Earlier this week, we announced the Cisco Domain Ten framework 2.0, enhanced by great input from customers, partners, and Cisco’s well-earned experience of strategizing and executing IT transformation.

The enhanced Cisco Domain Ten framework helps customers drive better strategic decisions, providing greater focus on business outcomes, providing deeper analysis of hybrid cloud implications, and extending the framework beyond data center and cloud to include all IT transformation initiatives.

You may have read Stephen Speirs earlier blogs about Cisco Domain Ten for cloud transformation. Today, let’s look at key changes in the Cisco Domain Ten framework 2.0 from the original version. These changes have been adopted to enhance discussions on three themes:

  1. Highlight importance of public clouds as part of IT transformation and solutions using IaaS, PaaS, and SaaS within the data center and across the entire business.
  2. Addition of “Organization” in Domain 10 to bring together the business and technology focus for strategy discussions.
  3. Name changes for some domains to facilitate ease of alignment and discussion on overall IT transformation across multiple architectures and technology solutions such as ITaaS, collaboration, mobility, video, etc. for both enterprise and provider perspectives.

 Let’s look at the changes side by side for each domain:

d10v1   d10v2

Cisco Domain TenSM Framework

Cisco Domain TenSM Framework v2


Domain 1: Infrastructure and Environmentals” from originalFacilities and Infrastructure

  • The three important elements in any infrastructure are the servers, the storage, and the network. Together these components come together to form the resource layer.
  • Part of transforming data centers includes planning for environmentals. Focus needs to be on sufficient facilities (space, cooling and power) for future growth as well as green data center environment for energy efficiencies.

Domain 2: Abstraction and VirtualizationNo changes from original version

  • On top of the resource layer is abstraction and virtualization.  Virtualization allows us to share the resource pool.  It allows logical abstraction of the physical resources to be shared among a number of applications that goes beyond servers to also include storage and network resources.

IaaSNew– Not present in original version

  • Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) highlights considerations related to acquiring IaaS clouds that can be provided by enterprise IT or 3rd party cloud providers. As one plans to acquire an on-premise or off-premise virtualized infrastructure (IaaS), one should consider appropriate impact to network, security, resiliency, processes, and more in the data center and across the entire business. 

Domain 3: Automation and Orchestration” – No changes from original version

  • The automation and orchestration domain is based on management automation software that enables IT organizations to automate and orchestrate what goes on within the virtualization sitting on top of the standard infrastructure. 

Domain 4: Customer Interface” from original User Portal

  • The customer interface is a web-based software interface that allows users to place requests for IT resources. Standardizing on an interface supports consistent ordering and delivery processes through automation and IT policy enforcement.  It enables managed user empowerment because users can only order what their roles are authorized to order.

Domain 5: Service Catalog” from original Service Catalog and Management

  • The service catalog is a menu of services that users can order through the customer interface.  The menu lets IT define and manage orderable IT services. IT can assign services to user roles so that the customer interface users only see the services they are authorized to see, and connect the services to the automated routines that must be orchestrated if that service is ordered.
  • From the provider perspective, one should also consider what should go to the menu of services. Such considerations require appropriate investigation on what is the market demand, what is offered by competitors, what is unique value offering, etc. Similarly, from the enterprise IT perspective, it’s important to consider inclusion of services from the private cloud as well as approved public cloud.

Domain 6: Financials” from original Service Financial Management

  • The next domain is financials. This software functionality allows IT to set up, track, and report usage-based billing. This tracking and billing capability is sometimes referred to as “charge back,” “show back,” or “billing and usage tracking.”
  • This financial reporting is important from both the enterprise IT and provider perspectives: when users can clearly see what they’re charged for, it’s easier for them to trust the provider, compare available options, understand service and value received, and appropriately plan for capital and operating expenses.

Starting to Put a Private Cloud Together

  • The first six domains together provide the foundation for a true private cloud, and that is exactly what is being delivered—the infrastructure provided to an end user as a service, based on what that user ordered through the customer interface.
  • As an organization builds a private cloud and also acquires IaaS for purposes such as scaling of development and test, cloud burst, and using public clouds for disaster recovery of physical and virtual environments, it should be sure to consider an appropriate strategy and management of hybrid cloud workloads.

