Wow! Last week was a big week for Cloud news. Whilst Amazon Web Service, Microsoft and Google started a price war or ‘race to the bottom’ for Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) services, Cisco came out with a potentially industry-shaping announcement around Cloud Services.
On March 24th Cisco announced plans to build the world’s largest global Intercloud together with a set of partners to create a network of clouds. This is not a trivial investment, Cisco expects to invest more than $1 billion in its cloud business over the next two years. This ‘Intercloud’ will feature APIs for rapid application development and will deliver a new enterprise-class portfolio of cloud IT services.
Cisco’s overall strategy for the cloud is based on the premise that there will be a “world of many clouds.” My colleague Fabio Gori wrote a great blog describing how Intercloud is the critical enabler to capture the immense value of the Internet of Everything (IoE). In this post, Fabio provides a clear summary of how we see Intercloud impacting the next phase of cloud computing, the IoE and ultimately how we all collaborate.
Intercloud and Collaboration
Gartner consistently places Cisco in the Leaders Quadrant for Unified Communications, and we think the Intercloud can help us further extend our leadership by enabling our partners to offer even better experiences, on multiple devices, and across multiple platforms by connecting the world of many collaboration clouds. Read More »
We had a great Cisco Partner Summit last week. In case you missed any of the information, be sure to check out the day one, day two and day three recaps of this week’s event.
All this week, we will be wrapping up our coverage of Cisco Partner Summit 2014 with more executive interviews, additional thoughts from our partner ambassadors and a final recap on Friday, April 4.
To get started with this week, I would like to share with you my interview with Rob Lloyd, President, Development and Sales. Rob took some time last week to sit down with the Social Media team and discuss what’s on partners’ minds. He also broke down the Cisco Global Intercloud announcement for us into what Cisco partners should really focus on moving forward.
It was great to sit down with Rob and get his takeaways for partners. Continue to watch the Cisco Channels Blog this week and as always, let me know how we are doing in the comments section below.
Cisco’s announcement on Cisco Cloud Services “Introducing Cisco’s Global Intercloud” is the next step in our transformation towards being an end-to-end cloud platform and software function solutions vendor. This announcement underscores the importance of the Internet of Everything and network-centric SaaS application areas like collaboration to Cisco’s strategy. A key component of this strategy is the enablement of application centric performance and scale.
Cloud computing has rapidly matured in the market. Many businesses have adopted private and public cloud strategies and deployed infrastructure and support systems. With this adoption, applications need to address a new set of performance capabilities. These capabilities consist of an application centric marketplace, open source software development ecosystems, software defined platform, and application service orchestration control policies.
This diagram presents the application and presentation framework that integrates to the cloud platform. The integration components of importance for application centric performance are in the Application Infrastructure services, Services Framework, Content Management, and Business Services API. As an example, as a developer publishes code to production, the Application Infrastructure services will validate the Cassandra instances in the platform are available. As the service is being consumed, the APIC controller will validate the network latency, throughput, and services dependencies on all application services supporting the application. In this example, if the Cassandra instance fails, APIC will proactively re-route the traffic to the next Cassandra instance with the best performance required for the service.The figure below shows how the consumer contracts are abstracted from the services and service providers to enable application centric cloud performance.
Today at Cisco we announced the fifth anniversary of the Unified Computing System (UCS), along with innovations in our Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) portfolio.
It’s pretty exciting considering that when we entered the server market five years ago, there were questions about what we were doing. Was it the right play? Could Cisco be successful in this new market? Well history has borne out that it was indeed a good idea. With the help of our channel partners we have gone from “zero to hero.” Our partnerships with our channel and technology partners took us from not being a player in this space to becoming a multi-billion dollar business with over 30,000 UCS customers worldwide.
More than 80 percent of all Cisco UCS sales go through our channel partners, and we are now ranked second worldwide in x86 blade server revenue market share. These accomplishments are nothing to sneeze at, and we know just how important it has been to work with our partners to make such a rapid move in this market. Cisco’s data center partner community continues to thrive and grow, with partners investing in their data center practices using Cisco UCS as a foundation. We have more than 3,850 channel partners that sell Cisco UCS today, with more than half of them possessing UCS Specialization credentials. In fact, a year ago, in Q2FY13, there were about 1,600 Cisco Specialized partners on UCS. In Q2FY14 a year later, Cisco had approximately 2,000 UCS Specialized partners – a 25% increase over the previous year. Read More »
Throughout my recent meetings with Service Provider customers at Cisco Live Milan and Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, there were two recurring themes throughout my meetings (and there were a lot of them as my peers and I hosted nearly 1000 of them in the four days of MWC alone).
The first was the power and promise of the cloud. Whether carriers were leveraging Cisco’s advanced capabilities in the areas of Network Function Virtualization (NfV) or various virtualization, orchestration and automation capabilities – all with the goal of increasing revenue, reducing Opex and enhancing agility – each Service Provider was keenly interested in the impact Clouds can and will have on their businesses. That’s why the Evolved Services Platform announcement we made resonated so well.
The second was the heightened level of discussion around the dramatic changes Service Providers are seeing in the way people, process, data and things are being connected – essentially the Internet of Everything (IoE) – and thus driving the need to leverage advanced capabilities. While Cisco has spoken about this for the past year, the idea of the IoE is now being recognized as moving beyond vision to actual opportunity for providers who sit at the center of it all. The recurring questions they had was around how to seize that opportunity and what was best path forward for their business to create value and differentiation amidst so much and so fast the speed of change.
This is where the two themes come together. This is where Cisco Cloud Services come into play.
At the Cisco Partner Summit today, we are announcing our Cisco Cloud Services. Designed as a suite of Cisco application- and network-centric cloud services on a truly open and global public cloud infrastructure comprised of many different clouds tied together, or Intercloud if you will, it provides cloud capabilities for any of our global service providers and partners to leverage quickly. Cisco Cloud Services combine the flexibility, efficiency and scalability of a public cloud, with the security and control of a private cloud, with the scale and reach that only Cisco and its partners can enable.