The connections between your business success and data center efficiency have never been clearer or stronger. Delivering data center resources quickly to capitalize on new business opportunities or projects is a major factor for business success. The only way to expedite resource delivery is by replacing manual processes with repeatable, best-practice-based automated service consumption and delivery.
So what is getting in the way?
The first problem is inconsistent delivery of standardized infrastructure instances. Many solutions on the market today only manage virtual resources while others just support their proprietary hardware stack. Automation needs to be across all layers – and that includes networks. I believe the only way to achieve the speed and efficiency businesses desire is to manage your entire heterogeneous data center as a unified whole — holistically. Read More »
Tags: automation, FlexPod, infrastructure, nexus, orchestration, Prime Service Catalog, self-service delivery, UCS, ucs director, VACS, Vblock, vcac, vCloud Suite, VMware, vspex
Businesses move quickly until they have to cross rough roads paved with technical challenges. That’s because even though data centers are sophisticated, the components that support most businesses still include far too many 20th century manual processes, silo based resources and administrators pressured to keep up.
Although automation can speed up IT, and your business, many companies are wrestling with it. Please watch this video from Cisco and Forrester to understand why organizations are struggling with automation – see if it sounds familiar (I bet it will).
After you watch it, if you want send me a brief email about your experience with these issues. Read More »
Tags: automation, Cisco, cloud, IAC, orchestration, ucs director, vcac, vCloud Suite, VMware
In previous blogs I have described how organizations are maturing beyond provisioning of individual servers to provisioning of richer cloud-based application stacks. Known as platform-as-a-service (PaaS), this capability takes cloud technology beyond infrastructure to automate the application life cycle. PaaS allows developers and IT operations to collaborate and ensure that application stacks are consistent and delivered to your customers — within minutes.
Last summer at CiscoLive Orlando, the Application Stack Accelerator for Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC) was introduced and we quickly noticed that PaaS was an extremely popular topic! This popularity has grown. The demand for PaaS is heavy as organizations, probably like yours, look to extend cloud automation to the design, configuration and implementation of the application life cycle. Read More »
Tags: application acceleration, cloud automation, Cloud Management, devops, IAC, open source, paas, red hat, Red Hat Summit, vCloud Suite, VMware
At a recent event I saw a T-shirt that said “Remember when cloud only meant rain?” In the days before cloud computing, asking someone what they thought about cloud usually invoked a response about an animal-shaped formation or looking at cumulonimbus and predicting precipitation. One thing that today’s IT clouds have in common with their heavenly-based brethren is the ability for IT clouds to make it rain for your business. When cloud is a part of your business strategy, they can increase business agility and effectiveness that translate into revenue generating opportunities.
Every day customers tell me what keeps them up at night is not how to reduce costs but how to survive. Cloud can take you far beyond survival to thriving by delivering everything from data center services to applications to even office supplies. But to get this benefit you need to bring together IT and your business strategy. And you need a new way of managing all these components in a unified manner.
Traditional management strategies and solutions utilize fragmented tools dedicated to specific systems. They are ineffective in an environment where end users are empowered to request services on-the-fly and expect delivery almost instantly.
A customer told me this week that he believed all cloud management solutions were the same. This is simply not true and two new reports from EMA and IDC provide supporting evidence.
Cisco’s cloud solution understands that your journey is a multi-step process. You need to first automate your physical and virtual infrastructure to provide a foundational base for as-a-service, across heterogeneous hardware. Let’s be honest – how can you increase efficiency when your solution manages a single hardware stack or hypervisor?
Cisco UCS Director delivers unified management and automation across both physical and virtual environments from a single pane of glass. Designed to manage integrated and converged infrastructures utilizing Cisco UCS and Nexus fabric, UCS Director also manages third-party infrastructures such as HP, Dell and Brocade. Its innovative model-based orchestration tracks configuration changes ensuring that your business workflows run to completion, even if a switch is down or unavailable. UCS Director frees up your IT engineers from mundane daily management tasks allowing them to focus on more advanced projects.
Once infrastructure is automated, you can expand your horizons to automating the delivery of applications or general business processes. Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC) is a full-stack cloud solution that includes embedded application provisioning, governance and usage tracking all from an end-user portal and service catalog that spans multiple cloud platforms and tenants. Leveraging its networking strength, Cisco IAC simplifies cloud-based deployment and management of network services with out-of-box templates for firewalls, load balancers and VPNs eliminating the need for manual, trouble-ticket based provisioning.
Watch these videos to learn more about Cisco UCS Director and Cisco IAC.
Earlier this week, Cisco announced its open, hybrid cloud solution, Cisco Intercloud. Cisco IAC is one of the management solutions powering this offering and is an example of Cisco IAC’s flexible cloud service capabilities – flexibility that your company needs.
With cloud becoming strategic to your organization’s IT strategy, Cisco’s two step solution of Cisco UCS Director and Cisco IAC gets you on the path to anything-as-a-service and your organization on its way to experiencing those rain making opportunities.
Tags: cisco IAC, cisco intercloud, cloud automation, Cloud Management, Hybrid Cloud, private cloud, Public Cloud, ucs director, vcac, vCloud Suite, virtual network services, VMware
Imagine that you head the leading telecommunications provider in Italy and you are watching traditional service and revenue streams struggle under intense competitive pressure. Customer retention is a major issue because the types of services required by your residential and business clients are changing. Clearly, you need to retain customers and do so by offering new services. It is a generally known business fact that often it is more cost effective to invest in retaining customers than trying to get new ones in such competitive industries.
So, how would you do it?
FASTWEB, a Swisscom company, asked Cisco exactly that question. FASTWEB’s analysis indicated that offering cloud-based service delivery would be an excellent opportunity to retain existing business while capturing new revenue streams from Italian businesses looking for new IT solutions. But FASTWEB struggled with execution due to insufficient resources to develop and deliver these new services.
So, FASTWEB adopted Cisco’s Unified Data Center architecture which includes Cisco UCS Blade Servers and Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC). Cisco UCS servers were selected for performance, reliability, and the ability to integrate smoothly with other heterogeneous elements in their solution stack. They thoroughly analyzed cloud management solutions, and Cisco IAC scored the highest in their evaluation for:
• Openness and flexibility
• Ease of use by users and administrators
• Single management console access to the entire cloud service lifecycle
• Ability to build services without deep technical skills
Teaming with Cisco Services, FASTWEB implemented cloud service delivery across six distinct use cases. Because of UCS they did so with minimum server hardware, gaining a complete cloud infrastructure that consumes only a few racks. With this Cisco Unified Data Center strategy and solution, FASTWEB estimates their customers can save around 50 percent over three years utilizing FASTWEB services compared to on-premises infrastructure.
What’s more FASTWEB relies on Cisco IAC to offer customers a portal that is intuitive with fast delivery thanks to strong automation and orchestration of all cloud elements, including network. None of their competitors in the Italian marketplace has an offering equal to this unified solution from Cisco.
Now FASTWEB’s cloud services are growing smoothly thanks to technology that scales as quickly as their business does. FASTWEB plans to expand its use of Cisco IAC to offer new services as such PaaS and SaaS for their customers.
Read more about FASTWEB’s implementation in this case study and this recent CiscoLive Milan presentation.
Tags: Cisco, cisco IAC, Cloud Management, cloud management platform, Hybrid Cloud, paas, private cloud, Public Cloud, SaaS, UCS, Unified Data Center, vCloud Director, vCloud Suite, VMware