Businesses and Governments are using multiple clouds in different ways. They are moving core functions in to a controlled private or managed cloud. But they are still using public clouds for new services, content and demand spikes. Some large enterprises are becoming specialized cloud providers for smaller businesses, while traditional providers are using different clouds for different tiers of service. These trends are leading to a world of many clouds with numerous service choices from a variety of cloud vendors. For example IT organizations can:
- Offload complexity and access specialized services (e.g. Virtualized Desktop Infrastructure, Collaboration)
- Share vertical expertise and Intellectual property across data centers (e.g. Regulatory compliance, Data clearinghouse)
- Leverage a Provider’s Capacity for unplanned Demand (e.g. Disaster recovery, Seasonal IT surge)
- Access network-optimized-clouds to deliver content reliably (e.g. Content distribution, Mobile streaming)
“The World of Many Clouds” is creating a huge business opportunity for Service Providers – namely to connect multiple clouds for richer, aggregated services, assured experiences and consistent customer care. These new Hybrid clouds have four key pre-requisites 1) seamless connections across heterogeneous infrastructures, 2) replication of security policies and access controls, 3) consistent application and data environments, and 4) transparent management and visibility.
In anticipation of this opportunity for Service Providers, Cisco is announcing two new software products – Nexus 1000V InterCloud and VNMC InterCloud. These two products will work together and with Cisco’s existing cloud solutions in routing, data center fabrics and compute and orchestration, to greatly simplify hybrid interoperability, security, application consistency and manageability. Let me comment on a few implications of each of these.
Nexus 1000V InterCloud enables Service Providers to rapidly and seamlessly extend their managed, hosted or virtual private cloud in to public clouds without security compromise. It includes virtual gateways in both clouds, using the full capabilities of Nexus switching. It can open a secure tunnel between them and move workloads along with their security and network policies. It also supports the Nexus 1000V vPath service architecture for inserting virtualized network services such as firewalls, load balancers, and WAN optimization into the cloud service path.
VNMC InterCloud coordinates and automates the secure virtual machine migration process. It can create an extended virtual private cloud in a public cloud by configuring the LAN segments, firewalls, security zones and application performance tools. It provides a northbound API interface to the broader Service Provider Orchestration systems such as Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud or BMC Cloud Lifecycle Manager. This allows complete IT provisioning across multiple clouds, hypervisors and even non-virtualized data centers. It will also support the provisioning of the Cloud Service Router 1000V, an on-demand single-tenant virtual router for multi-tenant managed clouds. Through CSR 1000V, Service Providers can get a wide range of IOS routing services such as IPSEC VPNs, MPLS services, traffic redirection and IP address consistency across clouds.
This InterCloud software stack will be qualified as part of Cisco Virtualized Multi-tenant Cloud Data Center architecture – for deploying scalable, highly secure and resilient fabric, compute and storage. The addition of InterCloud to Cisco’s existing cloud platform enables Service Providers to focus on sophisticated, Managed Hybrid services rather than simply creating predictable, manageable connections.