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Making the Cloud Accessible: Lowering Barriers and Increasing Automation

July 7, 2010 - 0 Comments

Reading some Cloud-related news, I found an interesting quote in a new piece from IDC on Cloud Computing for the Enterprise Steps Forward: Lessons Learned and Key Takeaways (subscription required):

“Ironically, it appears that the most critical factors to the success of cloud computing projects in the enterprise hinge on human factors, not technical ones. That’s because cloud computing is all about connecting IT technologies to business processes, in a way that reflects the business imperatives and organizational structure of those who are leveraging cloud.”

This struck a chord with me as many service provider customers are also raising a similar question: “If we move applications into the SP public cloud, and we virtualize the computing, storage, and network, the risk of one mistake by an operator could impact a lot of customers.”

We’ve been developing our solutions to help reduce this risk in a similar way that the IP NGN is virtualized and simplified with policies and automatically adapts to change. We have added more cloud intelligence into our solutions. For example, in our recent CRS-3 launch we introduced the Network Positioning System (NPS) and Cloud VPNs, both of which were designed with this is mind. With those two capabilities, we aim to reduce those critical risk factors that are key to making the adoption of cloud computing a reality. Traditional business process are not “cloud-like”…they’re not on-demand, not in near-real-time, not dynamic, and often tied directly to a fixed set of known assets as opposed to abstracted from the physical world. These new features in the CRS-3 automate some of the manual touch points where human factors can interfere with the ability of the business process to be cloud-like in nature. This enables human factors to come into play where they are needed – in making the business decisions that machines just can’t make.

Cases in point:

  • The Network Positioning System (like GPS in your car) automatically maps the data center and network for free resources and identifies the best available resources in the cloud through a common, standards-based interface
  • Cloud VPNs replaces the time-consuming manual provisioning of VPNs enabling systems or users to automatically connect data centers and users

These features are part of Cisco’s Unified Service Delivery solution and part of the journey to make the cloud network aware and the network more cloud aware.

Our goal is to enable service providers to easily bring their customers to the cloud by lowering barriers and increasing automation. The cloud can only show its potential if people make that transition, and can trust the cloud to deliver.

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