Cisco ROI Tool Doesn’t Really Help the IaaS Shopper

So Cisco just released it new flashy ROI calculator for cloud service providers looking to buy kit and get into the game. Check it out here:  http://www.cisco.com/assets/sol/sp/iaas/flash/roi_calculator/index.html

While the movement to create easy to use tools to help simplify purchasing decisions should be applauded, Cisco’s online tool doesn’t really help the customer out. Here’s why:

  • Comparing Cisco with other vendors just multiplied the volume of evaluation work necessary to actually make a decision – this of course goes against the assumption by Cisco that anyone would even entertain another vendor!
  • There is no way to bench mark ROI performance per compute resource and drill down into bloated cost centers.
  • There is no way to address customers that use IaaS in anomalistic usage patterns. What happens to my ROI if I have a handful of I/O hogs that drown out others?
  • The tool makes the assumption that IaaS must be delivered the way Cisco sees it, which removes most of the wiggle room to create customized services

The Cisco tool highlights the problem when big iron vendors operate in a vacuum, which only underscores why raw material supply in the cloud business must be abstracted entirely from service delivery. I don’t doubt that Cisco has a great infrastructure product set – but what would truly be useful is a system that allows the buyer to really compare apples to apples and make a purchase decision on true ROI analysis.

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4 responses to “Cisco ROI Tool Doesn’t Really Help the IaaS Shopper

  1. Pingback: 3 Universal Truths about Enabling the IaaS Market «

  2. Hi and thanks for your comments about the Cisco IaaS ROI & Configuration Tool. You made some very good points!

    Your observation that this is a tool focused on just Cisco at this time is absolutely correct… comparison with other vendors, while a great goal, is probably a little bit out in the future. Why? Our experience shows us that there aren’t too many – if any at all- comprehensive IaaS solutions out there. This ROI tool was meant to address that with Cisco technology as a first step. To that end, we believe output such as pricing and specific count (i.e. BoM) of equipment is a big step in the right direction. Specifically – there are specifics in the solution.

    Further, this is meant to be an introductory discussion-starter type of tool, i.e. for SPs to become familiar with the potential of IaaS for their business. Therefore, the tool needed to be relatively simple – and so doesn’t represent every possible IaaS or SP or end-user scenario.

    Your comment about ROI per compute resource falls in the same category – that, in an effort to keep the tool relatively simple, this capability was not built in… the thought process was that each SP’s situation is going to be different and that these kind of metrics are relatively easy to get into in subsequent discussions if desired.

    If you have specific comparison/competitive metrics – and it’s very possible that I’ve missed them – I’d appreciate your sharing them. They could form the basis for a comparison tool that simplifies the evaluation process for an SP.

  3. Follow on comment: I forgot to address the title of this post as well as the tweet of a few days ago… this ROI tool is not meant for the end-user or the IaaS shopper.

    The primary audience of this tool is the SP. i.e. this is Cisco’s effort to help the SP understand the potential of IaaS based on Cisco equipment.

    Before the tool development got underway, the IaaS shopper was considered as a potential audience for this tool. However, we made a conscious decision to stay away from building an SP order portal type of capability… that capability is best left to the SP as ordering, pricing, bundling, etc. are likely to vary across SPs .

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