Cisco UK & Ireland Blog

Looking back to be tomorrow and win with Hybrid Cloud

October 18, 2016

A combination of IT and culture is the defining feature of digital leaders of the future. These were the words of VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger as he kicked off the opening general session at VMworld 2016 Europe.

Some 10,000 delegates are here in Fira Barcelona Gran Via. The industry’s premier virtualisation event leads on the headline ‘be tomorrow’. Yet Gelsinger looked to the recent past to help frame the changes in IT we’re seeing now and predict where they’re headed.

Quoting market watcher IDC that just 20% of businesses are leading in Digital Transformation, Gelsinger contends there are now only leaders and laggards. The former are engaging customers in powerful ways with new tools. The latter continue to optimise existing processes and traditional IT without actually effecting change.

Optimisation was the primary focus for IT during the last decade. Whereas today everything that gravitates around digital is transformative. “This is just as significant as the industrial revolution… No longer is there a meaningful distinction between traditional business and digital business. It all needs to be digital,” said Gelsinger.

Planets apart

2006 marked a milestone in the world of IT. It was the year that Pluto was downgraded from its planetary status by the International Astronomical Union (IAU). It was the year the Azzurri emerged from the cloud of a corruption scandal in Italy’s domestic football league to win the World Cup. And it was the year that cloud computing entered the mainstream.

Back then, 98% of workloads were run on traditional IT and industry had yet to appreciate just how significant the cloud would be. But by 2011, the number of workloads running in the cloud had risen to 13%, or about 80 million workloads globally. Fast forward to 2016 and VMware believes the figure is now closer to 30% in total – with 15% of workloads running in public clouds and about 12% in private clouds.

The cloud’s double-digit expansion has also driven growth in the adoption of automated provisioning, operations and self-service. A firm’s apps may reside in private or public cloud permanently, or span many clouds dynamically thanks to developments in network virtualisation, cloud-native apps and cloud management tools.

Meanwhile, hyperconverged platforms are enabling private clouds connecting people, apps, data and devices. According to Gelsinger, within the next 5 years we’ll see twice as many machines connected to the internet than human-connected devices, with the cross over expected in Q1 2019.

Addressing teenage growing pains

But while we’ve entered an era of nearly unlimited choice for IT professionals, developers and business decision makers, we’ve also seen new technology silos emerge.

As Gelsinger highlighted, it’s difficult for IT professionals to retain control in a world where they didn’t write the apps, they no longer control the data centres they’re running on, or the devices they’re running. He compared this dichotomy to the age old problem of giving your teenage kids more freedom.

In other words, there’s still a long way to go. The number crunchers at VMware predict a 14-year journey to public cloud reaching parity with private cloud in terms of workloads. Yet firms want a richer hybrid cloud capability now. One that seamlessly combines analytics, software defined networking and multi-cloud management in a secure way.

Realise your Hybrid vision today

Fortunately, the Hybrid vision is one that Cisco has been realising for several years. We’ve delivered software defined networking – or SDN – for hundreds of customers transforming the way they work to benefit from the agility, simplicity, and speed it brings.

Our solutions allow firms to progress in simple, practical and affordable steps. We deliver orchestration and automation tools enabling you to simplify the process by which you do things and secure your environment end to end. We also provide unprecedented levels of visibility into the data centre with Cisco Tetration Analytics.

Cisco UCS servers, together with our Nexus 9000 Series switches can support a programmable network or a programmable fabric. These capabilities remove the boundaries between physical and virtual workloads by allowing the creation of a common policy for managing both. In a way that’s simple, fast and secure by design.

With the rapid evolution of Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS), Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), Microservices Architecture and new Software Development platforms, Cisco’s latest addition, CloudCenter, provides an easy way to model, deploy and manage both new and existing applications onto any cloud or any data centre.

Crucially, CloudCenter puts IT firmly back in control, brokering multiple clouds and delivering the speed and agility that operations, developers, and the wider business demand.

All of these platforms and tools are being used by our customers today. They’re also being demonstrated at VMworld. Stop by Booth 416 in Hall 7 to see them in action.

Better still, let our very own Darren Williams take you through the two hottest topics in IT – hyperconverged infrastructure and multicloud workload management – during his break out session on Wednesday 19 October, 15.30hrs Hall 8 Room 25. Register here

We look forward to welcoming you here in Barcelona…

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