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Tag Archive: cloud automation

  1. Top 7 Myths About Moving to the Cloud

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    If you make your living by selling computer hardware, you’ve probably noticed that the world has changed. It used to be that the people who managed IT hardware in a big company—your buyer—had all the purchasing power, and their constituents in the line-of-business teams had no place else to get IT services. You’d fill up your quota showing up with a newer version of the same hardware you sold the same people three to five years ago and everybody was happy.

    Then AWS happened in 2006. Salesforce.com already happened in 1999. Lots of other IaaS and SaaS vendors started springing up all over the place, and all of a sudden, those constituents your IT buyer had a monopoly on had another place to go for IT services—places that enabled them to move faster—and the three to five-year hardware refresh cycle started to suffer.

    But selling is still selling, and there are a lot of myths out there about why someone like you can’t sell cloud. Let’s debunk a few of them now.

    Myth #1: My customers aren’t moving to cloud.

    If your IT buyer customers haven’t seen decreased budgets for on-premises hardware, consider yourself lucky. In their cloud research survey issued last November, IDG Enterprise reported, “Cloud technology is becoming a stable to organization’s infrastructure as 70% have at least one application in the cloud. This is not the end, as 56% of organizations are still identifying IT operations that are candidates for cloud hosting.” If your IT buyer isn’t at least considering spending on cloud, it’s almost guaranteed that there is Shadow IT going on in their line-of-business teams.

    Myth #2: I don’t see any Shadow IT.

    Hence, the “Shadow” part. As far back as May of 2015, a Brocade survey of 200 CIOs found that over 80 percent had seen some unauthorized provisioning of cloud services. This doesn’t happen because line-of-business teams are evil. It happens because they have a need for speed and IT is great at efficiency and security but typically lousy at doing things quickly.

    Myth #3: My customer workloads have steady demand.

    While it is true that the cloud consumption model works best with varying demand, when you zoom in on almost any workload and examine utilization on nights and weekends, there is almost always a case to be made that any particular workload is variable.

    Myth #4: Only new workloads run in cloud.

    Any new technology takes on a familiar pattern where organizations try less risky, new projects that don’t necessarily impact the bottom line so they have a safe way to experiment. Cloud computing has been no different, but the tide has started to shift to legacy workloads. This past November, ZK Research compared cloud adoption to virtualization adoption by pointing out, “The initial wave of adoption then was about companies trying new things, not mission-critical workloads. Once organizations trusted the technology, major apps migrated. Today, virtualization is a no brainer because it’s a known technology with well-defined best practices. Cloud computing is going through the same trend today. ”

    Myth #5: Cloud is too hard to learn.

    Granted, cloud computing is different than hardware refresh, but as a sales executive it’s still about building relationships. The biggest changes relate to whom you build those relationships with (which now includes line-of-business teams instead of just IT, but that’s who has the money anyway) and utilizing the subscription-based financial model of cloud consumption. (Gartner has a great article explaining the basics.)

    Myth #6: I don’t have relationships with business teams.

    Certainly, there is some overhead involved in building new relationships as opposed to leveraging your existing ones, but increasingly the line-of-business teams are retaining more of their IT budgets so investing that time will pay off. Even CIO Magazine admits that CMOs will spend more than CIOs on technology in 2017. Go to where the money is—it’ll be worth your time.

    Myth #7: I don’t get paid on cloud.

    This one is, admittedly, the trickiest in this list because some of the solution is in the hands of your company as opposed to within your power directly. If you work for a value-added reseller, public cloud vendors have plenty of programs that indeed pay you on cloud. Even if that isn’t the case, though, educating yourself on public/private cloud differences and building those relationships with business teams can help preserve sales for the hardware a customer public cloud ultimately runs on.

    Another step would be to get acquainted with a Cloud Management Platform, which is software that helps an Enterprise manage workloads across both public and private clouds from a single pane of glass. Moving up the stack to this control point can help you stay involved in key decisions your customer makes and put you in the position of a trusted advisor.

    Selling is fundamentally about building relationships, understanding problems and providing solutions. Regardless of the technology encased in the solution, that will always be true. There is a learning curve involved with cloud adoption, meeting new people you haven’t worked with before and potentially adapting to a subscription-based model, but the fundamentals remain the same of providing value to someone who has some roadblock they need help getting around.

    This blog originally appeared on Salesforce Blog

  2. How Cisco CloudCenter Stacks up

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    Screen-Shot-2016-08-24-at-10.38.14-AM

    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 data center, 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 data center 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.

    This blog originally appeared on Cisco Blogs.

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

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    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

    This blog originally appeared on Cisco Blogs.

  4. 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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