It will build the ‘Intercloud’ – a network of clouds – together with a set of partners, including Telstra. It will cost over US$1 billion.
Cisco says the global Intercloud is being architected for the Internet of Everything, with a distributed network and security architecture designed for high-value application workloads, real-time analytics, ‘near infinite’ scalability and full compliance with local data sovereignty laws.
The first open Intercloud, which will feature APIs for rapid application development, will deliver a new enterprise-class portfolio of cloud IT services for businesses, service providers and resellers.
Making the announcement at its partner conference in Las Vegas, Cisco said it expects to build out the network over the next two years. It says its partner-centric business model will generate a rapid acceleration of additional investment to drive the global scale and breadth of services that Cisco plans to deliver to its customers.
“We plan to deliver cloud services with and through Cisco partners,” said Robert Lloyd, president of development and sales at Cisco. He named Telstra as one of the key global partners, along with eight others:
- Canadian business communications provider Allstream.
- European cloud company Canopy, an Atos company
- Cloud services aggregator and wholesale technology distributor Ingram Micro.
- IT and managed services provider Logicalis.
- Business intelligence and network applications vendor MicroStrategy.
- Enterprise data centre provider OnX Managed Services.
- Information availability provider SunGard Availability Services
- Indian IT consulting and outsourcing company Wipro.
“These organisations are either planning to deliver Cisco Cloud Services or have endorsed Cisco’s global Intercloud initiative,” said Lloyd. “They represent a sampling of the kinds of global partners Cisco expects to work with to build its cloud business.
Erez Yarkoni, executive director of cloud at Telstra, said the relationship with Cisco will present many opportunities for Telstra customers: “They will now have access to cloud infrastructure from a global leader, allowing them to select the cloud service to meet their requirements and scale network and cloud resources to deliver service agility, security and performance.
“Applications are critical to delivering business value and we believe we can offer a differentiated solution for managing applications across clouds. Our longstanding relationship with Cisco allows us to offer deeper and broader service capabilities to help our customers manage their critical applications, making the transition to the cloud simpler and more cost effective.”
Lloyd said the Cisco global Intercloud will be hosted across a global network of Cisco and partner data centres. “It will offer an expanded suite of value-added application- and network-centric cloud services to accelerate the Internet of Everything.
“This networked connection of people, data, processes and thing, is expected to be a US$19 trillion economic opportunity in the coming decade. The Internet of Everything movement, which is creating an entirely new set of requirements for globally distributed and highly secure clouds, has empowered Cisco and its partners to initiate the development of the Intercloud to deliver the mobile, collaborative and rich video cloud services that enable today’s new connected experiences.”
He said the OpenStack-enabled Intercloud is designed to allow organisations and users to combine and move workloads across different public or private clouds as needed, easily and securely, while maintaining associated network and security policies.
It will also utilise Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) to optimise application performance and to make rolling out new services much faster. Lloyd said Cisco will improve application security, compliance, auditing and mobility by using ACI’s centralised, programmable security policy to enable fine-grained control and isolation at scale; suitable for private and public cloud environments.
Cisco Cloud Services expand on the Cisco cloud portfolio, which includes SaaS offerings such as WebEx, Meraki and Cisco Cloud Web Security; differentiated cloud services, such as hosted collaboration and cloud DVR.
It also uses a range of other technologies and services to build public and private clouds, including the Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS), integrated infrastructure solutions such as VCE Vblock Systems and NetApp FlexPod.