Apronomics: November, 2022

Apronomics, is a play on the word ‘macroeconomics’ which seeks to provide a general perspective in three specific domains. Cloud, Digital Transformation, and Web3. This is monthly and sometimes twice a month ‘Digital Glance’ (DG) which provides a practical yet quick consumption style for those looking for hot topics in Cloud, Digital Transformation, and Web3.

CLOUD

  • Gartner: Magic Quadrant for Cloud Infrastructure and Platform Services (Link)
  • AWS: AWS re:Invent – November 28 – December 2, 2022 (Link)
    • Emerald sponsors: Accenture, Cisco, Datadog, Deloitte, Intel, MongoDB, TrendMicro, VMware
  • Microsoft: Announced its ISV Success Program for Microsoft Partners which offers software providers the ability to sell their software via the Commercial Marketplace (Link)
    • “In 2021, marketplace transactions grew an estimated 70% to $4 billion, which is 3x faster growth than the public cloud at large”
    • Customers can purchase software solutions and retire every dollar against their cloud consumption commitment

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

  • Cisco: Plans to provide networking, cyber security, and general IT training to 25 million people over the next 10 years (Link)
  • Dynatrace: Announced its observability “Data Lakehouse”, (Grail) at Dynatrace Innovate
    • Grail is a causational (cause and effect relationship) data lakehouse with a massively parallel processing (MPP) analytics engine, leveraging Dynatrace Query Language (DQL) a new query language (Link)
  • Cato: Cato Network Reaches $100M ARR in just Five years (Link)
    • “Cato provides the world’s most robust single-vendor SASE platform”
    • Cato has become the fastest growing Enterprise Network Security Startup
  • VMware: Takes advantage of ‘cloud adjacency infrastructure’ by partnering with Equinix offering VMware Cloud on Equinix Metal, a new offer that will enable enterprises to use VMware’s software environment as a cloud service on Equinix’s bare-metal cloud (Link)

WEB3

  • Google: Announced its Cloud’s Blockchain Node Engine; a fully managed node-hosting service helping scale Web3 development. Google announced that is working with Solana ($SOL) to launch dedicated Solana nodes in the cloud as early as next year (Link)
  • FTX: Impure business practices lead to the collapse of the second-largest crypto exchange underscoring the importance of truly decentralized systems

Mike

Apronomics: October, 2022

Apronomics, is a play on the word ‘macroeconomics’ which seeks to provide a general perspective in three specific domains. Cloud, Digital Transformation, and Web3. This is monthly and sometimes twice a month ‘Digital Glance’ (DG) which provides a practical yet quick consumption style for those looking for hot topics in Cloud, Digital Transformation, and Web3.

CLOUD

  • Google: Hacking Google Series (Video)
  • Google: Google cloud and Coinbase Launch New Strategic Partnership to drive Web3 Select customers, starting with those in the Web3 ecosystem, to pay for its cloud services via select cryptocurrencies (Link)
  • Google: Google closes $5.8B Mandiant acquisition (Link)
  • Microsoft: Microsoft Ignite – October 12-14, 2022 (Link)
  • Microsoft: Cisco and Microsoft together deliver outcomes to customers. Cisco was a big focus at Microsoft Ignite this year. Microsoft Teams will have the ability to run Teams natively on certain Cisco collaboration devices and will be manageable in the Microsoft Teams Admin Center (Link)
  • Zesty: secured $75M Series B funding. Zesty aims to reduce cloud costs while ensuring app performance (Link)

DIGITAL TRANSFORMATION

  • Flexera: 2022 – State of the tech spend had some interesting and not-so-surprising data points. (Link)
    • Significant reduction in Customer data centers in the next 24 months – 24% of respondents
    • Top 3 Vendor spent by Organization – Microsoft, AWS, Oracle
    • Managed Service Provider use in top three categories – Cybersecurity, Big Data, Cloud Operations
  • Zscaler: Acquires ShiftRight. With this acquisition, Zscaler hopes to address alert fatigue for SecOps professionals and be able to give customers the ability to investigate their paid SIEM service “log streaming” (Link)
  • Nile: A startup company led by Cisco’s former development chief Pankaj Patel and co-founded by John Chambers initial offer is a network-as-a-service (NaaS) solution and is hosted on AWS (Link)

WEB3

  • Chainlink: SmartCon 2022 (Sept. 28-29) connects Web2 and Web3 industry leaders and an expansive ecosystem to explore Web3 innovation
    • Chainlink Co-Founder Sergey Nazarov kicked off the flagship SmartCon 2022 conference with a keynote, “Building a Web3 World Powered by Cryptographic Truth. Learn more – Chainlink Fundamentals

Mike

Cisco Solutions for AWS Cloud Modernization

If you missed my prior blog on app assurance check it out!

