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Introducing Cisco’s Global Intercloud

In 2011, Cisco’s Chief Information Officer Rebecca Jacoby established CITEIS, a ‘private cloud’ designed to more quickly, more flexibly and more cost-effectively give our employees the I.T. resources they need to do their jobs. CITEIS has reduced the time it takes to provision compute, storage and networking from 6-8 weeks to 15 minutes, and by virtualizing more than 92% of our data center environment, we’ve also reduced the TCO of our I.T. environment by more than 66%.

Those are impressive results, and Rebecca is a world-class CIO, but even her organization isn’t attempting to unilaterally keep up with the pace of change – with cloud scale, with global reach, with rapid business service delivery, or with the analytics capability required to derive value from the Internet of Everything.

No one organization can.

Like many of our customers, Rebecca has embraced a hybrid IT model. Cisco increasingly relies on a combination of private cloud and public cloud services. Aggregating, integrating, customizing and securely delivering services based on hundreds of applications from dozens of vendors in public and private clouds has become a critical part of Rebecca’s  role.

And this is the reality faced by CIOs all over the world today.  In order to move with speed, scale, global reach and world class economics, they all recognize that ‘hybrid cloud’ strategies must be embraced.

In the face of this challenge, customers and partners have asked Cisco to do more. And we saw an exciting opportunity to do much more than was being offered in the market by any other cloud provider.

We saw an opportunity to help customers simplify the creation of hybrid cloud environments. We saw an opportunity to expand the portfolio of cloud services we deliver.

We also saw an opportunity to share risk with our customers, resellers and service provider partners by building a global Intercloud  - a network of clouds -- that could be leveraged to help partners and service providers bring new services to market more quickly.

Crucially, we saw an opportunity, by building an Intercloud with more national cloud nodes than any rival, to address rising data sovereignty concerns.

I’m incredibly excited that we’re going to deliver on all of those promises with Cisco’s global Intercloud , which we’re announcing today at our worldwide Partner Summit conference, in Las Vegas.This is going to be a cloud unlike any other.

Cisco will invest $1Bn in the next two years to build its expanded cloud business, and we expect the incremental capabilities and investments from our partners to expand the true investment figure even further.

We’ll offer an expanded suite of Cisco Cloud Services from a global network of Cisco and partner data centers.

Our cloud will be the world’s first truly open, hybrid cloud. The Cisco Intercloud will be built upon industry-leading Cisco cloud technologies and leverage OpenStack for its open standards-based global infrastructure. We plan to support any workload, on any hypervisor and interoperate with any cloud.

And this will be a cloud truly built for the Internet of Everything, capable of scaling to billions of connections, and trillions of events, all supported by real-time analytics to help customers get the insights they need from the connections of people, processes, data and things, as they happen.

Then there’s automation and speed of deployment. Cisco ‘s Intercloud  will leverage Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure to optimize application performance and to make rolling out new services much faster, and to improve application security, compliance, auditing, and mobility.

And we think our reseller and systems integrator partners are going to love this cloud too. We will offer open APIs to enable application and service customization by partners and customers, giving them new opportunities for service differentiation and profitability.

Cisco is also expanding the Cisco Powered program to include Cisco Cloud Services. Cisco will sell these new services through channel partners and directly to end customers. Partners who develop Cisco Powered services can extend their portfolio through new Cisco cloud offers for faster time to market and global scale.

A little later today, I’ll be joined for our announcement in Las Vegas by our first Cisco Intercloud partner, Telstra, Inc, the largest service provider in Australia.  Cisco will deploy and run a cloud infrastructure on behalf of Telstra, and Telstra will provide both Cisco and Telstra-specific solutions to customers. This is a great example of how we expect to deliver both local capability and global scale, with unmatched services delivered by Cisco and our partners. And Telstra is just the first of many partners in this venture.  Allstream; Ingram Micro, Logicalis Group; OnX Managed Services, and Wipro  have also announced their support for the Cisco Intercloud today.

Of course, we believe this is going to be good for business. We expect to expand the addressable cloud market for Cisco and our partners from $22Bn to $88Bn between 2013-2017.

This is an exciting day for Cisco and, I believe, a transformational day for CIOs adapting to the world of hybrid clouds and the unprecedented opportunity presented by the Internet of Everything.

We look forward to telling you more in the coming months, and welcome you on this journey with us.

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22 Comments.


  1. Excellent initiative for Cisco to showcase our leadership by bringing Business, Technology, and People together by leveraging Cisco Products and Services.

    Also it is a great opportunity for our customers to enable their business with minimum investments and grow based on their needs.

       5 likes

  2. It is about time! Getting serious about our leadership role in providing cloud solutions instead of cloud boxes is great news. In other news coverage of this announcement it appears that one area of focus for our new initiative will be public sector. Our public sector buyers have been asking for more from Cisco in this arena…let me know how I can be a part of this effort. I manage a contracts team in the U S state, local, and education (SLED) market. We will want to make sure that Cisco products and services are on all our direct and indirect, partner led contracts.

       1 like

  3. Excellent move.

    I also feel that Hybrid Cloud is the way forward for Mid Sized to Large organizations, and building a CISCO powered OpenStack offering can be the best bet against the other cloud providers.

    Open Stack without doubt is the most exciting Opensource Cloud Project and its good that CISCO has chosen it.

       2 likes

  4. Great news for Cisco !!!

    I would love to see how we can utilize Whiptail’s solid-state memory capability to help gain performance within the cloud and also TruViso’s realtime data analysis capability for reporting.

       3 likes

  5. Cisco’s Global Intercloud is a great and challenging initiative, combining many powerful partners and their cloud infrastructures by using standard technologies like OpenStack.

    Still the individual underlying architectures from these partners are different as are the end-users requirements.

