In our last post we dealt the complexities of a multicloud environment. Today we discuss Cisco’s multicloud strategy from a different angle by exploring The Cisco CloudCenter approach to the subject. The offering is called IT as a Service (ITaaS). As the name suggests, it is a way to provide customized information technology resources to a customer in a comprehensive way. And as the Cisco literature explains, “The Cisco CloudCenter platform is an excellent hybrid ITaaS solution.”
The dictionary defines hybrid as “of mixed character” or “composed of mixed parts”. The wonder of Cisco is that many of their greatest strengths have to do with the management of systems rather than the intricacies of technology. It makes no sense to create and deploy a varied and robust IT environment if you cannot manage it properly. Cisco does well at both the technology and the management. The power of ITaaS is its ability to successfully deliver standardized and automated services simultaneously across a wide variety of platforms — including the cloud.
Cisco CloudCenter is both a cloud and data center solution. The application that a user wishes to access may be on a public cloud, a private cloud, or in a data center. Administrators are able to use single-pane management to grant access to platforms that may be transparent to the user. Why should the user be concerned about whether the programs they are using are in a data center or in one cloud or the other. With one-click deployment, users can easily enter the IT environment of their choice.
This management effort undertaken by Cisco has its challenges. Along with the need to source services from heterogeneous environments, there is the desire to balance agility with control. And the aim is to move beyond infrastructure to a greater focus on applications. Businesses want flexibility and scalability, but they also need to be concerned about security and compliance. Users just want fast and easy access. And IT departments want the whole thing to work together efficiently.
The claim of Cisco CloudCenter is found in their slogan: “Any application. Any cloud. ONE platform.” Whether it’s Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, or VMWare, Cisco CloudCenter sees them as portable applications that become part of one integrated platform. The management of Cisco CloudCenter spans the boundaries of applications, clouds, and users. It allows for the self-service deployment of applications by users from whatever device or physical working environment they have chosen. ITaaS allows administrators to govern access and usage, They can set user boundaries across the infrastructure to limit costs and regulate behavior.
The hybrid cloud advantage of Cisco CloudCenter is its flexible mix of IT services across many environments. Users are able to select from at least 19 different environments from the data center or the cloud. Multitenant orchestration interprets the needs of applications and provisions resources to meet them. Cisco CloudCenter includes cloud-independent application profiles that cater to the deployments and requests of users.
All this information about Cisco’s CloudCenter, ITaaS, and multicloud management capabilities can seem overwhelming. But your experience with Cisco and its offerings will depend on your own particular role. Are you a user that needs an application when you need it and you don’t care about all the underlying technology? Are you an IT manager who wants to make sure that whatever is done in the name of information management is effective? Are you an administrator who needs to control user access and usage of IT resources? How you use this information has a lot to do with what you do on a daily basis.
These Cisco offerings are just another iteration of the powerful tools that retain a huge market share across the IT world. Whether you are working with resources from many clouds or many data centers, Cisco has you covered.