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A post-Halloween guide to Cloud Maturity

November 5, 2012 at 11:41 am PST

Guest Blogger: Jamie MacQuarrie (@JMacQuarrie) has been working on Cisco’s cloud solutions, strategy and alliances since joining Cisco with the acquisition of newScale in April 2011. At newScale, he held product management positions focusing on data center automation and the evolution of traditional data centers to cloud operating models. Prior to joining newScale, he held product management positions at BMC Software and IT management positions at Washington Mutual bank. He started his career at Marimba, which was acquired by BMC Software in 2004.

We’re now into November, and though Halloween has come and gone, Cisco still has one last treat for everyone: Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud 3.1.

There have been a number of blog posts on the veritable cornucopia of features in IAC 3.1, so instead I’ll offer up this fun look at cloud maturity and extend the Halloween season just a little bit longer.

So tonight at 3am, long after your kids have gone to bed and you’re wired from eating all of their candy, instead of surfing the web trying to find the bottom of the internet, let me suggest a few more productive activities:

  • Take a look at the Intelligent Automation blog posts
  • Figure out what kind of Jack o’ Lantern your cloud strategy resembles
  • Take your actual Jack o’ Lantern off your porch before it start attracting flies

And yes, that is a photo of a carved watermelon….It’s more popular than you might think.

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Why Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud 3.1 Matters for Enterprise Private Clouds

November 2, 2012 at 11:28 am PST

Guest Blogger: Yair Dolev (@CiscoCloudY) brings extensive experience in enterprise application development and management of advanced data center virtualization technology products to Cisco’s Cloud and Systems Management Technology Group. Prior to Cisco, Yair was Director of Product Management at data center automation authority Tidal Software, and managed the groundbreaking Azul Virtual Machine products at Azul Systems, which enabled data centers to run large Java workloads on highly scalable, optimized hardware. 

What do IT managers want? Speaking with customers about their plans to adopt a private cloud, we get to glimpse into the wild world of enterprise IT transformation. Customers have been telling us about how their business environment is rapidly changing, and many share their elaborate vision for becoming a sophisticated IT as a Service organization. We, in turn, have shared with them the capabilities of our newly released Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud version 3.1 (Cisco IAC). I am delighted to see how Cisco IAC 3.1 resonates so well with IT teams. Here I mention some highlights of this newly upgraded cloud management solution.

First off, we’ve made it easy to leverage more of the infrastructure footprint for via the cloud. Customers often own different infrastructure stacks, whether by choice as a hedge, or by chance, as a result of mergers. They might have a vBlock, a FlexPod, and another asset that uses, say- HP servers. A cloud system should not require complete infrastructure homogeneity. With IAC 3.1, each infrastructure pod (regardless of the vendor) is treated as one “Compute POD” (Point of Delivery), with multiple PODs all connected to and managed by one unified resource management layer.

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Five Cool Things about Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud 3.1

Some would say that cloud has passed the peak of inflated expectations.   After that stage in the development of a new technology or trend the tough work begins.  We in the Cisco’s Cloud and Systems Management Group have done just that in releasing Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud Version 3.1.  In the past four weeks I have presented this cloud self-service and orchestration platform to well over 30 existing customers and others interested in what all the noise is.  The response has made me extremely proud of our team.

One:  Our UI is so intuitive that you don’t need a manual.  The Cisco Cloud Portal delivers a uniquely intuitive experience for the roles of cloud administrator, organization technical administrator, and end user.  Private cloud can be as easy as Amazon Web Services.

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Who’s the Boss? Your Data Center or You?

October 31, 2012 at 9:26 am PST

Whether it’s ordering a last-minute Halloween costume from the comfort of your couch or being able to IM with colleagues on your flight to see family and friends this holiday season, we can all admit that “on-demand” access is an every day necessity.  In much the same way, today’s business users expect on-demand access to IT resources.  And as those customer demands increase, more pressure is placed on IT infrastructure.

Everyone – from consumers to business users, from IT departments in large enterprises to service providers – are grappling with both the opportunity and challenge of managing the evolution of IT.  It’s hard to let go of the past and the old ways of managing our data – whether that’s putting aside the family scrapbook for a digital library or adopting new management solutions to replace legacy systems in your data center. So, what’s the trick? Find a solution that allows you to easily and seamlessly transition to this new operating model.  Almost sounds too good to be true – but it’s real.

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Self-Service Arrives for Workload Automation – and Saves the Day

It’s close to 11 p.m. on the last day of the quarter in a large corporation. IT gets an urgent request to postpone a closing of the books process because there’s a large order stuck in the CRM system.

This means that the order won’t hit the books and be recorded as a booking.  The customer won’t get her order, the salesperson won’t get paid, and finance will show a missing number.

This generates an urgent call to the team that manages the workload automation platform: Hold the closing workflow!  Stop the presses!

The admins have to get to their console to find the job and pause it.  Not a huge deal, except there are thousands of jobs to be run and hundreds of business people calling on a regular basis, at all kind of hours.

Some customers have created help desks for their workload automation teams or they may even off-shore the call center to serve these kinds of requests.

No more.  Introducing self-service for workload automation.

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