This week at the Gartner Data  Center Conference in Las Vegas, Cisco Services is unveiling Cisco Domain Ten(SM) – Cisco’s Framework for Simplifying Data Center and Cloud Transformation.


Cisco Domain Ten can be applied to a diverse range of data center projects – from cloud and desktop virtualization to application migration and is equally applicable whether your data center is in enterprise businesses, public sector organizations or service providers.  The video here describes how we apply the Cisco Domain Ten to the private cloud use case, as one example.  We’ll discuss additional use cases in future blogs and associated collateral that I’ll point you to.

Born from our extensive experience over the past years in helping customers transform their data centers, based upon the many cloud deployments – private and public, enterprise, public sector and service provider – that we’ve enabled over the past few years, we’ve formulated this comprehensive framework to help you transform your data center and guide new initiatives including cloud, virtual desktop, application migration, and data center consolidation.  The Cisco Domain Ten framework covers ten key areas – domains – that – based upon our experience – are critical to consider, plan for and address as part of your data center and cloud transformational journey, and is illustrated in the diagram below.  Relating this framework to other key components of Cisco’s data center strategy, you can  think of the Cisco Unified Data Center as the what of the data center, whereas Cisco Domain Ten complements this by guiding you on the how (to transform).

Cisco Domain Ten - Simplifying Data Center Transformation

Cisco Domain Ten is powerful because it’s comprehensive yet remains simple, clearly structured yet holistic, and prescriptive while still flexible.  Customers we’ve shared this concept with have described it as the most comprehensive approach they’ve seen across the industry.  It’s particularly relevant to cloud transformation, which is a large part of my work.  While  cloud computing is no longer “new”, some still struggle to define cloud and explain what is required to transform a data center to realize the value of cloud. The Cisco Domain Ten framework enables you to simply communicate around cloud and other complex data center initiatives.

I’ve seen others join the industry say or imply “if you’ve got a hypervisor, you’ve got a cloud“.  Or “if you’ve got our orchestration solution, you’ve got a cloud“. Further, recently I sat in on a presentation on a cloud-related framework that didn’t refer to security, compliance or the need to align operational processes as part of this particular cloud initiative.  None of these views are sufficiently comprehensive to guide you along a transition to cloud, in our view – and this is why we’ve formalised the Cisco Domain Ten framework.

The Cisco Domain Ten framework gives you a comprehensive check-list – along with related professional services of course -to ensure key aspects are considered and where appropriate, actioned as you plan, build and manage your data center project.

The Cisco Plan-Build-Manage Services Lifecycle

It’s key to note that we are not suggesting that you develop solutions to each domain’s challenges, at the one time.  Our experience shows that you should at least consider each domain  as part of your particular data center transformation project when you develop your strategy.  You may consider a particular domain and conclude that “this is not relevant to our project in our environment“, or “yes domain X is important, however we can’t prioritize nor resource this area just now“.  That’s fine: we’re not mandating nor recommending every step is always necessary. They key to any strategy is as much deciding what you choose not to do, as it is what you actually do.  The crux is to ensure you don’t forget something important!

At first glance, you may be thinking “ok – good framework – however doesn’t Cisco only play in one or two of these domains? Aren’t you just a hardware vendor?” Here are my observations on such questions:

  1. The Cisco Domain Ten framework has not been developed just to show Cisco’s historical core product strengths. It’s non-partisan.  It’s about what our customers need to help guide them on data center transformation projects.
  2. And while we may not offer products in each of the ten domains, we in Cisco Services offer services in each and every domain.  In a few areas – for example data center facilities design and implementation – we have strategically decided to partner and formed strong working alliances with leading specialist companies to enable Cisco to offer comprehensive services across Cisco Domain Ten.

Over the next ten days, I’ll take you on a tour through each domain in the Cisco Domain Ten framework, illustrating the types of challenges you need to consider and in many cases  address when using this model to guide your data center transformation. I’ll focus on cloud enablement as my example, however it’s important to note that Cisco Domain Ten is equally applicable to all data center initiatives, including application migration, desktop virtualization and data center consolidation.   I’ll illustrate each domain using insights from my expert colleagues in Cisco Services who have been delivering projects guided by this framework – expertise, insights and unique Cisco intellectual property that they can bring to your data center challenges.  Some of my colleagues will add their perspectives also.  And along the way, we’ll point you to additional collateral and resources to help you understand and exploit our new framework.

To conclude, stay tuned for further blogs exploring this transformational framework, follow me on Twitter for updates (@StephenSatCisco), and – if you are in Las Vegas – make sure you stop by the Cisco stand at the Gartner Data Center conference and talk to the Cisco Services team about Cisco Domain Ten!


(Late update  – see here for my next instalment)


Stephen Speirs

SP Product Management

Cisco Customer Experience (CX)