They want a cloud real fast, just not sure what exactly it should look like or how it should function…..

January 24, 2012 - 0 Comments

I have talked to many enterprises that want a private cloud; also service providers that want to build a public cloud based upon Cisco UCS / Nexus.  They all would like to get to their first generation of cloud very quickly.   We have many conversations on infrastructure to use, the right choice of hypervisor, and what use cases to start with.  Today I talked to a customer of our Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud that wants a differentiating end user portal.  Everyone can spin up a VM, but how to do it in a way that will drive adoption and new business, whether it is for the enterprise or service provider?  How do we do this at a cost and a timeline that meets the needs of the business and the CIO.

These are not lightweight concerns.   I have seen many data center automation projects that focused too much on the provisioning and not enough on the end user experience.    The Intelligent Automation Solutions Business Unit at Cisco has been involved with many customers building private and public clouds with our software stack.  This includes Cisco IT’s very large private cloud deployment based upon our software.  The two services they deployed:  CITEIS (Cisco IT Elastic Infrastructure Services) Express and CITEIS VDC (Virtual Data Center) has received broad acclaim.  Watch the following videos by Jamie MacQuarrie of the Intelligent Automation team on these two CITEIS Services.

CITEIS Express

CITEIS Virtual Data Center

Cisco IT worked with the business unit to drive the first releases of CITEIS, but then Cisco IT has taken over and is deploying a strong roadmap of new features on their own.  Many customers which I present CITEIS  to are struck by the simplicity and elegance of the solution and the use cases.  Starting their first clouds with similar functionality to Cisco IT (and many other customers we have worked with) is critical to getting to market quickly for a service centric IT team.  Another big need is the union of both virtual server provisioning with physical server provisioning.   30% of servers out there are and will be physical. Having the ability for an end user to provision a physical server from a spares pool and a virtual server on say an ESX server are key use cases.  Having the end user manage the lifecycle of those environments and having an easy to use end user and administration interface are critical to these cloud adopters.  Cisco UCS and Nexus technologies are critical to enabling an easy to use and provision physical cloud through the use of Service Profiles.

Our team is working very hard on making “My First Cloud” something that is achievable in a short amount of time after acquiring the cloud automation software and UCS hardware.  A cloud that end users will really use and one that the IT shop can easily administer, extend and upgrade over time.

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