When I meet with customers and analysts, I’m often asked about Cisco’s Cloud Computing strategy. Many of us have written about it before, including Lew Tucker (Cisco Cloud CTO) and other executive leaders. While we talk about technology innovation, an open ecosystem of partners and driving new ways for customers to solve business problems, there is a key element that is sometimes overlooked. That element is Cisco’s stated direction NOT to compete with our customers (service providers or systems integrators), instead focusing on delivering the critical infrastructure (hardware and software) for building private, public, hybrid and community clouds.
While many of our partners agree with this approach , some of our competitors do not. Fair enough, everyone needs to figure out their own business models. One of the byproducts of our strategy is that we’re able to take the learnings from certain market segments and quickly apply them to other market segments. We’re not restricted in trying to put together the best possible solutions for our customers. In fact, we’ve created Cloud Builder programs to encourage our Channel Partners and Services Providers to work more closely together to solve customer needs.A great example of this working in real-world scenarios is the connection between our Service Provider customers that have deployed Cisco UCS and Cisco Nexus, and the recent announcements about growth and market-share of Cisco UCS across all market segments:
- Two recent independent reports have highlighted Savvis and Terremark as providing the most robust, highest performance, secure Virtual Private Cloud offerings. Both are Cisco UCS and Cisco Nexus customers.
[NOTE: We could have told this same story with other Service Providers from around the world, but we just happened to have these reports available now.]
Both of those service providers adopted the robustness of Cisco Nexus and the simplicity and automation of Cisco UCS to roll out their Cloud Computing offerings. They provided us tons of early feedback about how to leverage those technologies in operational models that helped them deliver rich services to the market. And those learnings have been going back into the products, which are gaining greater market acceptance in the Enterprise and Commercial segments as well. And as those Enterprise and Commercial customers begin to expand their IT needs, they are often looking to trusted Service Providers to help with workload variability or deployment of new services. It’s a powerful circle that benefits our customers and our partners.
So as you’re looking at building or leveraging Cloud Computing services, it’s important to look at the companies behind the technology that powers those clouds. Are they innovating at internet pace, or creating business models that don’t serve your best interests?