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Cisco pumping US$1 billion more into Intercloud

Jim Duffy | Sept. 30, 2014
Cisco announces 30-plus new cloud computing partners.

Cisco on Monday said it is expanding on its Intercloud multi-cloud service provider initiative with another $1 billion investment, designed to lead to more products, data centers and partners.

Announced six months ago, Intercloud is a global interconnection of public, private and hybrid clouds. Cisco launched Intercloud with an initial $1 billion dollar investment, and hails it and its Application Centric Infrastructure product line as the foundational elements of the Internet of Everything.

The Intercloud will be designed to deliver enterprise-class cloud IT services for businesses, service providers and resellers, with the ability to move application workloads between public, private and hybrid clouds and cloud providers. The Intercloud will ostensibly compete for those workloads with Amazon Web Services.

For moving workloads, Cisco announced that the Intercloud Fabric is now shipping. This software resides on x86 servers in enterprises and service provider clouds and allows workloads to migrate from private, to hybrid and public clouds no matter which provider is offering the public service.

Enterprises use four or five different cloud providers anyway, Cisco officials say.

Cisco says Intercloud Fabric is not based on the company's Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) fabric, which is designed to move application policies across Cisco networks. But some 30+ new partners announced this week are implementing both ACI and Intercloud Fabric as foundational technologies for participation in the Intercloud.

BT, a new enlistee to the Cisco Intercloud, will use Intercloud Fabric to develop hybrid cloud services that connect with the Cisco's own cloud service, and with the cloud and managed services offerings of Intercloud providers. BT also plans to extend Cisco's cloud services to its network of data centers, which span more than 20 countries.

Also coming on board is Equinix, which offers collocation and data center interconnect services from 100 data centers across 32 markets in 16 countries spanning the Americas, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific.

Equinix will offer enterprise customers an Intercloud interconnection to public clouds. Its Cloud Exchange will provide secure private access to cloud service providers in Equinix data centers globally, Cisco says. Cloud Exchange is currently available in 19 markets with connections to dozens of public clouds including Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

Equinix will deploy Cisco's Nexus 9000 Series switch, Application Policy Infrastructure Controller and the Evolved Services Platform in Cloud Exchange. The service provider will also deploy Cisco Cloud Service nodes in 16 markets.

Cisco's Evolved Services Platform is virtualization and orchestration software that creates, automates and provisions services across compute, storage and network functions. It enables cloud providers to deliver security and cloud VPN business services to enterprises and small-to-midsize businesses, the latter of which is expected to be a $62 billion market by 2019.


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