Cisco announced plans to build "the world’s largest global Intercloud" – a network of clouds – together with a set of partners. The idea is to leverage 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. Cisco's open Intercloud promises APIs for rapid application development and a new enterprise-class portfolio of cloud IT services for businesses, service providers and resellers. It will support OpenStack and multiple hypervisors. It will also leverage Cisco's recently announced Application Centric Infrastructure.
Cisco plans to invest over $1 billion to build its expanded cloud business over the next two years following a "partner-centric" business model. The Cisco Intercloud will be hosted across a global network of Cisco data centers and partner data centers. It will offer value-added application- and network-centric cloud services to accelerate the Internet of Everything.
The first companies either planning to deliver Cisco Cloud Services, or who have endorsed Cisco’s global Intercloud initiative, include:
- Telstra (Australia);
- Allstream (Canada);
- Canopy, an Atos company (Europe);
- Ingram Micro Inc., a cloud services aggregator, provider and wholesale technology distributor;
- Logicalis Group, a global IT and managed services provider;
- MicroStrategy, global provider of enterprise software platforms for business intelligence, mobile intelligence, and network applications;
- OnX Managed Services, an enterprise data center IT solutions provider ;
- SunGard Availability Services, an information availability services provider;
- Wipro Ltd., a leading global IT, consulting and outsourcing company.
“Customers, providers and channel partners alike are turning to Cisco to create open and highly secure hybrid cloud environments, and they want to rapidly deploy valuable enterprise-class cloud experiences for key customers – all while mitigating the risk of capital investment,” said Robert Lloyd, president of development and sales, Cisco. “The timing is right for Cisco and its partners to invest in a groundbreaking, application-centric global Intercloud to provide broader reach and faster time to market. Together, we have the capability to enable a seamless world of many clouds in which our customers have the choice to enable the right, highly secure cloud for the right workload, while creating strategic advantages for rapid innovation, and ultimately, business growth.”
Cisco noted that its Cloud Services portfolio already includes SaaS offerings, such as WebEx, Meraki and Cisco Cloud Web Security; differentiated cloud services, such as hosted collaboration and cloud DVR; and technologies and services to build public and private clouds, such as the Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS), integrated infrastructure solutions such as VCE Vblock Systems and NetApp FlexPod, and Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI).
- This week, Cisco is hosting a Partner Summit at The Venetian Resort in Las Vegas.
- In November 2013, Cisco unveiled its Application Centric Infrastructure for data centers and clouds. In a press event in New York, John Chambers described ACI as the next big transformation of the IT industry driven by imperatives of the application economy.
ACI is a step beyond virtualization and software-defined networks (SDN), said Chambers, because it brings agility and automation with full visibility and integrated management of both physical and virtual networked IT resources at the system, tenant, and application levels. The architecture promises a pay-as-you-grow mode scaling to over 100,000 switch ports and capable of supporting more than one million IP end points in a data center spine with 60 Tbps capacity. A key premise is that the network should adapt to application requirements through dynamic insertion and chaining of physical and virtual L4-7 network services including firewalls, application delivery controllers, and intrusion detection systems. The new architecture is designed for multi-tenant cloud environments by providing real-time view of per tenant and per application health, statistics, and troubleshooting. Real-time analytics will be used to drive intelligent application placement decisions.
The foundation for ACI is an Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC), enhanced versions of the NX-OS data center switching operating system, and a new line of Nexus 9000 data center switches based on technology from Insieme Networks, the Cisco spin-in start-up that is being acquired and re-integrated into the company.
- In January, IBM announced plans to invest $1.2 billion to expand its cloud business and build on its acquisition of Softlayer data centers last year. The plans call for 15 new data centers worldwide, including new Softlayer facilities in Washington D.C., Mexico City, Dallas, China, Hong Kong, London, Japan, India and Canada. The expansion will bring the number of IBM cloud data centers to about 40 worldwide.
Earlier in the year, IBM acquired SoftLayer Technologies, which operates 13 data centers in the United States, Asia and Europe. Bloomberg valued the deal at about $2 billion.
SoftLayer allows clients to buy enterprise-class cloud services on dedicated or shared servers, offering clients a choice of where to deploy their applications. The company is based in Dallas, Texas, and serves approximately 21,000 customers.
The acquisition strengthened IBM's position in cloud computing. At the time of the deal, IBM said its expects to reach $7 billion annually in cloud revenue by the end of 2015.
IBM also announced the formation of a new Cloud Services division. The new division will provide a broad range of choices to both IBM and SoftLayer clients, ISVs, channel partners and technology partners. SoftLayer’s services will complement the existing portfolio with its focus, simplicity and speed. The division will report to Erich Clementi, Senior Vice President, IBM Global Technology Services. IBM plans to expand SoftLayer cloud offerings to include OpenStack capabilities.