I speak with many business leaders about “the cloud” and how best to use it to improve collaboration. Quite often, discussions end up getting into specific services and technologies but I always try to ensure that some basic considerations are a primary focus – namely People, Processes and Culture. This video is a great overview and insight into how important it is to get the foundations right, and what questions you should ask before you start looking for a specific solution or ‘technology’.
The Three Considerations
People are your company’s greatest asset and you need to enable them fully and effectively. Increasingly, they “vote with their feet.” They use their own solutions or those provided directly by their departments instead of official IT options (shadow IT). For many reasons public cloud services are a big hit, but you can’t afford for the virtualized environment you have painstakingly created to be used only for functional or legacy workloads. Nobody can afford a discrete, separate underutilized platform -- unappreciated and with hidden value. Read More »
As a Cloud Architect, I’ve had the privilege to work with CTOs and CIOs across the globe to uncover the key factors driving Business Continuity and Workload Mobility across their cloud infrastructures. We’ve worked with enterprises, large and small, and service providers to answer their top five concerns in our new Business Continuity and Workload Mobility solution for the Private Cloud.
1) Can you provide business continuity, workload mobility, and disaster recovery for my unique mix of applications, with lower infrastructure costs and less complexity for my operations teams? Yes.
2) Can you provide a multi-site design that reduces business outages and costly downtime, allowing my critical applications to be more secure and available? Yes.
3) Can my operations teams perform live migrations of applications across sites while maintaining user connections, security, and stateful services? Yes.
4) Does your multi-site solution allow me to utilize idle standby capacity during “normal” operations, and reclaim that capacity as needed during an outage event? Yes.
5) Can your Cisco Validated Design greatly reduce my deployment risks and simplify my design process, saving my business significant time, money, and resources? Yes.
A Proven Multi-site Design, Built on the Most Widely Deployed Cloud Infrastructure
We addressed each of these pain points as we designed, built, and validated our new multi-site business continuity and workload mobility solution. Our multi-site solution is built upon Cisco’s cloud foundation, the Virtual Multi-service Data Center (VMDC) that’s been deployed at hundreds of the world’s top enterprises and service providers. In our latest VMDC release, we’ve extended our cloud design to support multi-site topologies and critical use cases for private cloud customers. This validated design simply connects regional and long-distance data centers within your private cloud to address some critical IT functions, including:
application business continuity across data center sites;
stateful workload mobility across data center sites, will maintaining user connections and security;
application disaster recovery and avoidance across data center sites; and
application geo-clustering and load balancing across data center sites.
Choose the Cloud Infrastructure that Fits Your Unique Business Needs
The VMDC Business Continuity and Workload Mobility solution (CVD Design Guide) is grounded in the reality of today’s cloud environment, providing different design choices that match your applications needs. We realize there is no “one size fits all” cloud design, that’s why we support both physical and virtual resources, multiple hypervisors and storage choices, and security compliant designs with industry certifications like FISMA, PCI, and HIPPA.
Key Factors Driving Business Continuity and Workload Mobility in the Private Cloud Read More »
In particular, we’re bringing Cisco UCS Director to VMworld and it will be featured in our demos, theater presentations, and breakout sessions at the show. If you’re not already familiar with UCS Director, it’s our flagship infrastructure automation software – for provisioning not only VMs but also bare metal servers, storage, networking, and layer 4-7 services. It’s a key component of many of our solutions that you’ll see at VMworld.
This past week, we also announced our new Cisco UCS Performance Manager software for performance monitoring of UCS and UCS-based integrated infrastructure – leveraging technology from our partner Zenoss. Stop by the Cisco or Zenoss booths at VMworld and be one of the first to see a live demonstration!
We’re also showcasing our software solutions for hybrid cloud, virtual network services automation, integrated infrastructure management, cloud automation, and more.
Today Citrix announced the latest advancements for XenApp and XenDesktop, built on the fourth release of their FlexCast Management Architecture (FMA). With this evolution come significant improvements in Citrix Provisioning Services, Citrix Receiver, FIPS compliance, single console manageability across hybrid cloud environments, Workspace Suite, user experience, and much more.
