Cisco: “The new datacenter is the multi-cloud datacenter.”
Oct12

Cisco: “The new datacenter is the multi-cloud datacenter.”

Already one of the biggest players in the red-hot cloud infrastructure market (it grew 25.8% in the second quarter to $12.3 billion), Cisco Systems — in third place with 8.2% marketshare, trailing Dell (11.8%) and HPE (11.1%) — has a lot of credibility when it says cloud is transforming the datacenter. “The new datacenter is the multi-cloud datacenter,” said Tom Edsall, formerly a Cisco Fellow, SVP and GM, Insieme Business Unit, Cisco Systems. However, he told IT Trends & Analysis, the challenge is now you have an infrastructure that is basically a multi-vendor infrastructure. Rather than just a collection of hardware and software from different vendors, you have to throw in the various cloud providers like Amazon and Azure. He said organizations have part of their infrastructure running on different clouds, with different APIs, and are struggling to make the differences disappear. “The problems that we encountered 10 years ago are happening all over again,” said Edsall. “Then it wasn’t cloud, it was multi-vendor.” He added that the company has had strong success with on premise with its ACI (Application Centric Infrastructure) portfolio with over 4,000 customers. But while the customers really like the application-centric approach, they are frustrated because “they can’t get the same API at Amazon.” They want to know how do they get a common experience across these systems, said Edsall. Ever helpful, Cisco recently announced a management and automation platform for its Unified Computing System (UCS) and HyperFlex Systems, Cisco Intersight. To be available 4Q17 in two versions — the Cisco Intersight Base Edition will be available at no charge, while the Cisco Intersight Essentials Edition will cost you — it is intended to simplify datacenter operations by delivering systems management as-a-service, instead of having to maintain ‘islands of on-premise management infrastructure.’ ‘The longer-term vision of Intersight is spot-on,” noted Matt Kimball, senior datacenter analyst, Moor Insights & Strategy. ‘Not only does it address the issues IT organizations face today, but it also provides a platform that can accommodate the unknowns of tomorrow. If Cisco successfully executes this vision, it will firmly position itself as a leader in multi-cloud infrastructure orchestration and management.’ Unsurprisingly, a canned quote included in the Cisco release was equally ebullient: “Organizations that move to cloud-based systems management platforms will find that service delivery quality is significantly improved, the overall risk to the business goes down, and IT staff productivity is increased,” said Matt Eastwood, Senior Vice President, IDC. “Artificial Intelligence (AI) –infused cloud-based management tools can offer deep insights into the state of the infrastructure, identify troubles before they become major issues, and enable quicker ‘root cause’ identification and analysis...

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Virtual Instruments Acquires Xangati…

Almost two years ago we wrote our first report on Virtual Instruments (VI), a fast growing, analytics-driven performance management company with a strong focus on making infrastructure more efficient. We described the VI product portfolio which included “VirtualWisdom,” the company’s infrastructure performance management platform, and associated hardware and software offerings known as “Probes” (ProbeVM, ProbeSW, Probe FC and Probe NTAP). We also observed that the company was using “advanced correlation techniques, analytics and visualization to provide definitive and actionable insights on infrastructure/application behavior” using hardware appliances to offload systems from having to burn precious cycles gathering monitoring information. In essence, VI had created a separate performance monitoring/availability management/utilization optimization environment that has a very low impact on system operation and latency. Last year, we reported that Virtual Instruments had merged with Load DynamiX – adding a performance testing, validation and change management environment to its analytics-driven infrastructure management portfolio. With these combined facilities, customers are better able to understand and test application/infrastructure relationships – enabling them to significantly improve application performance, particularly as it relates to Fibre Channel storage. Since that acquisition, Virtual Instruments has expanded Load DynamiX functionality into network-attached storage with its new NAS Performance Probe – and will soon introduce and iSCSI Probe. VI customers have reacted favorably to this acquisition: for 2016 year to date, Virtual Instruments revenues are running at 122% of plan. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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IBM… Big Step Forward with Flash Storage for the Hybrid Cloud

Eddie Cantor once said, “It takes 20 years to make an overnight success.” That is certainly the case with flash storage which has been around for many years, but high cost limited its acceptability to a limited number of high-performance/high-value-added applications. Declining prices have led to broader acceptance of flash storage for a broader base of high performance (tier 0) applications. Then came a seemingly overnight (although it was actually a couple of years) transition where flash storage was seen as capable of replacing traditional primary disk storage (tier 1). That made the economics of flash quite justifiable to data center owners and the adoption of flash storage as primary storage is proceeding rapidly. Related to this, much of the exponential growth of storage comes from new and emerging trends that are related to the Internet of Things (IoT), social media and Web services. Big data and the emerging trend of cognitive analytics thrive on not only the humongous quantity of data that these trends produce, but also the need to process much of the data very rapidly in order to derive the benefits (such as actionable, near-real-time insights) that enterprises seek in trying to gain a competitive advantage. The “cloud” in some form is likely to be the recipient of that data as traditional IT infrastructures are neither cost effective or performant enough. With the introduction of IBM FlashSystem® A9000 and IBM FlashSystem A9000R, IBM delivers the necessary purpose-built flash storage infrastructure to meet the demands of the cloud both from a scale and performance basis. So IBM is taking the next step for flash storage beyond primary storage for traditional applications to meet the new and emerging needs of the cloud. But before we get to the new products, let’s examine IBM FlashCore™, the foundational IBM technology for all of its FlashSystem solutions and briefly review FlashSystem 900 for tier 0 application acceleration and FlashSystem V9000 as an all-flash array for tier 1 primary storage. To read the complete article, CLICK ON AUTHOR’S BYLINE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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IBM Introduces Platform Conductor for Spark

Apache Spark is an open-source cluster computing framework for managing big data infrastructures that often leverage OpenStack Swift object stores. But organizations managing large clusters of compute and storage resources for multiple projects are finding themselves faced with challenges, such as performance and cost, that Swift by itself was not designed to handle. That is why IBM has introduced IBM Platform Conductor for Spark, a software offering whose capabilities help enterprises meet those challenges. But before we get into IBM Platform Conductor for Spark, we need some context, including understanding that the new data-driven world where analytics shines is different from the older application driven IT world. Apache Spark is one of the new technologies that can make the data-driven world work efficiently and effectively, which is why IBM has made a major commitment to it. For more information, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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Securing Hybrid Cloud Environments: Manage Access…

Last month Clabby Analytics presented our analysis of the findings of an IBM Institute for Business Value (IBV) study entitled “The IT infrastructure conversation: new content, new participants, new tone”. In short, the survey indicated that most enterprise executives lack confidence that their existing information infrastructures (systems, storage, and networks) are prepared to handle new mobile, social, Big Data, analytics and cloud workloads. The survey further indicated that respondents plan to spend more on infrastructure projects to rectify this situation. But this survey also contained one surprising finding: that 50% of organizations are more concerned about internal security as compared with external security, with threats specific to cloud computing ranking as the lowest concern among survey participants. We considered this finding an anomaly – and promised to present our thoughts on cloud security in a subsequent blog. This is that blog. To read the complete article, CLICK HERE NOTE: This column was originally published in the Pund-IT...

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