Summers tend to be a bit cool in San Francisco, but acceptance of Cisco’s Unified Service Delivery (USD) solution by Service Providers searching for the best path to cloud is heating up. We’re excited at the progress so far -- including recent records set by the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) which just placed 3rd globally in the x86 blades category in a recent IDC report. A little over two years ago people questioned Cisco’s entry into the compute segment of the data center. The large number of Cisco customers have proven that innovation that brings new levels of efficiency to the data center wins out every time. We’re proud of our customers and the services they’re bringing to market more quickly using the Cisco USD solution and its key foundation technologies like Cisco UCS.
Industry analysts are also seeing a need for an end-to-end solution like Cisco USD and noting the importance of resource optimization, management consolidation, service improvements, and cost reduction as fundamental tenets of efficient cloud service delivery.
Below is a short video commentary by IDC analyst, Courtney Munroe, VP, Worldwide Telecommunications. Courtney talks about the market challenges SPs face and how they can benefit from a transition to Cloud-delivered services. Pay special attention to the core things he believes SPs must address for Cloud: virtualized fabric for the computing platform in the data center, how the data center and the network work together and security across the entire delivery chain.
Cloud Services: Challenges and Opportunities for Service Providers
When cloud computing emerged a few years ago Communications Service Providers (CSPs) saw the opportunity to build the infrastructure layer and offer services on it. CSPs had data center facilities that when combined with their network assets created a cloud service offer with higher service delivery assurance than some alternatives. CSPs are now delivering infrastructure-based cloud services, especially Compute as a Service and Storage as a Service, to the public and to their large Enterprise customers in private cloud offers. As the cloud service model matures, providers who have invested in cloud infrastructure are finding that they are well positioned to evolve their Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) offerings into new service delivery models by leverage their services, systems, and expertise to take on the next great opportunity in cloud services which is Platform as a Service.
The Value of PaaS
PaaS is an integral component to development and delivery of cloud-based applications delivered as Software as a Service—or SaaS. Developing a PaaS offer gives CSPs the opportunity to take advantage of the huge and growing SaaS market and help to accelerate the development of SaaS offers. CSP’s can take an active role by leveraging their assets and developing their capabilities, via a PaaS offer, rather than just hosting and transporting SaaS services. The capability they can provide is to enable development and then deploy applications that are created using tools that they support on to their cloud infrastructure. PaaS enables CSPs to carve out a new and essential role in SaaS development and delivery, situated between software developers and end users, for both business and consumers. Read More »
I worked for years on Cisco’s team that designed and managed our Data Centers. In the early 2000s, hardware compaction strongly influenced our physical design. Every few weeks it seemed a different manufacturer debuted a new server smaller and more powerful than its predecessor. We could fit more gear into our cabinets and so found we had a lot more cabling to manage. This was especially challenging in legacy Data Centers with cables routed below the under-floor plenum. More cabling meant less airflow.
As many of you know, a big part of the UCS story revolves around the flexibility we’ve built into the UCS management model. While we hear great feedback from customers about the native UCS management GUI, we know that many of you have already invested lots of time in building automated solutions to repetitive IT tasks. To that end, we want to help you find ways to use the tools and processes that have already been built along side of UCS.
We know that many of our customers are already running Microsoft applications on top of UCS. For many of you, that means that you’re also likely automating repetitive tasks using Microsoft’s PowerShell scripting language. PowerShell is an immensely powerful tool in an IT admin’s bag of tricks. Introduced back in 2006, it has matured to become common across not only Microsoft’s business software, but also among their partner community -- including NetApp, Quest Software, and even VMWare.
Shortly after we brought UCS to market, we got a specific request from an early adopter to build out PowerShell support for UCS . Here on the team, nothing moves us faster than feedback directly from our customers, so it got the cogs turning and we’re happy to announce our first public release of the PowerShell Management Toolkit for UCSM. We decided to even take that a step farther -- besides providing PowerShell support, we’ve also made available .NET managed code that can be used to natively build UCS support into a .NET application. For the rest of the post, I’m going to spend some time talking about some of the nifty ways in which UCS PowerShell provider can be used. Fair warning here, folks -- we’re about to get technical