Going to the Edge Doesn’t Mean Going Out on a Limb

By Russell Fishman, Director of Product Management, Converged Infrastructure


Learn more about Managed EdgeCloud from Cisco and NetApp at Cisco Live Berlin February 20-24, 2017


Cisco Live Berlin is just a few short days away. It’s one of the most-anticipated events of the year, with more than 12,000 people expected to attend. Cisco has long been a huge partner for NetApp, and I’m particularly excited to showcase our latest joint innovations, including our Managed EdgeCloud solution. 


In September of 2016 we announced the Managed EdgeCloud Solution, a turnkey cloud-in-a-box infrastructure from Cisco and NetApp. With Managed EdgeCloud, service providers can easily extend their core infrastructure to dedicated, remotely managed private clouds on customers’ premises—on the “edge.”


We know that not every workload is an ideal fit for the public cloud. And as much as we see enterprises embrace all that cloud has to offer, many also need to retain dedicated physical resources, whether that's because they need local application performance, site survivability, or control over the data that is generated by their organization. But they don't always want to have the operational overhead that comes with actually owning and running that infrastructure. This is increasingly the case with on-premises infrastructures continuing to shrink as workloads like e-mail/collaboration, CRM, and ERP migrate to software-as-a-service cloud-based offers. Traditionally, enterprises solved this problem by deploying some dedicated IT gear and then purchasing a managed service for the day-to-day operations. 


Managed services is not really a new concept. But from an enterprise perspective, managed services can be cumbersome and slow. Every time the customer needs a change, they have to submit a service request to the service provider, and it could take hours or days to get a response. From a service provider perspective, managed services simply don’t scale. They generally require interaction with lots of different touch points and lots of different management stacks. If the service provider had to touch every enterprise private cloud they were managing as independent standalone environments, there would be no way they could scale. And operations at scale are precisely how service providers build both cost effectiveness for their enterprise customers and their own profitability.


Bringing the Cloud Closer to Your Customers

Our solution to these challenges is to enable the managed services provider to deliver to a customer’s premises something that feels to the enterprise much more like a cloud. We call it “managed private cloud.” We standardize the way that it's deployed, provide a cloud management platform, and shift the ownership model away from the enterprise directly to the service provider. Now, the service provider has complete control over the equipment and delivery, and the enterprise consumes the service the same way they would consume a cloud resource.


Managed EdgeCloud Image



That cloud management platform provides an interface that looks very much like a public cloud interface that an enterprise would use if they went to Microsoft Azure Cloud or Amazon AWS. The service provider can offer a high degree of self-service and highly automated activities through that interface, which allows the end customer to do some degree of management on their own, without having to submit tickets and wait hours or days to get a response from the service provider.


I won’t go into all the details here. For a more detailed explanation of the solution, including configuration and use cases, check out this blog.


Lessons from the Edge

That story is resonating with service providers of all sizes throughout the world. In the few months since we announced the solution, we’ve already gotten a great deal of traction.


In our discussions, we’ve learned that Managed EdgeCloud is particularly appealing to three distinct categories of service providers:

  • Traditional telcos already have a strong business in customer premises equipment (CPE). Extending their business to include preconfigured converged infrastructure is a straightforward extension of their existing delivery capabilities.
  • High-touch regional service providers may already offer managed services, managed hosting, or cloud services. Managed EdgeCloud gives them a way to reach enterprises that require workloads to remain on site and under their control.
  • Traditional value-added resellers that have been converting their business to be more services based; these trusted enterprise partners have already built a core expertise in on-site services. The Managed EdgeCloud solution enables them to evolve their service offerings to include an enterprise cloud experience.


What’s Next for Managed EdgeCloud?

NetApp and Cisco product teams are working closely together to combine our expertise in building high-performing, high-availability converged infrastructure stacks with Cisco’s expertise in SP networking and operations. Based on feedback from service providers, we’re currently working on additional Managed EdgeCloud configurations that leverage Cisco Integrated Services Routers (ISRs) and the Cisco UCS E-Series compute platform to provide a CI solution for businesses with a very small footprint, targeted at branch or retail spaces. These configurations will join the two that are already in the market.


Learn More at Cisco Live Berlin – February 20–24, 2017

The NetApp and Cisco product teams responsible for Managed EdgeCloud will both be at the Cisco Live show in Berlin. If you’re at the show, I encourage you to stop by the NetApp booth in hall 12 at any time to talk to a technical expert in Managed EdgeCloud. You can also drop in on our World of Solutions mini-theater presentation, where we’ll be giving a technical overview and demo of Managed EdgeCloud and NetApp Resource Provider, which integrates with Windows Azure Pack to provide the cloud interface to the Managed EdgeCloud solution. You can also contact your NetApp account rep to schedule a VIP meeting with me and/or my colleague John McAuley, NetApp Senior Product Manager for Managed EdgeCloud.


We’ll show you how Managed EdgeCloud is built, configured, and delivered to help you, as a service provider, deliver cloud services to the edge while minimizing overhead and risk.

Hope to see you in Berlin!


Note: NetApp has no obligation to pursue any course of business outlined in this blog or to develop or release any functionality mentioned therein. NetApp's strategy and possible future developments, products and or platforms directions and functionality are all subject to change without notice. The information in this blog is not a commitment, promise or legal obligation to deliver any material, code or functionality. This blog is provided without a warranty of any kind, either express or implied, including but not limited to, the implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, or non-infringement. This blog is for informational purposes and may not be incorporated into a contract. NetApp assumes no responsibility for errors or omissions in this blog.