For the last decade, IT organizations have faced the challenge of managing budgets that are 70-80% channeled towards maintenance costs while business demands are growing faster than ever. The result is that many requests for new projects have to be turned down and more and more business opportunities are missed.
If we look within the data center, the majority of the costs is associated with people and software, but the the root cause of those costs is legacy infrastructure that is very complex and expensive to manage. The flaws of this legacy infrastructure are often masked by layers of complex management software, which have developed to stitch together systems that were not designed to be integrated.
Legacy infrastructure prevents business agility and financial efficiency because it was not designed for environments like Cloud that require fast deployment, automated provisioning of resources, open-API’s, and “self-service” consumption models by business users. Nor was it designed for environments where physical and virtual resources have to co-exist. Finally, it assumed operational models that can’t meet the Performance, High Availability and Security requirements in the context of workload mobility and deep integration between compute, network and storage environments.
As a result of all this, Data Centers have evolved towards an accidental architecture that still contains too many silos of applications that are difficult to maintain and manage.
For these reasons, Cisco has created the Unified Data Center platform, which provides a new approach to design the data center infrastructure and prepares our customers for the opportunities that Cloud will bring along in the future.
Cisco has a long history of anticipating the convergence of technologies in an effort to reduce costs, streamline operations, or unlock new ways for the business to leverage technology. Cisco has a deep understanding of these transitions, having helped reshape the industry numerous times in the past, most notably with the convergence of voice and data. We are now doing the same by bringing together Compute, Network, Storage and Management within and across Data Centers.
Successful transitions involve new ways of not only thinking about the business challenges, but also about designing the underlying technologies to be agile, efficient, and simplified. Bolting together existing technologies doesn’t deliver the desired result.
A Unified approach is needed to unlock this new business potential.
While 2012 will be the Year of the Dragon, according to the Chinese zodiac, in IT 2012 will be the year of the cloud. And not just one big cloud, but many clouds.
This world of many clouds means numerous opportunities for Cisco partners to offer customers, whether it’s building clouds, selling cloud services, or designing and implementing cloud-ready networks.
To help ensure partners have a successful Year of the Cloud, today Cisco is announcing a set of cloud capabilities called CloudVerse to help partners build public, private, and hybrid clouds for customers — bringing together the intelligence of the network, the power of the data center, and the flexibility of cloud applications.
Here’s just one example of a unique offering: Cisco partner Logicalis built a customized hosted cloud solution for its clients. Watch this video to find out how they did it. Keep reading to learn about new CloudVerse services and technologies.
There’s no arguing that cloud usage is on the rise. By the year 2015, 50% of all CIOs expect to operate the majority of their applications and infrastructures via the cloud. And global cloud traffic will increase 12 times to 1.6 zettabytes per year – that is the equivalent of more than four days of business class video for every person on the planet.
Despite this meteoric increase in cloud usage, it’s still common for customers to tiptoe into the realm of cloud or shun it altogether, citinglack of cloud talent, concerns around overall user experience, security risks, and cost as major inhibitors to cloud deployment. That’s where Cisco and our partners come together to provide deep expertise in strategy, planning, design, implementation, and optimization.
What are the specific new technologies and services in CloudVerse? Read More »
Earlier this year the Webtorials Analyst Division, co-founded by Dr. Jim Metzler, surveyed their subscriber base of IT professionals. Not surprisingly, 75% admitted that when a core business application degrades in performance, the end user notices before IT does. Therefore, 85% also believe that it is important, very important and even critical to senior managers that they take a more proactive approach to managing acceptable application delivery (See Figure 1).
Source: Metzler, Jim, “2011 Application & Service Delivery Handbook”, p. 14
Contributing to the challenges of ensuring good application performance are the very innovations that are meant to simplify business and IT operations. These include data center consolidation, virtualization and the wide variety of applications that IT must support– all of which creates operational issues for IT. Not to worry – there are best practices that IT organizations can implement as application delivery challenges continue to evolve. In Part I of this blog post on application and services delivery, I’ll share what I consider to be key learnings from Dr. Metzler’s comprehensive 129 page guide. We’ll start with some core challenges:
Key Application Delivery Challenges
Proliferation of different types of applications: Today, companies utilize a wider variety of applications than ever. Some applications are business-critical. Others enable other business functions. And still more applications support communication and collaboration. Not only do they vary in criticality, but they also vary in their demands on the network. For instance, video streaming, which causes a lot of strain on the network may be key on some occasions (think company-wide all hands meetings a la Apple’s tribute to Steve Jobs), but recreational during other times. IT managers must audit company-wide application use, pinpoint a select group of business critical applications and formulate and execute a plan for optimization.
Just a decade ago, supporting enterprise voice services was simpler, our voice operations support scope was smaller, and one person could be proficient in everything you needed to know for voice operations. But as IP telephony capabilities grew into Unified Communications, the skills our engineers had to be proficient in grew exponentially.
Today, we support UC systems and collaboration platforms, both on traditional hardware and now on virtualized server platforms (Cisco UCS). We still support phones and softphones, but now we also support mobility services, video phones and mobile devices like the Cisco Cius, voice and video conferencing, menus of phone-based services, and ever-more sophisticated customer support tools in our contact centers. There are now so many things within the scope of the UC systems that we manage that it would be extremely difficult in an enterprise the size of Cisco to be an expert in everything. So, individuals on our voice operations team need to specialize.
The industry is buzzing about the “post-PC era,” but some customers I talk to object to the term because it’s not just about the PC. The entire compute stack has changed fundamentally – new devices, server architectures, and operating systems have exploded onto the scene.
The post-PC era is really about a new experience – a change in the way people are using apps, devices, and the network to connect with people and information.
As business people choose alternatives to the PC (and alternatives like cloud computing), we at Cisco believe their experience can’t be compromised. It has to surpass the PC / client-server paradigm.
The Cisco Cius is an enterprise collaboration device for business that integrates mobile video, voice and virtualization into a single device. Its multi-touch tablet form factor allows mobility while delivering a powerful user experience.
It securely delivers my virtual desktop and all my business apps – as well as voice and HD video calls – in a mobile device. Depending on where I’m going, I can leave the laptop at home.
Cisco’s App Developer Program
Since its launch, Cisco Cius has really beefed up its applications profile while maintaining enterprise data security (and believe me, IT loves the security and manageability of the Cius).
At Cisco Live in July, we announced AppHQ, the industry’s first enterprise applications marketplace. Android developers are seeing how simple and powerful AppHQ really is, and as a result, hundreds of mobile business apps are being created, managed, and deployed quickly and securely. (Soon I predict there will be thousands.)
Wyse’s “PocketCloud” Remote Desktop App for Cius In late September, Wyse announced their PocketCloud solution for Cius available via AppHQ – it lets you securely access, search, control, and edit the files stored on your computer from anywhere. I love it. It’s no surprise why PC World named Wyse PocketCloud the ‘best by far’ remote desktop Android application.