June 12th, 2012 by Erik Rudin, VP Business Development
David Yen, the senior VP and general manager of the Data Center Technology Group at Cisco (called by some “the father of network fabrics”), delivered the keynote Technologies Transforming the Data Center: The Evolution to Cloud to an enthusiastic Cisco Live crowd. David’s informative session on Cisco’s current and future cloud technologies suggested that Cisco is taking two new strategic directions – as well as staying the course toward domination of the blade and compute market with Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS), of course.
First, according to David, Cisco aims to become more vendor-agnostic in the areas of the hypervisor and storage, but at the same time keep customers close to home with the interconnect and transport layers.
Second, management APIs are taking an important role at Cisco. David made several references to interoperability at the management layer, calling Cisco UCS’s new central API (Application Programming Interface) the crown jewel. Clearly, Cisco understands that cloud management requires intelligent software and a standards-based approach.
Third, security and business policies enabled by new Cisco service profiles are a key attribute to the Cisco cloud strategy. David described how IT subject matter experts (SMEs) can use global service profiles to speed up provisioning new hardware instead of spending weeks on physical server connectivity and configurations. The role of the SME becomes focused on defining business policies and data access, and the goal is to allow scaling with less complexity.
The importance of this last piece became evident when David shared Cisco’s forward-looking vision of secure hybrid clouds. David and Cisco see a new era in which vertical clouds – medical, financial, and government clouds, with stringent security and compliance requirements – emerge alongside the public cloud. With this in mind, Cisco is developing technology to securely move virtual machines from a UCS compute private cloud to a cloud container within the rented public cloud. It was interesting concept, if Cisco can execute properly and take into account the proprietary aspects of a public cloud such as Amazon’s EC2 cloud.
Net net. Cisco is putting its wood behind UCS and Nexus switches and using unified management as the means to realize the true cloud potential.
David Yen summed up Cisco’s strategy as building “a bridge to a world of many clouds,” in which vendors help clouds communicate and share data, as well as helping companies move between clouds. For me, David’s words are ones to live by. A leader in unified cloud management, ScienceLogic has achieved validation on Cisco UCS – goes to show we’re committed to working with Cisco solutions, today’s and tomorrow’s.