Achieving Evolutionary Fabric with Revolutionary Scale

April 2, 2011 - 0 Comments

I’ve just returned from Cisco Expo in Croatia (beautiful country!), where cloud computing was a major theme in the keynote speeches. One of the keynotes was delivered by no less than the President of Croatia!  Evolution to cloud computing was a top of mind topic for many of the attendees.   Evolution, innovation and investment protection were key to the customers I spoke with this week, and key reasons why they are adopting Cisco for cloud and their data center evolution.   This evolution is made simpler with products such as the Cisco Nexus range, and the  Cisco Unified Computing System.  It’s also simplified with the Cisco Data Center Optimization Service, used by many customers to obtain the key skills they need to evolve their data centers.  This subscription service gives you a flexible menu of options you can call on, periodically, to bring additional expertise and specialist skillsets in for targeted data center evolution projects.  Let’s talk about these options in more detail.

Cisco Expo - Croatia - March 2011

Today I’ve teamed up with Mark Pearson, our Data Center Optimization Services product manager in my team within Advanced Services, to discuss how many of our customers are engaging Cisco Services to achieve Evolutionary Fabric with Revolutionary Scale.

Mark Pearson, Product Manager, Data Center Optimization Service

However it’s not just a product story here, this evolution requires a solution approach – network, compute, storage, security, virtualisation, orchestration and more (see my previous blogs for more on this) – and also expertise in the form of professional services to help you get the best out of these products in the fastest possible timeframe.

Having the correct expertise to help you navigate this evolution is an important component of this solution and evolutionary approach.  You may be thinking: “Wouldn’t it be great it I could call on someone who has done this before”.  You may need comprehensive assistance.  In these cases, our Cisco Cloud Enablement Services may be your answer.

On the other hand, you may already have a strong team and may only require periodic assistance.  The questions on your mind in this case could be:  “how do I tap into Cisco’s data center  consultancy expertise on an ongoing basis” … or … “I’m not sure exactly what skillsets and expertise I will need over the next year, I’m not exactly sure what problems we will hit”. … or “how do I get specialist help on some of our growth opportunities and problem areas” …. or …. “how do I leverage periodically the expertise and intellectual property of Cisco engineers” If you have a data center design team, or if another IT services company helps you with your data center design, you may be thinking: “Our engineers are good, however wouldn’t it be great if we could have the equipment manufacturer (Cisco) to validate our design approach and help improve it, just to be sure”.

In this week’s Data Center Business Advantage announcement, Cisco Introduces Expanded Data Center Fabric Solutions for the Enterprise,  you will have seen how Cisco continues to make substantial R&D investments in the Cisco Nexus data center fabric switches and the Cisco Unified Computing System.  Exploiting the latest features in your data center, and taking advantage of the latest software features, may be a task you should tackle.   You may ask “who knows these new features best, which of the new features will give us the quickest wins,  and how can we make sure we take advantage of them within the constraints of our current design?”

The Cisco Data Center Optimization Services will help you answer all of these challenges and more.  The Cisco Optimization Services are not large monolithic offerings.  Rather, they offer a range of options, a “menu” if you will – for example, a design review, a software audit, a configuration best practices review, or a disaster recovery review.  (more details are at Data Center Optimization Services).  In the design review activity for example, we would have one of our data center experts when time with your team, to review, critique, and improve your data center design.  This may be say a 10 or 20 day activity only.   Then you may decide that your switch software strategy needs some action.  You could use the Cisco Data Center Optimization Service here too – for example to help you perform a comprehensive software review of all software revisions you have running on your network, with the aim of identifying which releases offer the most valuable features for your business.  Perhaps a periodic architecture review would have biggest benefit, or perhaps you would gain most by leveraging Cisco’s in-house data center testing services and facilities, through our Performance and Validation testing Optimization service option.  Perhaps it’s SAN, Virtualization, Unified Computing – we cover all data center technologies.  You can plan this “menu” in advance, say over a 12 month period, using this subscription service, and we align the experts in each respective area to your schedule of requests.  And if critical needs change in that period, we can work with you to use your subscription to best effect, to select what is most appropriate at your time of need.  This offers you substantial flexibility to exploit Cisco’s evolutionary fabric and achieve the revolutionary scale.

Cisco has huge numbers of Nexus ports deployed in the field, running real and substantial data centers today.  This continues to grow, even at this time as others in the industry still have their new product designs in their quality assurance labs.  Cisco continues to invest in new features for the whole of the Nexus product line. Equally importantly, Cisco Services has spent the past 3 years, since unified fabric was first released in 2008, helping customers exploit these technologies, whereas some of our competitors have yet to complete their first live product deployment. Why not ask Cisco Services to help you exploit these latest developments, to identify and exploit quick wins for your data center and your business, via the Cisco Data Center Optimization Service?

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