Transforming to the world of many clouds? Just add to your Cisco Optimization services contract – It’s that easy!

December 20, 2011 - 2 Comments

Previously, I blogged that the concept of “cloud in a box” is a misnomer.  As I discussed then, transitioning to cloud is not a one off occurrence, it is a journey.  This was emphasized further when, earlier this month, we launched Cisco CloudVerse, introducing the concept of the World of Many Clouds. So what is the quickest and easiest way for you to start on this journey to the world of many clouds?

Cisco Data Center Services has a simple proposition for you: Just add our recently announced Cloud Optimization Service through your existing Cisco Cisco Data Center Optimization Contract!  If you have Cisco Network Optimization Service, or “NOS”, talk to your account manager on how to leverage the Cisco Data Center Optimization deliverbles

Optimization services are our most popular Cisco Advanced Services offering, so there is a fair chance you have such a subscription service today already.  (You may have seen my previous blogs around Cisco Data Center Optimization Service, see here and here).

Cisco Cloud Optimization Service - Optional Activities Available

Oh – and if you don’t have a Cisco Optimization Service such as the Cisco Data Center Optimization service, or Cisco Network Optimization Service (“NOS”)then you should get one! Optimization services are our most popular Cisco Advanced Services offering – so if you don’t have one, your competitors almost certainly will.

Here I’ll take some time to explain what this service is and how it will help you start or evolve your cloud transformation.

OK, first, a quick refresher on the intent of Cisco Optimization Services.   You may have seen my previous blogs around Cisco Data Center Optimization Service, here and here.  Cisco Optimization Services give you, if you will, a menu of service options that you can pick and choose from.  Through out the (annual) term of this subscription, you can call on those modules that are relevant to you.  Customers may use this to obtain specialist help, say, on use of advanced Cisco Nexus features, or engage Cisco experts on a Design Review – what I called previously “Manufacturer’s Design Assurance” – in essence get the Cisco best practice advice on your data center design.

Now for the good news, if you are either migration to cloud, or about to start such a process, we have just added Cloud Optimization Services to the Cisco Data Center Optimization Service.  The Cloud Optimization options are outlined in the above diagram.  If you are starting, or continuing your cloud transition, the modules in this service that I’ll focus on today are the Cloud Technology Architecture Assessment and the Cloud Management Automation Assessment.   When is each most relevant?

Well, if you are looking at your data center, and are wondering what you need to put in place to evolve that data center to an infrastructure as a service model – for example offer “virtual machines as a service” or enhance  your business continuity with “disaster recovery as a service” – the Cloud Technology Architecture Assessment is the option for you.  With this service option, a Cisco cloud expert will work with you, your business stakeholders and your team to conduct an architecture assessment  of your current data center architecture and plans.  This could be a data center where you have started to move towards cloud already, or not -= we deal with both cases.  Our expert will help you identify any issues with your current technology architecture (network, storage and compute), that could impact your transition to, or evolve further to (in the case of an existing cloud architecture), an architecture capable of offering cloud infrastructure as a service (IaaS).  At the end of this assessment, you will have a clear set of steps that you can take to make that cloud transition.

Management automation – orchestration and provisioning in particular – is a key requirement to enable the rapid service provisioning times that cloud promises.  Our Cloud Management Automation Assessment examines your current management infrastructure, and makes recommendations on what should be your management automation roadmap to deliver on the promise of cloud.  The Cisco Services expert will hold a workshop with your team and help may out future requirements, and then assess your current toolset to determine if and how easily this will support your cloud vision. We’ll then make specific recommendations on how you can achieve your target provisioning times, what tools will suit your needs best, and also examine your assurance process and tools to determine whether improvements can be made there.  In the case of an existing cloud deployment, the recommendations will focus on improvements to meet best practices for management of the cloud architecture; and in the case of a non-cloud deployment, recommendations will focus on changes and new tools necessary to meet the requirements of a best practice cloud architecture and deployment.

As I mentioned in the opening of this article, these options are available now to anyone who has a NOS or a Data Center optimization contract.   Many of you will have such a contract today.  So you can start planning to make use of these new service capabilities today.  And if you don’t have a NOS contract, perhaps this is what you need to add extra expertise and unique Cisco  best practices to your team and data center/cloud architecture.

