The networking giant is adding more muscle and money to its Intercloud skeleton, signing over 30 new partners to its worldwide network of interconnected clouds. Cisco's new alliances add 250 data centers in 50 countries to its infrastructure for Intercloud.
Cisco Capital, a wholly owned subsidiary of Cisco, has also earmarked $1 billion in financing to the effort, providing the money so Cisco customers and partners can more quickly adopt the Cisco technologies needed to transition to Cisco-powered clouds.
Deutsche Telekom, BT, NTT DATA, and Equinix are among the heavy hitters joining forces with Cisco to make possible two major industry moves: a new generation of standardized cloud applications and the proliferation of secure hybrid clouds.
By aligning with these companies, Cisco takes a quantum leap toward its plans to address customer demands for a globally distributed, highly secure cloud platform that can meet the needs of the Internet of Everything. Cisco’s open approach to the Intercloud is designed for high-value application workloads, with real-time analytics and “near infinite” scalability and promises local hosting and local provider options that enable data sovereignty.
Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research, told us to think about Cisco’s Intercloud like a mini-Internet of clouds. As such, he said, its success depends on how many partners it has.
“You can have the best plan but if you don’t have many partners it doesn’t add much value,” Kerravala said. “This is a good example of the network effect, where the value of the network is proportional to the square number of nodes on it. With more nodes the value grows exponentially. If you are a multinational looking to do some sort of hybrid cloud service, you are almost certain to find Cisco certified services in the companies you are in.”
Getting Down to Cloud Business
Indeed, Rob Lloyd, Cisco’s president of development and sales, said the company has received strong industry-wide support since announcing its OpenStack-based cloud strategy six months ago. In fact, he pointed to clear momentum in the open source community and providing partners with a cloud platform that offers global reach, Internet scale and efficiencies.
“Just as Cisco played a leading role in connecting isolated islands of LANs to architect the modern Internet, Cisco’s Intercloud Fabric and Application Centric Infrastructure innovations uniquely position us to connect disparate cloud services to unlock the full potential of cloud, and with it a new era in IT,” Lloyd said. Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) couples innovations in software, hardware, systems and ASICS with an application-aware network policy model built around open APIs that reduce application deployment from months to minutes.
Additional companies joining Cisco’s partner ecosystem to deliver Intercloud-enabled cloud services based on Cisco ACI and Intercloud Fabric, include Adapt, ANS Group, CGI Group, Cirrity, CTI, Ethan Group, Infront Systems, LightEdge Solutions, LG CNS, Logicalis, Long View, Netelligent, NWN, OneNeck IT Solutions, OnX Managed Services, Peak 10, Presidio, Proxios, PT Portugal/Oi, Quest Media and Supplies, Steria, Virtustream and Wipro.
Cisco also said it will begin offering a hybrid cloud service and that Cisco Intercloud Fabric, a highly secure, open, and flexible hypervisor-agnostic cloud interconnect technology, is now shipping to customers.
Simple, Cost-Effective Clouds
“As our customers get more sophisticated about using the cloud, they are demanding true hybrid clouds and the ability to easily use clouds in many different countries,” said Reinhard Clemens, a board member of Deutsche Telekom and CEO of T-Systems. “By offering the Cisco Intercloud platform, we will be able to deliver simple and cost-effective clouds and true hybrid services to our customers throughout Europe -- in compliance with our strict data protection regulations in Germany, which is a critical factor in business today.”
Cisco also started offering hybrid cloud bundles, which are technology and services packages that aim to help customers create hybrid cloud environments. One bundle, for example, will allow customers who are already using private clouds to extend that infrastructure to Cisco’s infrastructure-as-a-service offering. Another works to help customers that are not yet using private clouds to pursue that path through a hybrid cloud and multinational IaaS solution.
Finally, Cisco announced its Evolved Services Platform (ESP), a comprehensive virtualization and orchestration software platform that creates, automates and provisions services in real time across compute, storage and network functions. ESP now makes it possible for cloud providers to deliver two new virtualized and automated managed business services: security and cloud VPN.