updates of software to make constant improvements on those ingredients. It also enables A/B testing and metrics-driven software development, which can ensure that the product is in fact delivering a great user experience.

The problem is that all of that works fine and well for companies that can get a complete collaboration solution from the cloud. But – the reality is – these types of greenfield environments are not all that common. Most companies have a huge amount of on-premises software. In fact, most of them have a huge amount of on-premises software that provides collaboration functionality. IP PBXs (like our own Unified Communications Manager), email servers, corporate directories – these all exist en-masse on-prem. And for many companies, these products work and work well, with quite a bit of life left in them. Consequently, even for a company that is excited about the user experience that SaaS can deliver, it’s not clear how to get there because they aren’t greenfield. Read More »

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The Long Road to the Cloud – Changes in Application Deployment Criteria

In today’s world as more and more customers prepare to take advantage of cloud technologies, they are finding that private cloud and colocation services are essential options in their journey to the cloud.

Harrington_DanWe are lucky to have Dan Harrington, as a guest blogger. Dan is a Research Director covering Datacenter trends at 451 Research. His primary focus is managing 451’s Voice of the Enterprise: Datacenters study which surveys thousands of enterprises a year about their datacenter strategies.

Out of the insights of his surveys, Dan has agreed to share:

  • The most important criteria are when determining whether to deploy in your own datacenter, at a colocation provider or in the cloud.
  • Where IT organizations are deploying their applications, today and in the future.
  • How security is often the most important criteria when determining deployment location.

If you believe what you hear from the mainstream media, investment community and tech press, you may come to the conclusion that every application is being deployed to the cloud or an off premise colocation datacenter. And that the very idea of deploying in a company owned datacenter went out of fashion long ago. After all, Amazon Web Services is currently pulling in $6bn annually, which is quite impressive – regardless of the fact that the entire IT industry is worth well over $1 trillion a year. However, if you look under the covers you will find that IT organizations still care very much about attributes that don’t necessarily always lend themselves well to an off-premise deployment. Learn more about which vendors are leading the market in IaaS and on-premises cloud platforms.

VotE_DC_Q2_2015_AppCriteria-03 (8.24.15)

N=416 Source: 451 Research Voice of the Enterprise: Datacenters, Q2 2015

A large (>1,000 Employees) Public sector organization weighed in last quarter about what he considers when deploying a new version of Oracle:

“The most recent major application [workload implemented] is more of an upgrade to Oracle 12… There weren’t really any alternatives [about where to deploy it]. It was here or our colocation facility… Keeping it on [premise] is important, but I think one of the main issues would be just network reliability between here and the colo… We’ve got staff here that are ready and able to deal with any kind of network or server issue. But it would take us an hour or so to get out to the colo site.”

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Cloud Adoption Today: A View of Cloud Maturity for IT Organizations

By Robert Mahowald, IDC Program Vice President, SaaS and Cloud Services

Robert MahowaldWe recently surveyed more than 3,450 executive-level IT decisionmakers in 17 countries to find out their future plans and current state of cloud adoption. What we discovered is pretty remarkable.

According to IDC’s CloudView Survey, 57% of organizations are already using or planning to implement some form of cloud  services. Many organizations we surveyed (44%) are using or planning to implement private clouds. But respondents pointed to hybrid cloud — a strategy for operating in a mix of public and private cloud environments — as their dominant operational model, at 64% of all organizations surveyed.

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Overcoming Cloud Jargon

These are three conversations that I had recently with a partner, a customer, and a Cisco executive (not necessarily in this order):

“Cloud refers to only private and hybrid cloud, right?”

“I thought infrastructure-as-a-service is public cloud, not software-as-a-service.”

“We know how much public cloud we are using because we know what infrastructure-as-a-services we are using. What I need to know is what SaaS applications we are using.”

This stood out to me in a major way. While the term “cloud” has been around for a while, there is still confusion as to what it actually means.


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Continuous Delivery – realizing fast IT

For those following trends in the software industry, Continuous Delivery (CD) has been all the rage. What is it? Simply put – continuous delivery is the ability of a SaaS application to push new software into production multiple times per day. Typically, only the cloud software components are updated at this rate. Client code – either browser code or mobile applications – are updated at a pace between once a week and once a month.

As a software development team, continuous delivery is very exciting. But as the IT person that is the ultimate customer of SaaS applications, do you care about continuous delivery? The answer is -absolutely.

Rowan Trollope recently blogged about the importance of moving fast and innovating quickly. That is the essence of fast IT, and continuous delivery is the key to unlocking fast IT. This is because continuous delivery delivers three essential ingredients that make fast IT possible.

First, continuous delivery means better quality.  A SaaS application with continuous delivery will be able to measure and improve upon the performance, reliability and speed of the application in the hands of your own users. Every day you will see it get a little bit better. With continuous delivery, quality isn’t just about defect counts. With continuous delivery, Read More »

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