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Tag Archive: cloud automation

  1. How Cisco CloudCenter Stacks up

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    This blog originally appeared on Cisco Blogs.

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    If you are like me – all the cloud management tools sound the same. Vendors all use the same words to describe very different solutions. Hybrid. Platform. Automation. Service.

    So to help you figure out what the words mean, I’ve recorded a short webcast with product manager Zack Kielich (@zackOmatic), that shows how Cisco CloudCenter stacks up to Gartner’s Cloud Management Platform feature taxonomy.

    You can access a Gartner report that includes the feature taxonomy list, as well as 5 key questions that help you evolve your cloud strategy.  And then listen to the webcast where we go through Gartner requirements and describe how CloudCenter features deliver 14 Gartner recommended capabilities in 4 key areas.

    So why is a CMP review on the Datacenter Blog?  CloudCenter deploys and manages applications in datacenter or cloud environments.  It’s both a cloud and datacenter solution.

    Some highlights:

    Access Management

    • Multi-tenancy – CloudCenter has a service provider class multi-tenant architecture that offers great value for enterprise IT. It saves money by reducing the solution footprint for organizations with multiple business units. It supports a centralized IT service strategy with a flexible mix of sharing and isolation.  Central IT can offer standard services. Each tenant can consume those services but also add or customize their own, and even skin the UI for different user groups.
    • Governance – A tag-based governance scheme makes it easy for IT to help users make the right decisions. Compliance can be automated by using tags to enforce policies.  Users add simple tags when they deploy applications. IT can hard code tags if needed for compliance.  The tags link to policies that direct placement, deployment and run-time decisions. The tags make it easy for users to make the right choices. And they don’t have to understand the policies.

    Service Management

    • Logical service modeling – This is where CloudCenter really shines. You can model a deployable application blueprint with ease in a drag and drop interface. Each component represents a service like OS, or application or web server, database, etc. You can use out of box, or easily customize or add your own. It supports configuration management tools, PaaS and cloud services, as well as containers. Multiple IT groups can put their configuration finger print on the building blocks or fully modeled stacks before releasing for users. IT maintains control. Users don’t get stuck in the infrastructure weeds, and get an on-demand self-service experience.
    • Usage and cost control – With usage and cost plans, you get a variety of options to create boundaries for self-service on demand deployment. You want to limit developers from a certain group to a pool of 200 VMs in a vCenter environment? No problem. You want to keep AWS costs for a BU to $2,000 per month? No problem. You want to allocate costs across the SDLC for dev, test, staging, and then production. Again, no problem.

    Service Optimization

    • Monitoring and auto-scaling – CloudCenter lets you horizontally scale legacy applications in your datacenter. That’s right! Cloud-like scaling without rewriting applications. Set performance triggers and scale out by deploying additional instances of the whole stack or individual tier, with just enough resource to minimize cloud costs and optimize infrastructure utilization. You can even burst to cloud by scaling out to a cloud for periods of heavy usage.
    • Usage Visibility – IT executives love the consolidated reporting of costs and usage from any of 20 supported datacenter, private and public cloud environments, all in one platform. View usage and costs by tenant, by user group, by application, by cloud. Roll up or drill down. And allocate or charge back costs as needed. You get data needed to make effective decisions.  IT can add use-based economics to traditional datacenter and legacy applications, just like in the public cloud.

    External APIs

    • CloudCenter has mature, documented APIs. Everything users can do from the UI, you can access via API. This facilitates easy integration with development tools like Jenkins, ITSM catalogs like Cisco Prime Service Catalog or ServiceNow, existing ITOM tools like IPAM and DNS. Read the integration guide.
    • SDN like VMware and Cisco API are supported. So you get the security and operational efficiency of zero trust, white list communication between tiers, via fully automated integration. Application owners get confidence in case of a security breach. Network teams don’t need to hand craft port settings or configure firewall runs for each deployment.
    • CloudCenter abstracts the cloud. CloudCenter supports more than 20 different datacenter, private and public clouds. But the APIs are hidden and abstracted by the CloudCenter Orchestrator. Users don’t need to learn each cloud. They get the benefits of Software defined datacenter and cloud, without the cost of learning APIs specific to each platform.

    There’s more.  Check out the webinar to find out about benchmarks, bursting, automated end-of-life actions that all cut your cloud bill or improve datacenter resource utilization.

    Read about how CloudCenter is now part of the revamped Cisco ONE Enterprise Cloud Suite.

  2. CliQr: Have Your Cake and Eat it Too.

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    This blog originally appeared on Cisco Blogs.

    I love buffets. (Especially when they are all you can eat). But what I really like is the ability to choose what and how much I want. This is where I know that the use of cloud services will become useful. When we don’t have to make an ‘either/or’ decision.

    How work gets done has completely changed in just the last few years.

    Fact is: business moves fast. When application developers or business leaders can’t get what they need the official way… it has never BEEN SO EASY (to go around the IT department).

    Public Clouds offer so much less friction… no PO required… so can you blame them?

    Third party cloud providers are doing a great job providing attractive, easy to use services. They have earned that business.

    Who cares how it splinters your own company…puts your data at risk…or makes it almost impossible to transition from development to production?

    We offer a couple of options for you here at Cisco:

    1. Get Tough. We have tools that can help you identify ‘shadow IT’, those rogue operations. Find them and put the hurt on ‘em. It’s against policy… you have the company rule book to back you up.
    2. Address the Real Issue. Just give them what they want. They are following the path of least resistance… so make it easy.

    We should all be thinking of ourselves as internal service providers. We have to compete and serve company interests viewing the world as it is, rather than as we wish it would be.

    What is it my mom would always say?

    “You can catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.”

    So how would we go about doing that?

    I suggest we look towards a few winners recently announced by The Software & Information Industry Association (SIIA):

    Best Cloud Infrastructure: Cisco ONE Enterprise Cloud Suite

    But also, for Best Cloud Management Solution: CliQr CloudCenter… now called ‘Cisco CloudCenter’ because that team is now part of Cisco and these two winners are now integrated.

    In this episode we uncover why these applications are winning awards, and what kind of pain we can help get rid of.

    Thank you to TechWiseTV alum Joann Stark for bringing this one to market… and for introducing me to the smart and energetic Zach Kielich. 

    We will be doing a live workshop on this topic around August 18. Please subscribe to our twitter feed (@techwisetv) and monitor that for updates on where to register.

    Read more right now with Joann’s blog post: “Cisco Simplifies Business Transformation.”

    Thanks!

    Robb @robbboyd

     

  3. CloudCenter with Chef

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    CliQr is the leader in hybrid cloud application migration and management. Chef is the leader in web-scale IT automation. With CliQr and Chef together, developers and IT operations both get portability and confidence in application services deployed across multiple environments. (more…)

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