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The Cisco IT Story: ITaaS with Cisco Prime Service Catalog

We had some exciting sessions featuring Cisco Prime Service Catalog at Cisco Live Milan a few weeks ago. In case you missed it, we featured two great customer case studies.

One of them was Steria, a multinational service provider headquartered in France who has deployed Cisco Prime Service Catalog and FlexPod for their cloud services and innovative Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) solution: “Workplace on Command.” You can click here to download their Cisco Live presentation, and check out their written case study here.

The other customer we featured was a Fortune 100 enterprise: none other than our very own Cisco IT.  The Cisco Live presentation about their internal IT service catalog deployment (dubbed “eStore”) is here – you can also read a detailed case study write-up here.

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[Screenshot of eStore: the Cisco IT deployment of Cisco Prime Service Catalog]

Adel du Toit, who heads the Cisco eStore project, wrote a blog post about Cisco IT’s initiative here last June.  Led by Adel and her colleageues, the internal Cisco IT eStore has been rapidly evolving, and has been deployed for a variety of use cases, including BYOD, mobile apps, collaboration, communications, desktop services, employee onboarding, networking, data center computing, and much more.  Powered by Cisco Prime Service Catalog together with Cisco Process Orchestrator for automated service provisioning, the eStore is the “one stop shop” for all IT services within Cisco.

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[Cisco IT’s eStore: a unified IT service catalog for all internal tools, apps, and services]

Recently, the eStore upgraded to the latest version of Cisco Prime Service Catalog, version 10.0. The eStore has also rolled out a mobile user interface that allows Cisco employees to download mobile apps to increase productivity and reduce unproductive approval cycles.

estore3

[The Cisco IT eStore mobile version]

 This has enabled Cisco IT to provide a consumer-oriented shopping experience for IT services to all our employees, not unlike their experience as consumers with Amazon.com and the Apple App Store.

Interested in learning more? Join us on February 26th at 11 am EST / 8 am PST to learn more about how Cisco IT is automating IT-as-a-Service via the eStore and Cisco Prime Service Catalog. You can register here: http://cs.co/6014eN9j.

And don’t forget to follow @CiscoUM and @CiscoIT for the latest updates.

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Cisco @StrataConf : Best Practices for Hadoop In Production-Panel Discussion

Hey data heads! O’Reilly Strata Conference kicks off tomorrow at the Santa Clara Convention Center. If you plan to go you better have tickets because the event is sold out.

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If you are attending the three days of sessions, keynotes, receptions and exhibits, please stop by the MapR booth for some face time with one of our big data partners and plan to attend their sponsored panel discussion which includes Cisco IT and other MapR customers facilitated by Mike Gualtieri from Forrester Research.

Best Practices for Hadoop In Production

“Mike Gualtieri, principal analyst at Forrester Research, Inc., will engage a panel of production Hadoop users – including Cisco IT, The Climate Corporation, The Rubicon Project, and Solutionary – to discuss the challenges and best practices for deploying Hadoop in production. Join us for an engaging conversation on tips and tricks in deploying Hadoop in production. 10:40am, Wednesday February 12 in Ballroom H” See more here.

Representing Cisco IT will be Distinguished Engineer, Piyush Bhargava. Piyush is Chief Architect for Data Architecture & Innovation and is responsible for finding new ways of harnessing value from data and for designing architectures to support data processing, analytics & data science needs.

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If you can’t make it to Strata Conference or are double booked during this time slot you can get the goods on this topic from a number of other sources.

  • First, check out the webinar Cisco and MapR produced with Mike that highlights the Cisco IT case study. Mike outlines the 7 Best Practices for Productionizing Hadoop, MapR follows with their best practices for data tables and Cisco IT covers their big data use case. If you want to skip to the Cisco IT use case, it starts at 34:00.
  • Then, take a look at my blog post on the Cisco IT big data platform success story. Cisco IT has standardized on Cisco UCS servers and fabric interconnects for its big data infrastructure and uses MapR for data tables.

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For operational workloads, Cisco IT has standardized company-wide on Cisco Tidal Enterprise Scheduler with its unique set of adapters that include API integrations to MapR, Hive and Sqoop for big data workload processing.

Cisco Tidal Enterprise Scheduler for Big Data

  • Next, spend some time reading the Unleashing IT Big Data Edition. This special edition of Unleashing IT is all about big data and highlights our joint Cisco/MapR customer Solutionary who incidentally, will join Cisco IT on the Strata Conference panel discussion on Wednesday. This e-zine is packed full of big data thought leadership; best practices for infrastructure and operations; customer success stories and include our partners Intel, MapR and others.
  • Finally, peruse the Cisco big data website for all the latest on our solutions, partners, services and resources to help you make the best informed decision on moving your big data platform from development to production.

