One of the benefits of cloud is being able to iterate quickly. There’s a saying in the software development world that we can’t post here due to profanity, but if you’re curious, you can view it on the Startup Vitamins website here. Bottom line: Cloud allows you to develop products quickly, so you can launch them, test them, and revise them at minimal cost if you get something wrong.

That brings us to the product name. Certainly, Cisco, like all other big companies, has branding guidelines. Those guidelines are there both to protect the amazing brand Cisco has built over the last few decades, and to give customers a sense of familiarity across a broad set of products and services. When naming a product or service, the expectation is that the chosen name is descriptive. Metacloud OpenStack™ was a recognized distribution of OpenStack, but when we were acquired, we were able to transfer the distribution rights to Cisco. Our distro became “Cisco OpenStack®” and the rest of our product was descriptive. Thus “Cisco OpenStack® Private Cloud” became the new product name.

A funny thing happens when you have a long name. Other than tripping customers up, (like Weston Jossey of Tapjoy was quick to point out in this podcast), there is a desire to shorten the name by way of abbreviation. Instead of calling out “Cisco OpenStack Private Cloud” the product became known internally—and maybe externally to some extent—as COPC. And trust us, we’ve heard the jokes. We know it sounds like a respiratory disease. We’re sorry.

We could have continued with the name, and it could have lived on in its abbreviated glory. We could have elaborated on complex branding guidelines and defended and explained until we were blue in the face. (FYI, a blue face is a symptom of that breathing disorder.) But instead, we’re going to own up and realize we got it wrong, change it, and keep on going.

Moving forward, Cisco OpenStack Private Cloud is now known as Cisco Metapod™ . The new name represents the offer we made public at Partner Summit and reflects our combination of a SaaS-delivered private cloud platform powered by OpenStack, and a solid control plane hardware stack that allows customers to take advantage of advanced networking capabilities and up to 500 physical hypervisors for each availability zone. Customers can leverage existing hardware for hypervisor and storage capacity or leverage SmartPlay bundles for a unified support experience and decreased time-to-value.

So there you have it. It’s going to be a few weeks before we find and replace the old product name on all our marketing materials and digital assets, but we’re on it. And once we’re done, we’ll be breathing a little easier.

What do you think of the name? Tweet me at @nikiacosta.

Want to know how you can iterate quickly with Metapod? Talk to your account reps or check out customer case studies, white papers, and tips and tricks for automating your apps and infrastructure here.


Niki Acosta

OpenStack Evangelist