Virtualizing something like a cloud that is already virtual in so many respects may seem a bit redundant, and certainly the concept causes a mental double-take.  But virtualizing the cloud is exactly what Cisco InterCloud does.

Announced today at Cisco Live here in Milan, Cisco InterCloud effectively acts as a way for clouds of all types – public, private or hybrid – to work together to provide even more benefits and even more importantly, more possibilities to connect discrete data sets, workloads, and compute and storage functions and applications themselves in the Internet of Everything.  An open standards based approach, the solution enables enterprise and provider clouds to more effectively work together to move capability across all their respective infrastructures to deliver the right capabilities when where and how they are needed by the organization.

The boundaries of a cloud are inherently blurry as virtual machines are created, moved and taken down but they are still invariably there.  Cisco InterCloud extends these boundaries even more so by creating a superset of all the other clouds into one interoperable secure cloud environment.  This provides expanded flexibility for enterprises, enables expanded opportunities for Cisco Powered cloud providers like BT, CSC, CenturyLink Technology Solutions and Virtustream, and additional areas for other members of the technology ecosystem.

Let’s take our recent example of Virtualizing Videoscape, announced earlier this month at CES.  By putting Videoscape into the cloud, we provided expanded capability to scale their video offers at very accelerated pace.  Should providers need to scale even further than what their current cloud could enable, with Cisco InterCloud, they could tap into capabilities of other clouds as well but still be able manage it all as a single extended cloud environment.  In essence this gives them the means to build for their anticipated levels and then “rent” for peak demand.  The result of this approach is that it gives greater cost-efficiency, scalability and flexibility to the video operator, provides cloud providers the means to deliver more value from their clouds, and all the while delivers an immersive, rich viewing experience to users like me (especially key given the Winter Olympics, World Cup, Superbowl and the start of the F1 season on the horizon…!)

Look for more detail on Cisco InterCloud coming soon from both Cisco and our partners, and look for more ways that Cisco is advancing virtualization as a whole to come this year.  As Pankaj commented late last year, 2014 will be a Year of Virtualization for the service provider business at Cisco.  So far, we have had announcements on virtualizing video and now virtualizing cloud – stay tuned for our next major announcement which is only weeks away.

Until then, best from our European customer event, and thanks as always for reading.


Doug Webster

Vice President