Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Does your 2020 vision need new life for multicloud?

January 20, 2020

The new year always marks a time to reflect. Throw in the turn of a decade and it takes on even more significance. If you work in IT and your business had a vision for 2020, just how far did you get in delivering it given the speed of change and growing need to follow your apps and data anywhere?

As noted by Inc. magazine’s innovations that defined the 2010s, smartphones were in their infancy when the decade began, while artificial intelligence (AI) had few consumer-facing applications and self-driving cars were a sci-fi fantasy. Few would have believed the tablet, pioneered by Apple with the launch of its iPad in 2010, would be as pervasive as it is today.

Add into the mix the march of virtualisation, cloud infrastructure, Big Data and the Internet of Things (IoT), and you can be forgiven for wondering what’s next when it comes to provisioning apps and services seamlessly across core, cloud and edge.

App economy

The marriage of mobility and cloud has created a $950+ billion app ecosystem with the widespread integration of software into business and consumer platforms. Digital experiences, led by the app, are how we engage with the world, making them the gateway to your customers and the app the standard bearer for your brand.

More than 50 per cent of consumers place higher value on their digital interactions with brands than their physical interactions. And they have zero tolerance for poor app performance.

Your IT teams face new challenges around managing the app experience. They need to be able to identify where the performance bottlenecks are across on-premises or public cloud infrastructure and remediate fast to prevent customer churn. This is not easy given apps and data have become more distributed.

Multi-cloud machinations

In just ten years, cloud and virtualisation have driven a fundamental shift in both app development and business computing topology.

Many businesses have adopted a hybrid cloud model to benefit from best-of-breed solutions and avoid vendor lock-in. With more than 80 per cent using two or more public cloud providers (according to Gartner), this is what we define as the ‘multi-cloud environment’.

But the marriage of cloud and on-premises infrastructure has not proved as harmonious as the nuptials enjoyed by apps on consumer platforms. Combining legacy infrastructure with new creates more complexity because you must connect apps, users, devices and data across ‘islands’ of technology.

We’re seeing greater adoption of containers and serverless workloads. Edge computing now provides apps and devices with low latency, high bandwidth and consistent reliability without connecting back to a centralised data centre or cloud.

This does not mean the end of centralised data centres and hybrid cloud. But you do need to re-imagine the way you build your clouds to provision your apps and data.

Build for tomorrow

Technology and imagination make fine bed fellows. Together, they give birth to transformative innovations.

Take the Internet as arguably the most significant example in recent history. The ability to network devices paved the way for the largest app on the Internet: the World Wide Web (WWW).

In the words of Cisco UKI’s CTO Chintan Patel, “…it’s hard to compute the impact these creations have had on society. From powering entire industries such as ecommerce, online banking and the gig economy, to changing the way we interact on a social and professional level.”

It’s not hard to compute with Cisco Data Centre, however. We changed the game when we launched the Unified Computing System (UCS) back in 2009. Cisco UCS was the industry’s first programmable infrastructure. Today, serves more than 55,000 organisations worldwide across a broad set of use cases.

Go anywhere the data is

Converged and hyperconverged infrastructure (CI/HCI) meld compute, storage and networking into pre-engineered solutions. HCI takes convergence further with software defined sharing of storage between all compute and virtual machines. These standardised and highly automated on-premises platforms are far more suited for multicloud because they allow the elastic provision of services.

Our latest release of HCI, HyperFlex Anywhere, was conceived for the multi-cloud era. It gives you an elastic ‘data-centre-in-a-box’ that’s ready to be deployed wherever your data resides – whether that’s in the core, or at remote and branch locations.

Best of all it comes with management tools purpose-built for managing your infrastructure anywhere. With Cisco Intersight we created a cloud-based IT operations and management platform using AI and machine learning (ML) to power a recommendation engine fuelled by telemetry data to give you actionable intelligence.

You can provision and manage HyperFlex centrally. No need to move IT teams to far out locations for manual installs. You can deploy clusters as small as 2-nodes and up to 4 nodes and simplify operations on a single HCI platform across core, hybrid cloud, and edge.

Bridge the gap

We’ve embraced the lack of a ‘centre’ by building a full data centre stack without boundaries. One that integrates best-of-breed compute and data centre networking, cloud orchestration, SaaS IT operations management, analytics, automation and policy-driven security.

Automation forms a key pillar in our full data centre stack. It comes in the form of:

  • Intent-based networking to deliver services faster and with increased reliability and security, while improving uptime, in alignment with business goals
  • Workflow automation and workload optimisation to meet the needs of apps fast
  • Automated, programmable data centre switching, using open APIs for storage, networking and compute for greater efficiency and more intuitive operations

All of this means you can bridge the gap between apps and infrastructure – from bare metal, through and beyond hypervisor into the brave new world of containers. With security, consistency and availability across your network managed from a single pane of glass.

See for yourselves

With Cisco Live 2020 (#CLEUR) kicking off in Barcelona in a week’s time, there’s plenty of reasons for you to visit the Cisco Data Centre team:


Can’t go? Meet us in the UK.

Join us at the Churchill War Rooms in London on 13 Feb, or Emirates Old Trafford in Manchester 27 Feb for the first in an exclusive series of in-person, half-day sessions designed to help you re-imagine your applications for a multi-cloud world.

We’ll fill you in on what was announced at Cisco Live and show you what it can do for you. We’re even throwing in breakfast and lunch, plus a free tour of these historic venues.

Come meet the Cisco Data Center team in Barcelona (Messi & Suarez not included…)

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