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Cisco Data Center 2011-Texas: Cisco to Deploy IaaS in its New Texas Data Center

- December 6, 2010 - 1 Comment

Of cloud computing’s three service models, software as a service (SaaS) is deployed most often. But that trend is shifting:  A recent Yankee Group survey revealed that 24 percent of U.S. enterprises with cloud experience are already using infrastructure as a service (IaaS), an additional 37 percent plan to adopt it, and planned deployments are accelerating.

Cisco, too, is seeking to benefit from dynamic cloud service models, using models that offer reduced provisioning times and usage-based chargeback systems. We’ve gotten started by deploying the same unified computing and virtualization solutions we recommend to Cisco customers in our own private IaaS cloud. We call our internal cloud Cisco IT Elastic Infrastructure Services, or CITEIS.

CITEIS is Cisco IT’s first venture into cloud computing. But we eventually plan to have all three types of cloud services: IaaS and SaaS, as well as platform as a service (PaaS), which involves dynamic access to development tools and associated storage. The idea is that when we have all three cloud types in place, we’ll basically be delivering IT as a service throughout Cisco, so all IT services can be self-provisioned and charged back based on consumption.

For now, the focus is on CITEIS. Following the retrofit of several Cisco data centers to include components of CITEIS, its first complete deployment will be in our new facility under construction, Texas Data Center 2 (DC2). This CITEIS deployment is an important milestone in Cisco IT’s roadmap, and we’ve been capturing our progress in our Texas DC2 online chronicle, Cisco Data Center 2011-Texas.  To learn about our plan to implement IaaS with a full chargeback system and use of standardized, self-service IaaS bundles to reduce provisioning times from months to minutes, watch the video IaaS to Deliver IT Self-Service.


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  1. Bob, I am not sure how IaaS makes sense for large enterprise shops Cisco would like to be selling servers into. If Cisco wants to penetrate these shops, it might be helpful to have a truly compelling cost savings offering for them (not a me-too offering). How about running Cisco's own data center using Lean practices - just like your core business does with its suppliers? Virtualization enables Lean. It is Lean, just-in-time physical provisioning that saves money and keeps server utilization rates sustainable high. Raising utilization on fat-provisioned servers doesn't save money - it actually costs more money. (See our web-site for why.) The point is this: If you think Cisco can deliver more servers with higher rates of capacity growth (e.g., 30-40% per year) than software vendors like Microsoft can raise their software prices, you should be able to run a Lean server operation and refresh servers far faster than once every 3-4 years. Here is an example: global outsourcer host applications and includes database. They do thousands of these deals. MS Sql server enterprise is about $900 per month to rent (per proc w/ unlimited vm's). That is $10,800 per proc. in one year and that doesn't include the rest of the software stack. In one year, a new Cisco server could replace the old IBM server (or old Cisco server) and add 30-40% more capacity per processor (and memory) for more vm's to run under the same software license. When an enterprise holds onto a server for 3-4 years, each new deal coming in (each month) requires adding new capacity (new servers and more expensive software) - or consuming old server capacity and now inflated costs. What Cisco wants to do for itself and for companies like this outsourcer is to get them to stop and think! What if instead of adding new servers and incurring 3-10 times more cost for software, we replace a few of these 1-2 year old servers with new servers that have a lot more capacity. They buy servers more often and buy fewer software licenses. Here is the point, Bob. Not all workloads have the same economics, and IBM will never implement that type of best practice because they want to protect DB2 (and their software catalog). But this is the big cost for big IT enterprise shops that can be reduced - a lot. Why should Cisco play that game? What software line of products would Cisco be protecting? Very little. So, implement Lean provisioning and make more money for Cisco. Or don't, and let Microsoft, Oracle and IBM keep taking the (software) money from enterprise shops as profits for themselves via software license deals. When you get around to PaaS, we can help you - and you can help Cisco sell a lot more servers to large enterprise IT shops and vendors by adopting lean provisioning. Check out our web-site. Regards, Dan