Cisco+ Drives Hybrid Cloud Agility

By Kent Christensen, Practice Director

Organizations want to reduce risk while prioritizing innovation and transformation. Consuming solutions with As a Service models like pay-as-you-go allows them to do so. In 2019 (we might remember that as the old normal), IDC Research predicted that more than half of data center infrastructure and more than 75% of infrastructure in edge locations will be consumed/operated via As a Service models by 2024.1 At Insight, we’re experiencing this trend firsthand as our pipeline for As a Service business has grown by more than 400% in the last six months.

Organizations want a cloud operating model everywhere.

We continue to see our clients’ appetite to consume As a Service solutions accelerate. Clients want on-premises infrastructure such as compute, storage, data protection, and security offered with the type of flexible consumption models that were previously only available in the public cloud.

Public cloud consumption models are well understood as an optimal way to achieve agility and scale, especially when launching innovative offerings. To illustrate, Insight’s Digital Innovation team would advise that you can never really know the scale of an Artificial Intelligence (AI) project at the beginning. This unpredictability can make the agility provided by public clouds a perfect fit.

However, we have also learned that the public cloud is not the perfect environment to run every workload or application — cost, latency, and data sovereignty are just a few of the challenges that come with moving legacy enterprise applications to the public cloud. The innovation needed is a solution that would allow on-premises infrastructure to be provided through As a Service models, delivering many of the desired public cloud consumption characteristics for applications that continue to be run in client data centers.

This is where Cisco+ comes in. Cisco+ enables Cisco — through its partners — to offer world-class Cisco Secure Data Center products via a public cloud-like As a Service consumption model. For instance, with Cisco+, clients will not need to diligently plan a large CapEx expense to consume services delivered on Cisco Secure Data Center technologies like Unified Compute System (UCS) or HyperFlex. This capability alone provides a high level of agility and reduced risk for clients. That said, Cisco’s partner-led approach adds yet another level of agility and reduced risk for Cisco partners and our clients.

In fact, Cisco has a long, successful history of entrusting its strategic partners to deliver its world-class technology to clients. For instance, when Cisco introduced its market-leading software-defined UCS, it entrusted partners to design and configure UCS-based solutions for client deployments. In addition, Cisco led the market with enterprise-converged infrastructure solutions, entrusting its strategic partners to design, deliver, and financially model the consumption of the converged infrastructure that now runs many of the most strategic business applications for clients large and small. At Insight, we have delivered more than 1,000 converged infrastructure solutions.

With a long history of success, it comes as no surprise that Cisco has immediately entrusted qualified partners, including Insight, to design, deliver, and support Cisco+ solutions. This continued partner-led go-to-market strategy is why Cisco will immediately offer clients the most agile and flexible As a Service solution in the industry. The simple fact is that Cisco will leverage the scale and expertise of its partners to do what even a leading technology OEM cannot always do — provide the agility and expertise to design, build, and deploy solutions that meet clients’ specific needs.

While it may initially seem a bold move by Cisco to start with partners, it makes sense, ultimately. Cisco and its strategic partners are world-class product companies. They do extensive R&D, leading to the release of enterprise-class solutions. This requires extensive investment as well as considerable discipline and rigor regarding defining what gets released to the market. As a result, making changes to a product after it’s in general availability is no trivial task.

Insight, on the other hand, does not manufacture the underlying technologies we use to design solutions and deploy services that meet our clients’ requirements. In addition, these services are architected by Insight with the flexibility to be adjusted to meet clients’ evolving requirements, such as updating Service-Level Agreements (SLAs) when needed. The more flexibility we have in how we incorporate the underlying technologies and business models provided by our partners such as Cisco, the easier it is for us to conduct our business of meeting clients’ outcome requirements.

Cisco+ provides Insight with a tremendous amount of flexibility to much more easily design, deliver, and support Cisco-powered As a Service solutions such as FlexPod as a Service or FlashStack as a Service. In fact, we have many projects underway already that incorporate Cisco+ offerings. As a service provider, we can combine Cisco+ with many other solutions, including public cloud, backup, and even hosting. This is a true, agile, hybrid cloud approach.

If you’re interested in learning how Insight can support your organization, get in touch with an Insight expert. From evaluation to design to implementation, we can help create an effective and secure roadmap for deploying modern IT solutions for your enterprise.

1 Barnard, C., Cooke, J., Duncan, G., Middleton, S., Venkatraman, A., and Villars, R. (October 2019). IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Datacenter 2020 Predictions. IDC Research.