Domain 7: PlatformNo changes from original version

  • The platform domain highlights software elements such as the OS, middleware, or database on top of the cloud infrastructure. This domain covers cloud provisioning of those software elements through the customer interface such as “database as a service” offers from providers, as well as the provisioning of a database by enterprise DBA. It also includes platform considerations such as RISC to X86 migrations, as many provider-based cloud solutions run on X86 architecture.

PaaSNew – Not present in original version

  • Platform as a Service (PaaS) highlights considerations related to acquiring PaaS clouds that can be provided by enterprise IT or 3rd party cloud providers. As one plans to acquire an on-premise or off-premise platform for developing and deploying applications, one should consider the available OS, suite of development tools, and application runtime requirements available in cloud. 

Domain 8: Applications No changes from original version

  • The next domain – applications – is about running applications on the cloud. One should start with analysis of existing portfolio of applications such as applications running in Data Center and collaboration applications to identify applications that should run on cloud – private, hybrid or public.
  • Many existing applications were not developed to take advantage of cloud infrastructure, and as a result they will not run well in a cloud infrastructure without modification. This can lead to IT transformation goal of application portfolio consolidation as one standardizes on cloud-enabled applications.
  • Once applications are identified for cloud, one should also consider the impact of acquiring new cloud-enabled applications and migrating existing applications to cloud. That includes steps required for migrating data to new applications, migrating existing applications to cloud, development effort required for integrations with management systems and legacy platforms, and network performance necessary for an acceptable user experience.

SaaSNew – Not present in original version

  • Software as a Service (SaaS) highlights considerations related to running applications from an off-premise and (usually) multi-tenant cloud provider.  While SaaS provides ease of purchase, usage, and billing, it also presents challenges in IT governance and security. Instead of preventing SaaS applications from being used, IT needs to identify shadow IT applications (SaaS applications used outside of IT awareness and control), consolidate and control them for cost efficiencies and governance, and incorporate SaaS into their overall cloud strategy and security planning.

Domain 9: Security and ComplianceNo changes from original version

  • Security consistently tops CIO’s list of cloud concerns. The security domain highlights identification of security and compliance requirements, along with an assessment of current vulnerabilities and deviations from security best practices for multisite, multitenant physical and virtual environments for one’s IT transformation vision. 
  • Security should be a major consideration in any IT transformation strategy. The architecture should be designed and developed with security for applications, network, mobile devices, data, and transactions across on-premise and off-premise solutions. Moreover, security considerations for people, process, tools, and compliance needs should be assessed by experts who understand how to incorporate security and compliance safeguards into complex IT transformation initiatives.

Domain 10: Organization, Governance and Process” from original Process and Governance

  • Organization, governance and process is a domain that affects all departments in the business beyond IT. It deals with how to strategize for transformation, understand any impact to existing processes, and make sure that IT and corporate governance adhere and enforce the way the cloud is used and managed.
  • Organizational design is critical to support IT transformation initiatives. Moreover, processes need to be fully automated to avoid lengthy manual steps, making it possible to realize the full time and cost savings potential. Finally, one needs to plan for new governance decisions, such as how much standardization is appropriate.  Less standardization has a poorer business case but provides greater flexibility to the end user, while more standardization brings greater operational efficiency and lower cost per unit. 

So using the Cisco Domain Ten framework 2.0, we can establish the foundation of a true IT transformation and the factors you need to consider for success. Key is to identify, establish and track strategic, operational and technological outcomes for IT transformation initiates. Now remember, one IT transformation does not fit all. So, depending on what your needs are, you may be looking at IT transformation within data center building private IaaS, or going beyond data center using public SaaS, or just standardization of your application portfolio. Whatever your vision, the journey of getting there is important with a well-integrated environment. Now that you have a better sense of the Cisco Domain Ten framework 2.0 for accelerating IT transformation, stay tuned for my next blog on what questions one should consider to understand the impacts of IT transformation across all domains.





Parag Parekh

Data Center and Cloud Services

Advanced Services Product Management