Forecasting cloud spend and assuring application performance

It’s challenging to know all the native cloud solutions available to use, it’s even more challenging to know which Cisco solutions are available for use with AWS. 

You will find that there are solutions that repeat or even overlap portions of the AWS Migration stages. For example, in the Discovery stage of cloud migration, the tool you’d likely use for Application Discovery / Infrastructure Discovery is Application Dynamics (AppD). 

It’s important to know that this is not an extensive list, nor should this be used in a silo; rather these are the most relevant products for a migration.

Below is a reference to the relevant Cisco solutions associated with the AWS Cloud Migration journey. Business outcomes will evolve as a customer matures in the cloud and so will the solutions to meet those outcomes. 

“A Process for Mass Migrations to the Cloud” Orban, Stephen, 2008. Retrieved September 6, 2022, from https://aws.amazon.com/blogs/enterprise-strategy/214-2/. 

Upgrade to ISE 3.1 on AWS

Below is the prep work for migrating from ISE2.4 to ISE3.1+ for AWS, and the migration steps are here, but I have summarize them below.

Cisco ISE is available as an infrastructure-as-code solution leveraging AWS CloudFormation making the deployment of ISE a very light lift. I’ll be walking you through how to deploy ISE on AWS in a later post.

Step 1 – Base, Plus, Apex, and Device Admin licenses need to be migrated to Smart Licenses
Step 2 – VM licenses need to be converted
Step 3 – Migration can occur. Once licenses are prepped and converted, you go to the AWS Marketplace ISE BYOL listing and choose your deployment size. 

ISE Licensing

  1. AWS ISE requires ISE 3.1+
    1. If upgrading to 3.1 from an existing 2.X release, it is required that a customer migrate their existing licenses to the new licenses and then upgrade to the 3.0 release. I.e. These are the Base, Plus, and Apex license that need to be upgraded. Device Admin licenses are grandfathered and need to be upgraded to a Smart License as well.
  2. This requires a Cisco Smart License Account. 
  3. Please refer to the Migration Guide for instructions.

ISE VM – You need to register the VM Common license for ISE 3.1 and later.

  1. Customers need to migrate their ISE License to the new “Common License.”
    1. To migrate the legacy VM license to the VM Common license, customers need to obtain the $0 upgrade Product ID (PID), “L-ISE-VMC-UPG=, from Cisco. This is the same PID regardless of what current size of VM license you have today.
    2. https://www.cisco.com/c/en/us/products/collateral/security/identity-services-engine/ise-licensing-migration-guide-og.html

2. To obtain a VM Common License for a net new deployment you’ll need the new VM PID, “R-ISE-VMC-K9=” Refer to the table below for a 1:1 mapping.

These VM licenses are valid in Cisco ISE 3.0 and earlier releases. Again, when you upgrade your Cisco ISE to Release 3.1, you will need to have VM Common license.  

Upgrade FromUpgrade ToRatio
R-ISE-VML-K9=R-ISE-VMC-K9=1:1
R-ISE-VMM-K9=R-ISE-VMC-K9=1:1
R-ISE-VMS-K9=R-ISE-VMC-K9=1:1

How to migrate license

To migrate the legacy VM license to the VM Common license, customers need to obtain the $0 upgrade PID, “L-ISE-VMC-UPG=,” in CCW. See ISE Licensing Migration Guide for the detailed process.

Support for VM and License

Q. What support do customers receive with the new ISE licenses?

A. The same as with current subscription licenses. With the new ISE software licenses, customers receive embedded SWSS—which covers 24x7x365 Cisco Technical Assistance Center (TAC) support and software updates. However, now Essentials will also have this support.

More Question and Answers here

Support associated with the legacy VM licenses

When customers upgrade the version of their legacy VM to VM Common license, they can continue to receive support based on the support contract purchased on legacy VM license PID. They can renew the support until the legacy VM license PID is EOL and reaches the last service renewal date per the EOL bulletin. There is no support for migration. For seamless support, the customer should request the legacy VM PID to be replaced with the desired VM PID in order to renew and receive support.