    Therefore, optimal matching has to be taken into account. And there are different workloads, persistent (residing continuously in the cloud, many of them based on web services) and those running in the cloud only for a short time (many of them batch jobs based on engineering and scientific applications).

    One early initiative (starting in July 2012) which is somewhat complementary is the UberCloud Community and Marketplace for engineers and scientists to discover, try, and buy compute power on demand, in the cloud. This initiative has united over 50 cloud resource providers and more than 100 software providers all offering IaaS or SaaS on the UberCloud. It might be worthwhile to learn from this 2-year old (or young) initiative, http://www.TheUberCloud.com.

       3 likes

  6. Fred Baker

    This is great news. Given the number of our customers that are moving in the direction of being IPv6-only (DT Terastream, T-Mobile, Facebook, Comcast, Time-Warner, Rogers, and others), I truly hope that it will be possible not only to turn IPv6 off in this offering, but IPv4.

       1 like

    • Alain Fiocco

      Fred, you obviously meant “turn IPv6 ON” and potentially “turn IPv4 OFF”. the first one must be a given in 2014, with over 3% of global internet population on IPv6 already, and in some (large) pockets (ex: Comcast, Verizon Wireless, D-Telekom) over 30% of user populations on IPv6 TODAY ! Cisco cannot afford to NOT offer this WITH IPv6. That is the only way to be future proof.

         0 likes

      • Alain Fiocco

        errata of the errata : I OBVIOUSLY meant to say :
        “Cisco cannot afford to NOT offer this WITHOUT IPv6″

           1 like

      • Fred Baker

        Yes, I obviously meant to “turn IPv6 on” and in time “turn IPv4 off”. Oops.

        From my perspective, IPv6 services should be enabled on day 1, with the shutdown of IPv4 trailing as business conditions determine.

           2 likes

  7. March 24, 2014 at 2:15 pm

    Every IT Architect and forward-thinking IT leader should be looking into this and understanding its implications. Best practices will emerge over time, but fundamentally the Intercloud has potential for great impact on what a rationalized, integrated, secure and economical IT ecosystem looks like three to five years out.

       0 likes

  8. At least Cisco will have the expertise to run a Cloud, because when Telstra was running their own Cloud IaaS solutions to customers, it was nothing but a giant mess lead by people with no clue…

       0 likes

  9. March 24, 2014 at 7:38 pm

    Partners have asked for direction and we are giving it to them. Partners asked for a road map. We are giving it to them. Partner Summit will be full of new revelations for our Partner Community. Cisco continues to lead and transform the world of IT.

       0 likes

  10. Monique Morrow

    Declaring business intent in the multi-cloud space is excellent news for Cisco and its customers. Let’s be very clear: we need to move the needle in this industry quickly and this fact will have implications to how we develop and deploy cloud-based services with customers.

    Fast Fast and faster must prevail!

       3 likes

  11. March 25, 2014 at 7:05 am

    The largest organizations seem to have the most to gain from the accelerated infrastructure implementation and cost savings potential of these technologies – the Intercloud, Application Centric Infrastructure and so on. The exciting part, for Architects, is the promise of greater out-of-the box interoperability of enterprise class applications that are typically deployed today in isolated clouds. That vision requires something beyond infrastructure and something beyond middleware and APIs – a true application-and-infrastructure-agnostic information exchange framework.

       0 likes

  12. Great to hear Cisco is finally getting off the fence on this one ! Key will be how we articulate our differentiators so we’re not just seen playing catch up with AWS….I personally like the co-operative model a lot. If we can really create an ecosystem of Cisco Powered cloud partners that facilitate end customers coming on/off individual cloud offerings easily and flexibly that will strke at the heart of AWS (and we may get a little more love from the analysts :-)
    Definitely an exciting CY14 !

       0 likes

  13. Mr. Lloyd, you said “Cisco will invest $1Bn in the next two years to build its expanded cloud business.” I’m encouraged by this insight, both as a Cisco shareholder and industry analyst.

    Agreed, we’re now in a “Open Hybrid Cloud” era of accelerated market development activities. But I have a few unanswered questions for you to consider for your follow-on editorial.

    1) The commitment to OpenStack answers the cloud OS strategy question. What’s the Cisco position on Open Hardware? How will Cisco respond the the growing bare-metal systems phenomenon?

    2) Given the procurement approach applied within the AT&T Domain 2.0 methodology, how will Cisco respond if other large customers make dramatic adjustments to their architecture roadmap?

    3) What are the long-term implications of increased Open Hardware adoption by other large customers on Cisco’s traditional profit margins? How is Cisco preparing for this closely related global market transition?

    4) Where does the Cisco Professional Services capabilities fit into this scenario, as revenue/margin growth in the value chain shifts away from hardware — towards software tools and associated network asset optimization guidance?

    I thank you in advance for your thoughtful consideration of these key issues.

       8 likes

  14. It is a great news that we are finally entering the cloud market with such a depth of infrastructure and with large partners’ ecosystem. For me it is another example of us breaking next “sound barrier” – we have been told before that we don’t understand so we will not be able to enter the market for IBM mainframe SNA network, or voice. or mobility. But we are also breaking internal barriers to accomplish the goal. Glad we realized that we are ready to take on this challenge and opportunity. Exiting prospect!

       0 likes

  15. Rob, sounds impressive, kind of like your snap-shot from late night hockey with Bob Church. Still playing? Sorry, no suck up comments for XY j45 modular interconnecting kit or the like – apologies. Geoff

       0 likes

  16. This is AWESOME! We needed something like this to help businesses and those looking to start a business. Its going to open so many doors of opportunity!!

       0 likes

  17. What i see it as opportunity.Lets see “hybrid IT model” will be adapted by how many corporate.Your Initiality in this will make you different from all others.

       0 likes

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