Have you ever wondered why some organizations are more successful in delivering services and applications with serious resource constraints to its every increasing distributed workforce? Chances are the IT teams are using some variation of cloud computing to solve these and other modern day IT challenges. Private cloud serves as an enabler for organizations to deliver IT as a service (ITaaS). This makes organizations more agile and efficient through reduction of cost, economies of scale and increased efficiency. Cisco uses its innovative cloud platform to facilitate automation, virtualization and simplification to increase business value whilst reducing total cost of ownership (TCO). Cisco cloud services can be delivered using three methods: first, there is the Cisco private cloud (through internally hosted or owned infrastructure), second, through public cloud (cloud provider delivers services) and finally, a hybrid model (a mix of the previous two).

Cloud services grew out of large service providers implementing highly automated management systems to manage their infrastructure. It was not long before enterprise IT leaders recognized that they could capitalize on cost efficiencies, agility and simplification benefits in their own environment. Enterprises IT leaders now find themselves competing with cloud service providers. This has significantly led to the push for more cost effective on premise or private cloud infrastructure. Current day IT departments are reanalyzing how resources are pooled across business units for increased efficiency. This has now positioned these IT departments to become internal service providers to deliver IT as a service to its business units and users.

At the heart of Cisco’s private cloud is the Unified Data Center, which serves as a unified platform for networking, compute, storage, security and management. This platform facilitates provisioning of cloud resources from a shared pool of virtual or physical resources. The overall datacenter approach provides simplicity and efficiency while private cloud services become more tightly integrated. Virtualization technologies also helped propel private cloud computing by abstracting and aggregating data center resources so that all application loads can share it. At the core of the Unified Data Center is Cisco Unified Computing Systems (Cisco UCS). The UCS platform integrates x86 servers, storage network and unified management for scalability and ease of management. Ease of management is achieved through elimination of multiple redundant devices that is at the center of traditional blade server systems.

The scalability and possibilities with Cisco UCS is almost limitless since it can scale to match almost any workload, all with a single point of management and connectivity through Cisco UCS Manager. Cisco UCS infrastructure provides the ideal platform for building your private cloud infrastructure. It facilitates reduced capital expenditure (CapEx), decreased operating expenses (OpEx) while freeing up your staff from tedious work when deploying a new infrastructure or platform.

Cisco private cloud offerings today provide self-service and metering capabilities along with automation features that provide a use-based pay-as-you-go model. This works similarly to a utility company, other than the fact that your organization manages the data and costs. IT services are provisioned here as an on-demand offering where an end user or business unit initiates a service request. Users and business units request usage of the infrastructure without having to understand the complexities of networking, storage or servers. Since there is no intermediary between the users and the private cloud on-demand model, your internal customer only pays for what it needs reducing the core structure. This significant reduction allows your users and business to do more with less, significantly drives productivity, and improve time to market.

The Cisco Unified Computing System helps to connect silos in enterprise data centers to make for better utilization of infrastructure in a virtualized environment. It utilizes industry standards to provide for full interoperability, compatibility, return on investment and investment protection. It unites computing, storage and network into a unified architecture managed through a single system with the Cisco UCS Manager. Cisco UCS Manager in turn helps to automate provisioning of resources to enterprise customers to facilitate application provision in a matter of minutes. Integrated at the core of private cloud is Cisco UCS, which facilitates enterprises with a cost effective, reliable and simplified on demand service with a unified management whilst keeping cloud computing under the control of enterprise IT.

Opinions expressed here and in any corresponding comments are the personal opinions of the original authors, not those of Cisco.



Donald S Bacha

Network Administrator with the Cardiovascular Research Foundation, NYC; VMware IT Academy Instructor with PCAge, NJ