Mike

Cloud Workload Optimization – Cost and Performance?

I took inspiration to write this blog from the “Workload Optimization” section from the digital book “Cisco Intersight: A Handbook for Intelligent Cloud Operations” – Please consider connecting and send a thank you to the hard-working authors of this fantastic book.

IT operations have one fundamental goal, to deliver performant applications at the lowest possible cost while maintaining compliance.

Because of this, organizations turn to cloud providers to achieve a lower variable cost compared to an on-premises data center, which is generally finite in scale and fixed in cost.

Cloud providers such as AWS can achieve higher economies of scale, which translates into lower pay-as-you-go prices and effectively infinite infrastructure.

Having a handle on which application requires which underlying resources, license constraints, and placement rules are beyond the scale of humans.

As a result, determining the placement of workloads minimizing cost while assuring workload performance becomes a guessing game.

Cost Optimization Pillar

According to AWS, a cost-optimized workload fully utilizes all resources, achieves an outcome at the lowest possible price point, and meets your functional requirements(AWS, n.d.).

Put another way, the Desired State is to assure workload performance and minimize spend in the public cloud (Intersight Handbook, 2021).

AWS provides a vast array of instance sizes to achieve optimized workloads and various ways to consume instances in an on-demand or via Reservice Instances (RI) which are heavily discounted for a specific term, generally one year or three years. Think of RIs as a billing discount applied to running On-Demand Instances. RIs are appropriate for consistent and predictable workloads.

The challenge with consuming RIs is that the public cloud consumers will pay for the RI whether they use them or not. RIs become more like “the sunk cost of a physical server on-premises than to the ongoing cost of an on-demand cloud instance (Intersight Handbook, 2021).” This consumption model can create behaviors that lend to horseshoeing application into an undersized instance or neglect to resize an instance when a workload outgrows its current resource needs.

“There are hundreds of different instance options in AWS and Azure, with new options and pricing emerging almost daily (Intersight Handbook, 2021).”

Automation to optimize costs

The lack of expertise and security is more critical at the beginning stages of cloud than managing cloud spending. However, as organizations mature their cloud practice, managing cloud spending becomes the number one issue, and they struggle to forecast cloud costs accurately.

An average of 24 percent of the organization reported that their cloud spend was over budget and expected to increase by 39 percent in the next twelve months (Flexera, 2021).

This issue is further compounded when you include more than one cloud provider and requires automation to decide on price and performance vs. price for performance.

Assuring applications performance while optimizing cost is precisely what Cisco’s Interisght Workload Optimizer SaaS will do. (Workload Optimizer is a separately licensed feature set within the Intersight platform)

Workload Optimizer is constantly receiving real-time data on consumption, pricing, and instance options from the cloud providers and combining such data with the knowledge of applicable customer-specific pricing and enterprise agreements to determine the best actions available at any given point in time.

It does this through direct API target integrations with the cloud provider in real-time to add value far beyond any cloud-specific or hypervisor-specific, point-in-time tools that may be available. Besides being multi-vendor, multi-cloud, and real-time by design, Workload Optimizer does not force administrators to choose between performance assurance and cost/resource optimization.

Wrapping up

The underlying resources, license constraints, and placement rules of running workloads in the public cloud are beyond what most organizations can handle. While the organization’s capability to use the cloud continues to grow, so does its need to forecast and manage cloud spending. The solution requires automation, real-time information, and optimization to make informed decisions. Cisco Workload Optimizer has the ability to do just that and a whole lot more. If you’re interested in understanding Intersight and the components that make up the hybrid-cloud tool, you can find the documentation here.

Mike

Baker, M., Beck, B., Chosnek, D., McGee, J., McKeown, S., TerEick, B., & Vaswani, M. (2021). Cisco Intersight: A Handbook for Intelligent Cloud Operations. https://www.booksprints.net. 

Cost optimization pillar – AWS well-architected framework. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2022, from https://docs.aws.amazon.com/wellarchitected/latest/cost-optimization-pillar/welcome.html 

Reserved instances – amazon elastic compute cloud. (n.d.). Retrieved February 28, 2022, from https://docs.aws.amazon.com/AWSEC2/latest/UserGuide/ec2-reserved-instances.html 

“2021 State of the Cloud Report.” Flexera, 2021, https://info.flexera.com/CM-REPORT-State-of-the-Cloud?dtid=oblgzzz001087.