Big Data blogs I follow:
Raghunath Nambiar
Scott Ciccone

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The Evolution of IT Process Automation: A Move Toward Service-Oriented Orchestration

Let’s talk about Cisco Process Orchestrator. We recently released version 3.0 — and there are a lot of exciting features that have been introduced with this new release of our IT Process Automation (ITPA) / Run Book Automation (RBA) software.

Cisco Process Orchestrator is the foundational engine on which Cisco has built a number of data center-, application-, and network-focused automation solutions. These include our cloud management solution (Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud), which embeds this orchestration engine for cloud service automation and helps organizations deploy private, public, or hybrid clouds; an SAP-focused solution resold by SAP (SAP IT Process Automation by Cisco), which lowers TCO of your SAP applications and databases by integrating events and alert management data with incident response information; and a network troubleshooting and triage solution, which helps customers manage repetitive tasks and aids remediation of common issues with network operations.

In this post, I’m going to feature a few of the major highlights of the new version 3.0 release:

  • A new service-oriented methodology for service encapsulation: design workflows that match to the service ordered by the business units
  • Flexible automation packs and solution accelerators: build, version, re-purpose content to drive solutions
  • Service automation integrated with Cisco Prime Service Catalog: optimizing the end-to-end service delivery process

Service-Oriented Orchestration

Building ITPA and RBA workflows has never been easier. With Cisco Process Orchestrator‘s service-oriented orchestration you can move away from traditional static, script-based run-book automation and IT process-level automation. We have built a modeling platform where automation aligns with the highest-level services and allows you to model IT service the way that a high-level service is delivered.

CPO SOO1A shift from static workflow design to dynamic, service-oriented design

In this “top down” approach, designing the services and their desired state is the initial step in automation design. The next step is defining the process actions for these services and then implementing the specific process workflows that traverse traditional IT boundaries to act on and automate the necessary elements to deliver the service.

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Introducing Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud 4.0

January 28, 2014 at 5:42 am PST

I’m at our annual Cisco Live Europe conference in Milan this week – it’s a great event and a great opportunity to introduce new innovations to customers.  In fact, today we announced the latest release of our cloud management software solution: Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (Cisco IAC) version 4.0.

I recently wrote about the new Forrester Private Cloud Wave, and how Cisco was ranked in the top three overall and #1 in strategy.  Our high marks in strategy in that report were based in large part on the roadmap and strategic vision that is being delivered through this new cloud management release – together with the latest release of Cisco UCS Director for infrastructure management.

Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud is a cloud management platform designed for enterprise and public sector IT organizations building private and hybrid clouds, as well as service providers deploying public or virtual private cloud services.  This is the fourth major release for Cisco IAC – and it’s a big one.

With the new 4.0 release, Cisco is breaking ground by providing both the out-of-the-box functionality that our customers are asking for and the flexibility that we know they need as they extend their cloud deployments beyond basic IaaS.

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Check out what’s new in the latest release of UCS Director!

Cisco’s award winning converged infrastructure management software solution just got even better!  In the latest release of Cisco UCS Director, we’ve added broader and deeper infrastructure support across the compute, network, storage and virtualization layers, as well making the product even more scalable.  The latest release also comes with new software development kits (SDKs) for partners to provide extensibility and interoperability and a northbound API for integration with Cisco’s Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC) as well as other cloud management systems.  Let’s take a closer look at these enhancements in detail.

SDKs and APIs

UCS Director’s new SDKs and APIs were recently made available to give our partners the following functionality:

  • Northbound API which integrates into higher platforms like Cisco IAC.  This API enables you to perform operations on Cisco UCS Director resources and to integrate those operations into applications so that they can provide API-supported functionality and features.
  • SDK  available on cisco.com & DevNet (CDN), which provides open automation for partners looking to create new device connector

Compute

                                                            compute   Compute Enhancements

UCS Manager 2.1 (Delmar); KVM console; SAN zoning through UCS   Manager; standalone management of UCS C-SeriesUCS Integration -Local disk provisioning and policies

-Workflow tasks for vNIC templates and service profile

-Assign blade or server pool to group

-Cloning of profile and profile template

 

Whiptail – application acceleration

  •   Invicta, Acella API Version 1.5 support
  •   Inventory reports
  •   CRUD actions,    workflows, and reports
  •   Converged and stack views

 

UCS Central Integration

-Multi-domain Manager concept

-Inventory for UCS-M elements

-Local/global service profile and templates

-Pools and policies for network and storage equivalent to UCS-M

-Select/deselect UCS domain assigned to POD

 

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