Cisco's Cloud Play: Three Strong Examples - InformationWeek
Cloud // Infrastructure as a Service
05:11 PM
Art Wittmann
Art Wittmann
Connect Directly
Ransomware: Latest Developments & How to Defend Against Them
Nov 01, 2017
Ransomware is one of the fastest growing types of malware, and new breeds that escalate quickly ar ...Read More>>

Cisco's Cloud Play: Three Strong Examples

Cisco CEO John Chambers talks a lot about listening to customers, and this time it looks like the company really has.

Ask anyone for the top five or 10 cloud vendors, and it's likely that Cisco won't make the list. But as I watched presentations Tuesday at the Cisco Live event in San Diego, I was impressed with what Cisco is doing to turn cloud aspirations into something that enterprises can actually use.

As he always does, CEO John Chambers went on about listening to customers. And as he talked about the competitor carcasses Cisco has left in its wake, he reminded the audience that not many companies are good at spotting market shifts and changing to accommodate them. I've chided Chambers before about his listen-to-customers mantra, doubting they've ever asked for myriad proprietary standards. But in the cloud offerings that Cisco described, you do see the wants and needs of customers. Here are three examples.

-- Cisco's Integrated Services Router, the one that typically goes into remote offices and other small-need facilities such as retail outlets, is now getting a fully functional UCS card. UCS is Cisco's blade server platform, so with such a card, the ISR not only can run Cisco's services, but also your own. Data center professionals can start VM-encased apps in the data center and then use a technology like VMotion to move them to the remote office.

With the USC card, Cisco is giving customers the sort of private cloud capability that could be a deal changer. Local apps in remote locations can perform better, and they can show up just when they're needed. Since most of these offices will have no IT expertise, the ISR's proven track record in these environments is critical.

-- The second immensely practical technology Cisco introduced is its Cloud Services Router. The CSR is a virtual router that runs in a VM. It can be used on the cloud side of infrastructure-as-service/platform-as-a-service to create a VPN tunnel between the cloud instance and your data center. If you're using Cisco VPN products, then the CSR will help provide data-in-transit security that's otherwise hard to do in the cloud.

-- Third, there's Location ID Separation Protocol, or LISP. It's not new; in fact it's been around for a few years. But in 2011, Cisco started LISP-enabling more and more of its products. The intent for LISP is to allow a device to be assigned one IP number and then to use that IP number from wherever you are.

Global CIO
Global CIOs: A Site Just For You
Visit InformationWeek's Global CIO -- our online community and information resource for CIOs operating in the global economy.

As a practical example, you could start out watching a video on your iPad, delivered over your home wireless network, then walk outside, switch to 3G/4G, and then go to a Starbucks and use its wireless without interrupting the video. Cisco has put LISP into the public domain, and in order for it to be useful it'll have to be pervasive. But it's an important capability in a virtualized world. Even if it's not pervasive, it'll have applications--universities, for example, would love it.

Cisco has overhyped its share of technologies, but cloud hasn't been one of them. Instead, it keeps adding technologies that should be very useful to those looking to make great use of IaaS and PaaS. If the cloud is a gold rush, then Cisco intends to make money on it by providing the shovels and pick axes needed to do the mining. That approach is smart for Cisco--and helpful for the customers it's apparently listening to.

SMBs have saved big buying software on a subscription model. The new, all-digital Cloud Beyond SaaS issue of InformationWeek SMB shows how to determine if infrastructure services can pay off, too. Also in this issue: One startup's experience with infrastructure-as-a-service shows how the numbers stack up for IaaS vs. internal IT. (Free registration required.)

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
User Rank: Apprentice
6/21/2012 | 2:50:33 PM
re: Cisco's Cloud Play: Three Strong Examples
Yep. There's no attempt at open standards here - so this is relevant only if Cisco is your networking company pretty much throughout your organization.
User Rank: Author
6/21/2012 | 2:47:05 PM
re: Cisco's Cloud Play: Three Strong Examples
So this would be geared primarily for Cisco customers who want to extend their datacenter operations toward private clouds?
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
How Enterprises Are Attacking the IT Security Enterprise
To learn more about what organizations are doing to tackle attacks and threats we surveyed a group of 300 IT and infosec professionals to find out what their biggest IT security challenges are and what they're doing to defend against today's threats. Download the report to see what they're saying.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
2017 State of IT Report
In today's technology-driven world, "innovation" has become a basic expectation. IT leaders are tasked with making technical magic, improving customer experience, and boosting the bottom line -- yet often without any increase to the IT budget. How are organizations striking the balance between new initiatives and cost control? Download our report to learn about the biggest challenges and how savvy IT executives are overcoming them.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll