The Enterprise Goal
Enterprises are continually striving to reduce their IT costs and optimize utilization of their compute resources. The demand for compute, storage and networking resources to support business applications can be difficult to predict, leading to risks of overbuilding or underestimation of demand. As a result Enterprises are looking to adopt cloud services that are available on-demand, and are flexible and scalable to meet their IT service needs in a predictable and cost effective manner.
The Service Provider Advantage
Communications service providers are in a unique position to meet the needs of the Enterprise for service assurance as they develop cloud services. With considerable experience in managing data centers, and with an IP NGN MPLS network spanning from their data centers to enterprise locations around the globe, as well as having back office systems, including billing and support, communications service providers have what it takes for success in the cloud services market. Given the critical role of both the data center and the network in application delivery the development of cloud-based services represents an opportunity for the communications service provider to work with the enterprise to help them overcome their challenges for delivery of business critical applications throughout the organization, while meeting their business goals to contain costs, protect data assets, and ensure employee productivity.
Leverage The Network
Too meet these challenges and deliver reliable cloud-services communications service providers can leverage their IP NGN MPLS network and data center assets and apply their considerable expertise and experience to deliver service level agreements that align with the business processes of the enterprise, so that the enterprise can adopt cloud services with confidence, knowing that their applications will have the performance and security that they need as they are delivered over the WAN.
The Solution is Virtualization
To deliver SLAs that align to the requirements of the Enterprise the service provider must leverage virtualization not only in the data center, but across the network, and make the network virtualization aware and responsive to the movement of applications within the cloud. Service providers need a data center and a network infrastructure that is flexible and elastic to allow customers to turn up services as they need them and to scale up services to meet demand. Service providers must go beyond the limitations of the L2/L3 network and go beyond the limitations of a physical data center, so that they can assure application availability by enabling customers to take advantage of data center resources wherever they may be.
The Cisco Capabilities
Cisco delivers the capabilities to make this possible, both in the data center and across the network with technologies to address the limitations of the L2/L3 network, to enable mobility of VMs, and that can locate available data center resources in the cloud. These Cisco technologies provides the scale and performance as well as awareness of virtualization to provide the availability and mobility that is required to deliver applications to the global organization with service assurance.
To Learn More
To learn more about Cisco Technologies for Cloud Assurance see, Cloud Service Assurance: Deliver Reliable Cloud Service on a Network.
Backstory: I wrote this paper while working on the Cisco Cloud and Managed Services team and wrote this blog. It also appears on the Cisco Data Center blog site.