Cisco Rolls Out Cloud Preparation Services Suite

By Chris Preimesberger  |  Posted 2010-06-30 Print this article Print

Cisco Systems aims to prepare potential customers before they commit to building a cloud computing system. Cisco is providing a menu of cloud system components, including products of its own and from partners such as EMC, NetApp, VMware, Microsoft and BMC.

As Cisco Systems reinvents itself partly as a cloud-computing infrastructure provider, it needs to add a set of services to wrap around all the hardware and software it wants to sell.

On June 30, that's what the company did, launching a set of what it calls Cloud Enablement Services to go with its growing Data Center Solutions Portfolio. The idea is to prepare potential customers before they commit to building a cloud system.

Of course, that portfolio contains presanctioned components from Cisco and its partners that make up Cisco's Unified Computing System: Cisco's own Intel-based servers and switches, EMC or NetApp storage, VMware virtualization middleware, Microsoft applications, and BMC data center management software, among others.

"Our position here is very clear: We're not going to be cloud service providers like Amazon or Google. We help our customers [both enterprises and service providers] in their cloud journey to build their own public and private clouds, so they can in turn sell their own services," Rashesh Jethi, director of Cisco Cloud Services, told eWEEK.

Sounds simple enough, but the fact is that Cisco-still primarily a networking, not a computing, expert-is positioning itself as a go-to cloud infrastructure provider, even though it has few cloud deployments to speak of at this time.

Nonetheless, Cisco launched three new services aimed at helping potential customers explore their options.

They are: Cisco Cloud Strategy Service, designed to help customers determine what the cloud can do for their cost structures and processes; Cisco Cloud Planning and Design Service, which identifies which architecture can best work within a customer's existing environment and maximize features such as virtualization, orchestration speed and chargeback capability; and Cisco Cloud Implementation Service, for deploying cloud architecture on time, within budget and in customers' own data centers.

Even though it appears obvious that Cisco would want to be pushing its own hardware and software through these services, Jethi told eWEEK that wasn't necessarily the case.

"Customers can essentially work with their choice of technology partners. We are not necessarily pushing or espousing any set of products," Jethi said. "The first two services are advisory in nature.

"When we get to the implementation services, however, customers usually implement some kind of Cisco technology."

Cisco Cloud Enablement Services are available globally now.

Chris Preimesberger Chris Preimesberger was named Editor-in-Chief of Features & Analysis at eWEEK in November 2011. Previously he served eWEEK as Senior Writer, covering a range of IT sectors that include data center systems, cloud computing, storage, virtualization, green IT, e-discovery and IT governance. His blog, Storage Station, is considered a go-to information source. Chris won a national Folio Award for magazine writing in November 2011 for a cover story on and CEO-founder Marc Benioff, and he has served as a judge for the SIIA Codie Awards since 2005. In previous IT journalism, Chris was a founding editor of both IT Manager's Journal and and was managing editor of Software Development magazine. His diverse resume also includes: sportswriter for the Los Angeles Daily News, covering NCAA and NBA basketball, television critic for the Palo Alto Times Tribune, and Sports Information Director at Stanford University. He has served as a correspondent for The Associated Press, covering Stanford and NCAA tournament basketball, since 1983. He has covered a number of major events, including the 1984 Democratic National Convention, a Presidential press conference at the White House in 1993, the Emmy Awards (three times), two Rose Bowls, the Fiesta Bowl, several NCAA men's and women's basketball tournaments, a Formula One Grand Prix auto race, a heavyweight boxing championship bout (Ali vs. Spinks, 1978), and the 1985 Super Bowl. A 1975 graduate of Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif., Chris has won more than a dozen regional and national awards for his work. He and his wife, Rebecca, have four children and reside in Redwood City, Calif.Follow on Twitter: editingwhiz

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