By Stacy Hayes, VP Strategic Alliances & Channels, Virtustream
Cloud adoption at the enterprise level continues to increase as core functionality continues to improve. Paramount on the list of “must haves” is the ability to seamlessly, easily and securely move application and data base workloads from one platform to another. Additionally, customers are keen to avoid vendor lock-in, so true ability to move workloads between both public and private clouds, with no strings attached, is a must. Workloads must also be dependably secured, with the same network and application controls in place both at rest and in flight. Enterprise cloud consumers are still a long way from realizing this utopia but thanks to advances like Cisco’s new InterCloud, they’re a lot closer today.
Virtustream has long been a believer in hybrid – our software supports private cloud, public cloud and hybrid connection between the two. Cisco InterCloud is the beginning of simplifying the interconnection between enterprise private sites and public clouds, enabling secure network connections and selection of public cloud connections. We view this capability as a critical component to enabling enterprise adoption of the cloud and feel that the maturity of the concept will continue to expand further in next few years. Virtustream xStream enhances hybrid connections further by adding high levels of security, compliance and performance SLAs for production and mission critical apps. We also work closely with Cisco and our software enhances both Vblock and FlexPod-based data centers with enterprise class private and public clouds. We see a future of interconnected clouds linking business verticals like healthcare, manufacturing, education together with both private and public clouds.
From the Cisco partner perspective, this is a great example of the value of the Cisco relationship and the alignment they have with their service provider community. It begins by listening to the customer through the ears of their partners. By actively engaging their partner ecosystem, Cisco ensures, in real time, that their innovations meet the needs of their target audience throughout the product lifecycle. As a launch participant, we have the ability to influence and shape the offering prior, during and after launch.
When it comes time to go to market Cisco really shines. They have some of the best organized and well thought out partner programs in the business. Service providers depend on the Cisco brand and reach to connect to the market. In order to make that connection, Cisco created the Cloud and Managed Service Provider (CMSP) program to ensure successful end-to-end interaction from the service provider, through the Cisco field sales force and ultimately to the customer. The cornerstone of the program is a third party, on-site audit of the service offering. In order to become “Cisco-Powered” the provider must pass this rigorous inspection. Cisco is not just looking to verify that their parts and pieces make up the service. Adhering to ITIL standards, they ask for an evaluation of end-
This is consistent with Cisco’s overall interaction with their partner community. Unlike the other popular compute and networking vendors, Cisco’s approach to solution delivery is 100% partner-centric. Service provider offerings augment instead of compete with Cisco’s solution approach. Because there are many partners, customers have a choice and vendor lock-in is avoided. The competitive forces of the service provider market ensure that the highest levels of quality and ingenuity are delivered to the customer. The ideas are fresh and customer driven, guiding not only service provider offerings but technological innovation like Cisco InterCloud. We’re pleased to be part of the Cisco ecosystem and excited about collaborating with them in expanding the use of cloud into the enterprise market.