Cisco Blogs

Everything You’ve Always Wanted to Know About Cloud, But Were Afraid to Ask

July 19, 2010 - 15 Comments

We’ve just published a white paper entitled, “Cloud: Powered by the Network. What Every Business Leader Must Know.”  Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior writes in the forward:

“We address this paper to business leaders with an understanding that many of you have already been exposed to a deluge of technical treatises and marketing messages on Cloud. In this paper, we offer our thoughts on where we believe Cloud is going from a business perspective and why it’s relevant for your organization.”

View the paper here:

Our aim is to inspire creative thinking and spark dialog. For more perspectives on Cloud and to share your thoughts, please visit

For a perspective on how cloud will impact service providers, please view Simon Aspinal’s blog on this white paper at our sister “SP360: Service Provider” blog site.

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  1. Well, I am sort of agree with the first poster, Brian. The term cloud computing"" is getting hyped than ever. However, It's also vital to create awareness about these by such means. Today, as one speaks ""cloud computing"", the common internet users says - ""Wow - you must be a geek""."

  2. Fantastic guide, very in depth. Good job on this one Cisco.

  3. Nice work on cloud services. Lets see how things change from here on..keep up the good work CISCO!

  4. Amazing, the buzz word cloud is thrown around a lot but this article is the first time I think I began to understand it.Wow..

  5. nice sharing. i think the impact of cloud computing will be getting more widely used in the future due to its efficiency. thanks for the information

  6. This was a great help with me better understanding cloud. Thanks!

  7. I have to say I think I disagree with the Cloud is not a Panacea"" points. Can you give an example of a situation where throwing a ton of resources at a problem can't help solve it?The ""cloud"" essentially gives us this seemingly limitless source of computing power that we can throw at any big problem."

  8. Hi John,Interesting that Cisco's website still says Cloud Computing: doesn't Cisco's website just say Cloud like its White Paper?Sincerely,Brad Reese

  9. Thank you very much for this information. I was looking for cloud computing details over Internet, but many of those were misleading and I was so frustrated to look for more. But CISCO being the spearheads in networking, this will be the authentic information which I was looking for. We had a debate about cloud computing in our office and many people came up with different information (most of them being contradictory enough). So I presume that many people still don't know the exact implications on this new concept and hope this white paper will solve all our doubts. Thank you CISCO for providing such useful information (as always).

  10. Cloud computing shouldn't be offered as an alternative to centralized"" computing. SOA also gives Infrastructure administrators the option to re-centralize their virtual ""data center"" at temporary locations that make more logistic sense. If web people can figure it out (CDN), Cisco engineers probably can too <3 I think I know how.In my opinion Cloud computing is only sensible when it's supported by an efficient network. Virtualizing the network between nodes makes sense in some areas... but sometimes a simpler circuit works better for availability or specific performance reasons. Cloud computing offers a few more ways to achieve redundancy, but you can get this through networks and hardware if it makes more sense. My biggest beef with Cloud hype is that people don't know how many times they have virtualized their environment. Computers inside of computers inside of clouds inside of computers... some friends and I like Debian and Xen better than Redhat and KVM, but that's another discussion, I fear."

  11. I definitely believe that we are arriving at the cloud computing age if not arrived. A lot of this with consumers has to do, I believe, with the growth of mobile technology. Being able to accomplish so much on a smart phone, and then switching to the pc and back to the phone you want to work on the same project. This is to say nothing of team projects that are viewed simultaneously. The cloud is an amazing world that's still barely discovered.

  12. Amazing, the buzz word cloud is thrown around a lot but this article is the first time I think I began to understand it.

  13. These use cases in the paper can bring some useful ideas to enterprises thinking in adopting some cloud services, nice use of real life examples.

  14. Hi John, Great paper and great vision for Cisco. Keep up the innovation and continue being the leader in networking for a long time :)

  15. Speaking as an IT engineer & manager in the enterprise workplace, I still think cloud"" is being hyped up more than necessary. IT managers have been centralizing servers and virtualizing for a long time. Many companies rely on some type of outsourced service like Postini, Scansafe, or Gelco etc. If the definition of cloud is centralizing your resources, and taking advantage of the best-of-breed services through the WAN (Internet) than I think we've got Cloud nailed.How do we convince others that we're actually ""cloud"" computing today?We run a very centralized model in a colo facility, we optimize our WAN traffic so the branch offices don't suffer performance impacts, we use several best breed services from service providers over the Internet, we have clients directly connected through VPN for Premium level access to private data and services, and we offer other services through DMZ's over the public Internet. Are we cloud computing yet? I think we're well down the road."