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Cloud Unfiltered Podcast, Episode 33: Shannon McFarland


January 26, 2018 - 0 Comments

Are we all comfortable with the term “multicloud” yet? Used to be that we just had “the cloud,” then “public and private clouds,” then “hybrid cloud,” and now it seems that most companies are running a little bit of everything, so we needed a new term, and just like that we’ve arrived at the doorstep of “multicloud.”

It sounds like a good idea. I mean we need different clouds for different things, and we don’t want to manage all those clouds separately using a bunch of different tools and processes…do we? So we’re all talking about how to make those clouds play together nicely. (At least that’s what we talk about here at Cisco.) And let’s be honest—it’s a LOT easier said than done.

The good news for you—at least if you’re someone currently wrestling with multicloud issues—is that today’s guest is part of a team that’s on a mission to ferret out the most common pain points companies are running into as they try to integrate multiple clouds, and eliminate them. His name is Shannon McFarland, he’s a Distinguished Engineer in our Cloud CTO Group, and just to be clear, what he is here to talk about is a completely different discussion than we had with Lax Sakalkale a few weeks ago when he was on. Lax spoke about the Cisco Multicloud Portfolio, and how the offerings in it could be useful to companies on the path to a multicloud environment. The discussion with Shannon was much more technical. His sweet spot is cloud networking, and during the show he focused on the technological challenges he sees companies running into as they try to network their clouds together. He also talked about the mistakes they commonly make, and passed along valuable tips for how to avoid those mistakes. Specifically, a few of the things we covered with Shannon include:

  • The non-traditional path he took to a career in tech
  • The big challenges enterprises are facing as they try to form a coherent management strategy for their multiple clouds
  • His top tips for what you should (and should not do) when approaching cloud automation
  • The reasons you should (and should not) pursue multicloud integration
  • The importance of building your target environment by hand before you try to automate it
  • Why it’s time to let the “single pane of glass” management fantasy go
  • When to use OpenStack for your private cloud and when to skip it and go straight to Kubernetes

See the full video podcast on our YouTube page, or listen to the full audio version on iTunes. And if you like what you hear, we invite you to subscribe to our channel so you don’t miss any of the other exciting podcasts we have scheduled over the next several months.

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