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Get cloud smart now

V.S. Lingam | July 4, 2011
Cisco’s message to enterprises in Asia planning or not planning to leverage the computing model that appears to be taking the world by storm.

Cisco’s CTO of Cloud for Asia Pacific, Bernie Trudel, responded to our queries recently regarding his participation at CommunicAsia, and what his company will be doing to drive Cloud adoption in Asia. Trudel is also the Chairman of the Asia Cloud Computing Association.

What was your central message to the audience at CommunicAsia this year?
At CommunicAsia 2011 I had the honour of chairing the Next Leap in Cloud Computing Track, and as the Chairman for the Asia Cloud Computing Association, [I found] it heartening to see comprehensive interest from both the demand and supply sides of the market to adopt Cloud technologies. There is no denying that the knowledge economy will fuel Asia’s future growth and we feel that Cloud computing is poised to be a key business and technology model to facilitate that journey. At the Asia Cloud Computing Association, our mission is to establish collaboration among stakeholders in Asia to accelerate the growth of the industry. As part of our engagement, we are looking to initiate discussions with public policy and regulatory organisations in order to remove obstacles and help leverage opportunities.

As the CTO of Cloud for Asia Pacific, [I believe] our three-pronged approach to Cloud strategy reinforces our leadership in architecting Clouds for both sides of the market. We do that by being innovative with our Cloud architectures to suit the various requirements of public, private, hybrid and community Clouds. We also accelerate the adoption of Clouds by introducing business, sales and marketing programmes that encourage the use of Cloud services. And lastly, we have developed a rich ecosystem of partners who provide the best possible solution based on the customer’s preference for storage, system management, hypervisor and application technologies.

Talk about the significance of Cloud deployments in the next 12 months with regards to the entry and expansion of Cloud service providers, and the tech industry supporting them.
Businesses in the region are quite sophisticated when it comes to Cloud services. They understand the tradeoffs as well as the benefits between building private Cloud services and buying public Cloud services.

While some of our customers have implemented full functioning Clouds, the majority of our customers are building the data centre and network delivery infrastructure foundation in order to deliver Cloud services to their customers or stakeholders in the next 6-18 months.

At Cisco, we have a Cloud partner programme that caters to the needs of three types of vendors. For Cloud builders, we provide proven and validated designs that enable them to operate efficiently and successfully. For Cloud providers, we assist in developing a comprehensive business case, creating viable services to their specific segments, and supporting their sales and marketing efforts, in order to help them be successful. We also have a Cloud reseller programme, which enables IT resellers to offer services from Cloud providers complementary to their traditional technology reseller business.

Where do you see most Cloud service providers growing their businesses locating their Asian headquarters?
I’d like to highlight that there is a growing confidence with local Cloud service companies that have core strengths in terms of local brand, local knowledge and full control of the Cloud delivery networks, giving them a strong, differentiated value proposition against the global players. In response to the question, there really isn’t a specific location I can highlight. Based on our consultations with Cloud providers regarding the location of their data centre sites, there sometimes are regulatory requirements which mandate that Cloud services be hosted within national boundaries in order to maintain data sovereignty. That and environmental factors, national and international connectivity infrastructure as well as the business regulatory climate all influence the location of the data centre.

Should we expect more homegrown Singaporean, Malaysian or Asian Cloud service companies being formed in the near future then?
Absolutely. As I mentioned in the previous question, their core strengths in being a local brand, with local knowledge and full control of the Cloud delivery networks, give these innovative homegrown Cloud services an edge over the traditional vendors in this space.

How far does Cisco go now and intend to go in the future to drive the development of 'Cloud smart' organisations in the both the public and private sectors?
Cloud is a new computing paradigm. In Cloud, IT resources and services are abstracted from the underlying infrastructure and provided on-demand and at scale in a multi-tenant environment. With this new paradigm shift comes the opportunity for business to dynamically scale IT resources and make applications and services easier than ever to access. So part of our Cloud activities focus on developing our customers’ and partners’ skills and knowledge of Cloud infrastructure.
A Cloud smart organisation is able to monetise its IT investments by enabling returns through productivity, efficiency and mobility. The objective then is to have Cloud-ready deployments with customers so that when they are ready to move into Cloud computing—it is easier to integrate the services into their business process and therefore create a Cloud-smart, efficient and agile organisation that is able to compete effectively in their industry vertical.


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