Written by Krishnan Subramaniam, Director (Migration Services practice), Cisco Services

According to repeat surveys by IDC, the bad news is that challenges of cloud – security, data privacy, System Integration/migration, and legal issues – have not changed in more than five years.  The good news is that, finally, with Cisco’s cloud evolution announcement, we now have solutions.

Top challenges remain the same, but reported slightly less often


2013 IDC Services Group Survey: U.S. Professional Services Opportunities Related to Cloud Services, Doc #239862, March 2013, N = 421, IDC, 2012 Cloud Professional Services Survey  N = 402, IDC, 2009 Cloud Professional Services Survey  N = 364, Note: in 2009 Survey Legal was not offered as an option.

Cisco’s InterCloud portfolio helps to overcome some of the main technical challenges.

It is important to understand key features of InterCloud to understand how it helps tackle technical concerns. Cisco InterCloud:

  • Provides a network bridge between the enterprise IT and service provider’s cloud over a secure path and creates a private network resembling the corporate network within the cloud provider’s space. In essence, the workload that will be migrated can retain its original IP address.
  • Provides methods to seamlessly migrate workload from one hypervisor to another.
  • Enables inheritance of network security policies to the newly created private network within the cloud provider, if Cisco network technologies are in use at both enterprise and SP.
  • Supports WAN Application Acceleration Services to optimize the data transfer between the enterprise and SP networks.

Security and Data Privacy

The network extension provided between the enterprise IT and SP’s clouds is over a secure path.  All traffic will be encrypted. Also InterCloud creates a secure private network within the SP’s cloud infrastructure. And if Cisco network technologies are used at both the enterprise and SP, InterCloud enables inheritance of network security policies defined for the enterprise network to the newly created private network.  These features should alleviate most security and data privacy related concerns.

Availability and In-house IT Integration

Most Application Availability and Integration concerns stem from the fact most workload migrations will have to go through significant amount of changes.  First and foremost, it is the IP address change that most organizations are concerned about; just avoiding the change to the IP address alone puts the operations team at ease.  As IP addresses are not changed and a secure network path is available between the enterprise and SP’s clouds, the integration with in-house IT remains intact. For all practical purposes, the migrated workloads will be sitting on the same logical network as they used to. This helps avoid many availability and integration related issues (reconfiguring severs, firewalls, etc.).


Performance concerns arise from various factors; bandwidth between enterprise IT and cloud, network latency, etc.  While InterCloud doesn’t address all of the performance concerns, the built-in WAN Acceleration technology alleviates some of the bandwidth and performance concerns.   Cisco Services has put together a comprehensive set of services to make sure you can proactively address other performance challenges.

Bringing Workloads In-house

The workload migration capabilities available with InterCloud will help you migrate workloads across heterogeneous hypervisors.  The fact that the workload’s IP address is not changed, combined with the ability to migrate the workload across hypervisors, gives cloud providers greater flexibility to decide where the workload will reside. With InterCloud, bringing the workload back to the enterprise will be seamless.

Cisco Services

Cisco Services has put together a set of comprehensive services to help you pilot and adopt InterCloud, thus accelerating adoption and more quickly realizing the benefits of cloud computing. Cisco Services has developed automated and assisted workload migration methods to proactively address risks and concerns not directly addressed by InterCloud to make your journey into the cloud seamless and driven by business outcomes.



Parag Parekh

Data Center and Cloud Services

Advanced Services Product Management