Cisco UCS: The Optimal Foundation for XenDesktop and XenApp
Cisco is pleased to be a leading technology and infrastructure partner to Citrix, providing the optimal foundation of this unified platform for desktop and app virtualization, benefitting organizations everywhere that seek to evolve their traditional desktop environments into mobile, virtualized workspaces. At the core of this foundation is the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS). Check out this animated whiteboard if you’re not already familiar with how UCS has rapidly become the preferred x86 compute platform for XenDesktop and XenApp deployments.
We believe that the latest features of XenDesktop and XenApp will continue to drive exceptional end user experience and accelerate the pace at which organizations embrace desktop transformation initiatives. The benefits of this best of breed joint solution are evident in the customer success stories exposed in the following infographic.
In addition to our joint integrated solutions supporting desktop and app virtualization, we also share a common vision of cloud architectures and services. As demonstrated in today’s announcement we see the end user computing landscape evolving to embrace customer choice and flexibility as organizations seek a “portfolio approach” in how workspaces are delivered, whether that be via on-premise solutions, public cloud or a hybridized approach. This is a key benefit of the FMA platform combined with Cisco Intercloud, enabling customers to derive the maximum benefit from cloud economics. And don’t forget, as part of Cisco’s Cloud Network Services portfolio we offer the Citrix NetScaler 1000V application delivery controller, integrating virtual applications to Cisco Unified Fabric, delivering scalable, reliable application services to users.
Transforming Desktops into Mobile Workspaces
Finally, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention our joint workspace mobility solution. With this announcement comes Citrix XenApp and XenDesktop 7.6 providing enhanced support for Citrix Workspace Suite. You may recall that back on May 6th, we announced the Cisco Mobile Workspace Solution with Citrix -- bringing together the technologies of two mobility leaders as a complete and validated business to employee (B2E) mobility solution. This groundbreaking solution allows organizations to deploy mobility at their own pace with a modular approach that builds on the Cisco Bring-Your-Own-Device (BYOD) and Desktop Virtualization Solutions. It combines all the essential hardware and software technologies, services, and support needed to embark on mobility projects with confidence, speed, and reduced risk. Together, Cisco and Citrix are delivering a complete, unified solution for mobile, Windows, web and SaaS-based apps.
How to Get Started…
Before I close, I want to share one more solution for your consideration. The Citrix Pilot Accelerator is a great way to get one’s feet wet with desktop and app virtualization. This 200 seat configuration provides all the infrastructure and software elements needed to deploy a pilot environment, or outfit a small office/branch. It employs a UCS C240 rack server, equipped with on-board flash storage and SAS drives in an extremely economical bundle, with ample performance, and ability to scale. If you’re wondering how to get started with Citrix and Cisco, this is a great solution that neatly fits in just 2 RU. And, if you weren’t aware, Cisco offers XenDesktop 7.6 software and other new products as part of our resale program with Citrix. A great way to build the perfect bundle!
While certainly exciting, buying a new house, can also serve as a revealing exercise in understanding data science.
A couple of weeks ago I went to my bank to investigate my financial options for buying a new house. To my surprise, my account manager gave me a stack of paperwork to fill out—and I soon realized that my bank was already in possession of 90 percent of the information I was being asked to provide. So why was I having to take the time to fill in information the bank already had, or could easily acquire? And more importantly, why couldn’t my account manager quickly access information about my client status and my personal preferences, and immediately provide a tailored offering, decreasing the chance that I would look elsewhere for this service?
Figure 1. Centralized, Decentralized, and Distributed Networks. A distributed, virtualized approach to database management enables quick combination and analysis of large volumes of data—where and when it is needed.
Source: Paul Baran, Rand Corporation.
I wrote in one of my recent blogs about the issues and solutions related to quickly combining data that comes in large volumes by focusing on data virtualization and cloud. This can enable seamless customer interactions and decrease client churn, be it in financial services or in the telecom sector. But what is required at an organizational level so that people, process, data, and things come together to enable a superior customer experience and create entirely new revenue possibilities?