An array of new Cisco physical and virtual routers, software and services addresses the top challenges to moving to cloud computing, including bandwidth, latency and performance issues, as businesses increasingly adopt the cloud.
Cisco Systems has introduced a portfolio of equipment,
software and services to address the performance challenges that enterprises
face when they try to adopt cloud computing in their IT organizations.
At its Cisco Live user conference June 12 in
San Diego, executives of the networking giant unveiled the Cisco Cloud
Connected Solution, which they said includes cloud-enabled routing wide area
network (WAN) optimization platforms, along with what they called Cloud
Connector software and services for customers to securely connect to private,
public or hybrid cloud environments.
The Cloud Connected portfolio is divided into
First, Cisco is introducing Cloud Connectors,
new software that runs in the companys Integrated Services Router (ISR) G2
platform, that helps improve the performance, security and availability of
cloud applications. In addition, given the open architecture of the software,
cloud service providers and channel partners can customize their routers to add
Secondly, a new Cisco Cloud Services Router
(CSR) is a virtual router that enables customers to extend their virtual
private networks (VPNs) into the cloud. Cisco is also adding to its Aggregation
Services Router (ASR)
platform with the new Cisco
ASR 1002-X router
, and introducing the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS)
E-Series Server Modules on the ISR G2. The new hardware is designed to deliver
cloud connectivity to branch offices of an organization by hosting multiple
third-party services on a single branch platform.
Thirdly, Cisco is introducing new
capabilities for WAN optimization services, including Application Visibility
and Control (AVC) into its ISR and ASR platforms to monitor and troubleshoot
cloud-delivered applications. In addition, new Cisco AppNav
technology combines Cisco's
Wide Area Application Services (WAAS)
for both physical and virtual
appliances into a single resource pool that can be centrally managed.
While cloud computing gives users a lower-cost,
flexible and scalable computing environment where they can spend less time
managing and maintaining software and hardware, there are some challenges it
imposes, Cisco said. There can be particularly high latency when users access
applications from the distant data center of a cloud provider along with higher
bandwidth demands and concerns about control and security of data.
Every keystroke goes back to the cloud in a
VDI environment, said Praveen Akkiraju, senior vice president and general
manager of the Cisco Services Routing Technology Group, during a news
conference streamed live online from the conference.
IT departments are feeling a loss of
visibility and control [with cloud], but at the same time, they are the first
ones to get a call when an applications performance is impacted, said
The focus on cloud computing and other
popular trends in ITlike mobility, increasing use of video, and support for
the bring-your-own-device (BYOD) phenomenon in which workers bring their own
computers and tablets to the office to run on the corporate networkstems from
Ciscos core philosophy of adapting to the transitions the world is seeing in
technology, said Cisco CEO John Chambers in a keynote address at Cisco Live
later in the morning.
It is a fanatical approach to catching
market transitions and realizing that they wait for no one, Chambers said. It
is these market transitions or transformations that are going on that really
give us an opportunity to really get together in terms of innovation.
And by us, Chambers meant Cisco and its
customers. He emphasized the importance of being customer-driven at Cisco and
not just by paying lip service to it.
Cisco customers told the company what they
want from the cloud in the
2012 Cisco "Global Cloud Networking Survey
," which showed that 60
percent of IT professionals surveyed said performance of cloud-delivered
applications was their top concern, while 66 percent cited cloud security and
policy management and 60 percent cited manageability of the cloud. Nonetheless,
cloud migration is expected to increase dramatically this year. Only 5 percent
of IT decision makers surveyed said they began the year with at least half their
applications cloud-delivered; by the end of this year, that is expected to
quadruple to 20 percent.
At Cisco Live in 2011, Chambers keynote was
more somber as he discussed Ciscos
need to restructure
. Layoffs followed
a few months later
According to first-quarter 2012 figures from
the research firm DellOro Group, Cisco still holds the lions share of the
market for Ethernet networking and Wireless LAN (WLAN) equipment. Cisco leads
the market for L2 and L3 Ethernet switching, with $3.9 billion in revenue, or a
68.7 percent share. HP was a distant second, with $520 million for a 10.6
percent share. In the WLAN market, Cisco leads with $409 million, or a 54.3
percent share, followed by Aruba Networks ($94.2 million, 12.5 percent share)
and HP ($45.7 million, 6.1 percent share).