The Cloud market is certainly heating up. Last Thursday’s announcement from Dell of a $1B (US) investment in 2011 to enter the Cloud hosting market had me reflecting on their new direction. Dell is beginning a two-year build-out of ten data centers around the world to serve enterprises’ public and private Cloud needs. Earlier this year in a similar move, HP announced a set of new Cloud services they are offering ranging from consultancy, Cloud services, and equipment. These options included an “Enterprise Cloud Services-Compute” which will deliver private Cloud services directly from HP’s data centers to end-customers.
There’s a striking difference between Cisco’s strategy and those of HP and Dell. HP and Dell’s strategies will be challenging for some of their customers, especially service providers. Cisco’s strategy is to enable our customers to provide cloud services, whether service provider, public sector, or enterprise.
On one hand, HP and Dell are providing data center packages to enable SP Cloud delivery. On the other hand, both are investing to deliver Cloud services directly to end-users and bypass the service providers. While this is likely to further stimulate Cloud competition, it is directly competitive with service providers who wish to offer their own Cloud services.
We work closely with our service provider customers and are excited by the results when they deploy our Unified Service Delivery solution to build out SP Cloud infrastructures. Cisco’s Unified Computing System, Nexus data center switches, our work with ecosystem best-of-breed partners, and our ability to share best practices and designs to decrease time-to-market have worked very well for SPs. The innovations Cisco brings to the SP data center recognize the importance of standards, flexibility, and SP’s ability to successfully execute the Cloud – and give them the choice of what sort of cloud to implement, private for their own use or public for their customers.