As President of Development and Sales at Cisco, Rob Lloyd travels the world talking to customers and industry aficionados these days about the evolving challenges and opportunities brought by the Internet of Everything. That includes looking at current and future network platforms, software, architectures, applications, and strategies. With the number of devices accessing network resources growing dramatically—along with security concerns, operational complexity, costs, and customer expectations—how does an enterprise create the right network strategy for today and tomorrow? Sungard Availability Services spoke with Lloyd to get his insights.
The Hybrid Cloud is Hot
Lloyd believes that cloud services are the way to go. “Whether they [customers] want to introduce a new experience in a store, a new sales platform, a new supply chain platform, or a new analytics capability, cloud solutions can be the fast, cost-effective, and efficient answer,” he believes.
But not all cloud services are created equal. Growing concerns about data privacy, malware, and cyber theft require high levels of security, control, and strict policies.
That’s why Lloyd sees the value in a deployment model that has been called the “hybrid cloud.” Hybrid cloud services offer a combination of public and private cloud services (public for software development or backup services and private for internal, business-critical and more sensitive applications).
“This hybrid cloud model combines the best technology options in delivering a private cloud that offers elastic, dynamic, and inexpensive infrastructure, with a public cloud or external services that meet the customer’s business requirements,” he says. Lloyd has seen the hybrid cloud model growing in popularity with enterprise, government, and commercial customers over the last 24 months.
So how does Cisco, one of the largest purveyors of network infrastructure in the world and the originator of the router, respond to the growing preference for hybrid cloud services?
“Cisco Intercloud is a series of innovations and technologies that enable the seamless integration of both private and value-based public clouds. It offers businesses deployment options that meet compliance, security, and agility requirements.” This Cisco initiative, which includes partners like Sungard AS, enables the open and secure deployment of workloads between public and private cloud delivery models that meets compliance, regulatory, and other requirements of customers through the world.
What about security concerns? How can cloud services provide the kind of security that organizations need today?
Says Lloyd: “It’s not just about one mega data center in Iceland that is going to solve your issues, but rather a purpose-built integration of different clouds that have been provided by value-based providers focused on enterprise-class applications and security. The basic construct of Intercloud is to connect those in a way that customers can use to meet their requirements, whether they be special regulations, cultural, or industry-specific.”
An Application Centric Infrastructure
The other area of Cisco innovation that Lloyd talked about was Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). ACI is a data center architecture with centralized automation and policy-driven application profiles. This environment will be able to be deployed both in a business’s private cloud and additionally in the managed service or public cloud that it chooses. According to Lloyd: “We’re moving away from human intervention, which causes errors and security issues. If something like a denial-of-service attack happens, our customers have a response to that. They tighten down the edge, they quarantine certain resources, etc. Having that response automated, having the scripts already written, having them deployed automatically to the underlying infrastructure and dynamically removed once that threat has been dealt with—that’s what we’re delivering with ACI.”
Cisco’s ACI and Intercloud strategy is to attract the best service providers in the world, with data centers on every continent. With ACI, policies can be deployed in the private cloud or replicated in the public cloud.
“ACI enables our cloud partners like Sungard AS to focus on value-based workloads, mission-critical applications, and other areas where customers are looking for a premium experience with a focus on security and enterprise-class application performance,” says Lloyd. “That’s what our partnership is built on: a shared vision of how Cisco Intercloud is deployed and the value we see emerging with ACI, which is deployed using our Cisco APIC [Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller]. Sungard AS was the first service provider in the world to build a public cloud offer based on the Cisco APIC. Sungard AS shares our view that it is with the value-based workloads where security and application performance are vital that we can provide a differentiated experience.”
For More Information
Interested in exploring the many ways hybrid and other cloud services can help you maximize your IT budget, accelerate strategic initiatives, and take advantage of the latest technologies for network, compute, storage, and management architectures? Click here to access helpful tools, including the full interview with Cisco’s Robert Lloyd, co-sponsored by Sungard AS and Cisco.
Related Business Solution: Cloud Services