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Flexibility, scalability and security are the words most used in relation to cloud computing. However, flexibility and scalability are usually mentioned as advantages and security as a possible problem, that the cloud computing industry is managing well.
Data centers are all about scale and security, which forms the base of Cisco’s recent announcement, introducing innovative data centre fabric. The solution is presented as the most scalable and secure fabric in the industry, ready for physical, virtual, and cloud environments. So what does it mean for cloud computing?
Scalability and flexibility – the fabric is the most scalable 10 GbE L2/L3 Fabric in the Industry. Most importantly, the approach is holistic, not just element focused but integrating various parts of a data centre into a unified fabric and, even more interesting, spanning between data centers. This ensures both scalability the likes of which have never been seen before, and architectural flexibility.
Security is often mentioned as a drawback of cloud computing. With its new solution, Cisco provides a virtual firewall to help secure cloud environments, adding firewall capabilities, highly secure remote access, real-time threat defense and comprehensive network security regardless of size. I believe we need to add that the new solution is based on the tried-and-tested Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA), the industry’s most used firewall, only now in virtual form.
With Internet traffic exploding and a trend to centralized computing services providers, the need for secure, highly scalable and flexible solutions for data centers is clear. I believe Cisco’s offering goes a long way toward providing exactly what the industry needs. The new security features will hopefully convince those still wary of cloud computing that the cloud is a viable, secure alternative. Also, businesses requiring solutions on a massive scale now have the perfect offering to match their needs.
The new Cisco solution is right on trend both in answering what the industry needs but also with its unified, holistic approach. The evolution of cloud computing depends on the big players in the market providing the technological environment to enable computing services to be delivered when and as required in a secure way, and this is definitely a big step in the right direction.
We live through exciting times for technology innovation, and I cannot wait to see what is coming next, from Cisco and other vendors as well. And one thing is clear, the bar is raised quite high, and it now remains to be seen who can jump.
Featured Case Study
John Charles is the CIO of California State University, East Bay (CSUEB) and Rich Avila is Director, Server & Network Operations. In late 2007 they were both looking down the barrel of a gun. The total amount of power being used in the data center was 67KVA. The maximum power from the current plant was 75kVA. PG&E had informed them that no more power could be delivered. They would be out of power in less than six months. A new data center was planned, but would not be available for two years.
Featured How-To Note
A main impediment to storage virtualization is the lack of multiple storage vendor (heterogeneous) support within available virtualization technologies. This inhibits deployment across a data center. The only practical approach is either to implement a single vendor solution across the whole of the data center (practical only for small and some medium size data centers) or to implement virtualization in one or more of the largest storage pools within a data center.