Let’s face it, we live in an on-demand economy. As consumers, we expect instant gratification – whether booking a plane ticket online or downloading an app. And now that need for speed applies to IT infrastructure.
It’s what makes public cloud computing so compelling: users want self-service and IT resources delivered within minutes. But the legacy infrastructure and management systems in most internal IT departments weren’t designed for this new on-demand operating model.
If you’ve ever played Jenga, you know what happens when you remove the wrong block too quickly; it falls apart. That same complexity and fragility slows down most IT teams and their existing infrastructure: they have dozens of systems that don’t necessarily work all that well together. And when users request IT infrastructure resources, the end-to-end cycle time often takes several weeks.
At Cisco, we’re focused on helping our customers transition to a new IT-as-a-Service model with our Unified Data Center solutions while preserving their investment in existing systems. And that’s why I’m excited to announce a new product in our Unified Management software portfolio: Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud Starter Edition.
When I talk to IT executives, their first priority is to meet their users’ need for speed. Most plan to include public cloud services in a hybrid cloud model over time – but they want to start with the security, governance, and control of a private cloud. With the new starter edition of our Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud solution, we’re making it easier for IT organizations to take the first steps on this journey to cloud computing.
The starter edition is a cloud management and automation software solution designed for accelerated deployment on our Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS). We provide a self-service portal with orchestration and lifecycle management for virtual or physical servers – packaged with pre-built portal content, automation workflows, and integrations for Cisco UCS and VMware environments in a deployment-ready solution.
Ultimately, we’re helping our customers address the need for speed:
- On-demand IT. Our simple and unified portal interface makes it easy to request IT services, while our orchestration engine automates provisioning of both virtual machines and bare metal physical servers. The end-to-end cycle time for IT infrastructure is reduced from weeks to minutes.
- Faster time to cloud. The simplicity of starter edition, together with pre-built content, enables accelerated cloud deployments on UCS. But it’s also configurable and extensible. Customers can get up and running quickly with infrastructure-as-a-service for basic use cases like development and testing, with an upgrade path and roadmap to support their longer-term cloud journey.
To see how it works, watch this brief product demo:
You may notice that the solution looks similar to the internal deployment of Cisco’s own internal private cloud, CITEIS (Cisco IT Elastic Infrastructure Services). And it is.
That’s because it’s the same self-service portal and orchestration software that Cisco IT deployed in its initial CITEIS ‘Express’ deployment – now you can quickly deploy that capability and more. We’ve taken the learnings from Cisco IT as well as our other Intelligent Automation for Cloud customers and packaged it into the new starter edition.
With the starter edition, we’re changing the game in cloud management with new innovations:
- More out-of-the-box functionality: With the starter edition, we offer new product capabilities and deeper integration with UCS for even greater IT agility – for example, leveraging service profiles to provision and repurpose physical server blades as quickly as virtual machines. We also provide new administrative console functionality and other features to improve capacity management.
- Roadmap for cloud: Customers can deploy simple IaaS use cases as a starting point – and then leverage this foundation to configure new cloud services, integrate with third-party systems, and support a heterogeneous infrastructure environment. We provide an upgrade path to take advantage of the full breadth of our Intelligent Automation for Cloud solution, ensuring our customers’ success as they grow their private cloud and move to hybrid cloud over time.
- New channel program for partners: We introduced starter edition to our partners at the annual Cisco Partner Summit last week, along with a new Authorized Technology Provider (ATP) program. From Australia to South Africa, our partners are building clouds with Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud – and they are seeing the results as they grow their cloud business. With the new ATP program for the starter edition, we’re helping our partners to accelerate their customers’ journey to the cloud.
As they embark on this cloud journey, our partners and customers learn how to crawl first – and then over time we help them to walk, run, and even sprint. But as the father of a 10-month-old boy, I know for a fact that you can crawl pretty darn fast. Our starter edition delivers on the need for speed.
So if you want to learn more about the new Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud Starter Edition, you’ll find the data sheet and other info at www.cisco.com/go/starteredition.