Making the move to a multicloud environment is a complicated process that requires clear-headed and careful planning, an understanding of the various options and choices that have to be made and a strategy for overcoming the obstacles that no doubt will come up. As we showed in the previous blog in this series, It doesn’t become any less complex or challenging for a business once the decision has been made, the plans laid out and followed, and the digital assets moved into the highly dispersed and distributed multicloud environment.

Cisco over the past several years has brought together a broad array solutions and services under its multicloud umbrella to help businesses assess their situation, create a strategy to move to the multicloud, make the move and then manage and secure their applications and data once they’re in the cloud. In this final blog in our series, we are going to lay out what is required for the multicloud and what Cisco offers to help customers reach their multicloud ambitions.

Multicloud Requirements

Unlike a specific cloud player that optimizes only for their specific cloud environment or their cloud, multicloud adoption requires the structure necessary to help customers navigate their multicloud world, with solutions optimized for customers’ multicloud requirements.

Cisco’s Multicloud approach brings together networking, security, analytics and management in the form of multicloud software that enables an optimized multicloud strategy by helping organizations connect, protect and consume cloud services.

Multicloud requirements

Cisco Multicloud Portfolio

Cisco’s vision is about delivering secure intelligent platform for digital business. Cisco’s approach is based on the following aspects:

  • Security is foundational
  • Reinvent the network
  • Embrace a multicloud world
  • Unlock the power of data
  • Employee and customer experience

Multicloud is definitely a new reality. In a multicloud world, growing complexity is driving a cloud gap between what our customers’ cloud applications require and what their people, processes and tools can support. The Cisco Multicloud Portfolio is a set of targeted products (mostly software) and advisory services to help our customers create an actionable multicloud strategy to connect, protect and consume cloud services in a multicloud world. What’s new is the Cisco solution strategy with selected essential Cisco products and services with simplified ordering and design deployment guides that our customers and partners are looking for when it comes to multicloud adoption. Cisco Multicloud Portfolio offers a solution structure to reduce the complexity and risks. The four pillars of the portfolio are:

  • Cloud Advisory, to help our customers design, plan, accelerate and de-risk their multicloud migration
  • Cloud Connect, to help our customers securely extend their private networks into public clouds and ensure the application experience
  • Cloud Protect, to help our customers protect their multicloud identities, direct-to-cloud connectivity, data and applications, including SaaS
  • Cloud Consume, to help our customers deploy, monitor and optimize their applications in multicloud environments with governance and lifecycle management

Multicloud Portfolio

Cloud Advisory Overview

Cloud advisory consists of rapid start services to create a strategy and solution approach for adopting multicloud. Cloud Advisory delivers the following activities with fixed time and cost service delivered by Cisco Advanced Services or Cisco Partners:

  • Define a cloud strategy that aligns business priorities with IT priorities
  • Plan effectively for technology and non-technology changes
  • Prioritize and sequence work to develop momentum and deliver benefits based on key value streams
  • Create a business case and proof-of-value for Connect, Protect and Consume that drives adoption and supports continuing investment

Cloud Connect Overview

Cloud Connect comprises essential products that help tackle the multicloud networking challenges through:

  • Securely extending a private network to single or multiple public cloud environments.This may include multiple clouds, such as AWS and Azure, multiple regions within a cloud, or multiple VPC (virtual private clouds) in cloud, VPNs, multicloud and multi-VPC connectivity, scaling, and a performance optimization-transit VPC

-Customers extending the data center into the clouds

-Enabling direct branch to clouds connectivity

*Branch has ISR4K and wants to connect the clouds

*Branch has vEdge and looking for SD-WAN extension to the cloud

  • Optimizing data center and branch connectivity performance to cloud IaaS and SaaS. It includes a best path to destination (SD-WAN), cloud segmentation, monitoring to assure the best performance, visibility to the traffic going to application, and traffic shaping/ QoS

-Customers extending DC into the clouds

-Enabling direct branch to clouds connectivity

*Branch has ISR4K and wants to connect the clouds

*Branch has vEdge and looking for SD-WAN optimization to the cloud

  • Secured access to the internet and SaaS from the branch, which includes connecting and protecting branch office users directly to the multicloud environment leveraging direct internet access (DIA), using software-defined WAN (vEdge) and a secure internet gateway (Umbrella).

Cloud Connect consists of:

  • CSR 1000v
  • Viptela vEdge with Umbrella

Cloud Protect Overview

Cloud Protect consists of products that help customers protect their multicloud identities, direct-to-cloud connectivity, data, and applications, including SaaS. Cloud Protect:

  • Secures users connecting to the cloud, including users from the data center and main offices, branches, roaming places that are off a VPN, and “direct-to-cloud” users. It includes protection against ransomware, C2 callbacks, phishing attacks and inappropriate web use.
  • Secures users’ devices connecting to the cloud, both on and off the network. It blocks malicious files at the initial entry through inspection and using sandboxing to inspect unknown files further for advanced protection.
  • Enables endpoint protection by ensuring the right security services are installed and configured, permitting only sanctioned apps to access the cloud, and constantly evaluating and dynamically taking corrective action based on changes to endpoint posture.
  • Secures cloud applications and data, including detecting data leakages through sanctioned SaaS applications, and protecting sensitive data and users from malicious or compromised applications.
  • Discovers, maps, baselines and protects applications for workloads in the cloud, on-premises and in hybrid environments for planning application migrations, identifying deviations in application behavior and applying security policies for enforcing fine-grain application microsegmentation.

Cloud Protect consists of:

  • Umbrella
  • AMP for Endpoints
  • Meraki Systems Manager
  • Cloudlock
  • Tetration Cloud

Cloud Consume Overview

Cloud Consume helps customers deploy, monitor and optimize their applications in multicloud environments by:

  • Optimizing resources and scaling applications based on end-user performance and business metrics, such as conversion rate and page loading time.
  • Applying governance and control of who deploys what and where, ensuring security and compliance while controlling resource usage and cloud costs.
  • Optimizing service quality by identifying and responding to emerging issues before they impact the business.
  • Seamless deploying and monitoring with automated provisioning of fully configured application stacks with monitoring agents into any environment.
  • Optimizing code by identifying code-level performance issues.
  • Identifying services to migrate and getting an accurate view of application technical and business metrics before and after the move to prove migration success.

It consists of:

  • AppDynamics
  • CloudCenter

Concluding Thoughts

Cisco is poised to be the unique enabler for companies around the world adopting multicloud by putting structure around strategy, connectivity, security, management and performance. A clear, balanced and actionable multicloud strategy delivers better business outcomes. IT executive today intend to drive business growth by relying on solid adoption of multicloud computing for greater agility, flexibility and cost effectiveness. It’s the multicloud world!

Read Part 1 and Part 2 for a full look at this blog series.



Lax Sakalkale

Director, Product Management

Multicloud Integration & Solutions