To close then, it’s as simple as speaking to your Cisco Services Account Manager and, with your Cisco Data Center and Cloud Optimization Service, start moving to the world of many clouds!

PS: If you are planning to migration to Cisco Nexus Unified Fabric, Cisco Unified Computing, Virtual Desktop Infrastructure and other new data center technologies, the Cisco Data Center Optimization Service can also be used to help you obtain the Cisco expertise to make these transitions.  This service is not just about cloud – we really do recommend this service to any customer with a data center, and many of our data center customers do indeed take this service option.

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  1. Could you possible be any less “subtle” in pushing Cisco NOS services?

    Do you think we are already not paying enough in Cisco Tax on your products, and we have to spend more millions we don’t have on Cisco Advanced Services.. which ultimately push more Cisco *products*?

    • Tim

      Thanks for your candid comment. I really do appreciate when readers of our blogs take the time to give us feedback, good or otherwise. Let me explain some of the intents of my blogs, and provide my thoughts on some of your feedback.

      (1) “Pushing Cisco NOS Services”

      In general, I write my blogs to help readers understand how we in Cisco Services can help them get their projects done quicker, and to pass on key lessons I learn from our work with customers that I hope many will find helpful, interesting and hopefully sometimes controversial. Across the industry, many blogs are only about the product or technology – I aim to help readers understand the broader set of challenges – including how can you get the technology adopted faster into your data center, how can you do this when you are so busy already, and what kinds of issues may you encounter on your journey.

      In this blog (honest!), I didn’t set out to make it a sales pitch for Cisco NOS. I aimed this primarily at customers who already have Cisco Network Optimization Service aka NOS – or in this case, not so much Cisco NOS, but more precisely the Cisco Data Center Optimization Service. I hope this blog helps them think about how to exploit such services even more.

      I also wrote this blog to highlight new capabilities. We have a wide range of services capabilities in these services, and sometimes we make additions. So this article was about our Cloud optimization components as you know. What you may not know though is that we’ve not really communicated much externally about our Cloud optimization components to date, and how customers – who already have NOS or Data Center Optimization Service – can make use of them. So I set out to to help these customers get more from what they do pay for our services – which I would hope you agree is a good thing.

      I was, I agree, pretty overt in say something like (summarising here) “if you don’t have a NOS contract, you should get one.” Yes maybe too strong for a blog. The reason I’m so enthusiastic about our Optimization services, is because of the benefits I see customers achieving with these services. And how these services are very complementary to our partners’ services offerings. One of my colleagues here in Europe – through a Data Center Optimization Design Review – helped a customer eliminate part of their design – and cut out the need for some of the hardware, saving the customer $500,000 of CapEx. As another example, I experienced first hand how customers benefit from Cisco Services such as NOS in a major service provider customer I was working (when I was in a different part of Cisco). Over the lifetime of the project, I saw this customer literally leapfrog their major competitor in technical capability of their network, turning around a late-to-market situation into competitive advantage. It was the expertise of the Cisco Services team that helped this customer design, absorb and operationalise the new products and technologies into their network in less than 2 years – whereas the competitor had been developing their network for 3 or 4 years before this customer even got started. and in fact this experience helped me decide to change jobs from the Cisco R&D organization into Cisco Services. So I hope you can forgive my enthusiasm here.

      (2) “Cisco Tax”

      In Cisco, we don’t aim to produce “good enough” products. Our aim is to deliver superior value. Value that – for example – when we help you design a network, can be expanded incrementally as new requirements come in, as opposed to having to do a substantial re-resign. Value that reduces total cost of ownership (e.g. see, Value that – as my personal example above shows – delivers competitive advantage for our customers. I’d argue, therefore, that our competitors are the ones who tax – by not delivering on total cost of ownership, and by

      (3) Pushing “more Cisco *products*”.

      Our Advanced Services consultants are rewarded on customer satisfaction. While they may recommend certain Cisco products as part of a design, our technical consultants don’t earn direct commission on Cisco products sold as part of their designs: they make these recommendations to increase overall customer satisfaction and value.

      Thanks again for your candid feedback. I hope my reply helps clarify the background to the perspectives expressed in my blog.