Cisco stakes its claim in the cloud gold rush with $1bn investment
Wed 1 Apr 2015
Internet infrastructure giant Cisco has put its tanks on Amazon’s lawn with a claim it will spend at least $1bn (£600m) over two years to build the world’s largest global network of clouds – it called it Intercloud – working with a set of international partners.
Cisco aimed its announcement not just at Amazon Web Services (AWS) customers but also at larger enterprise organisations. It claimed its Intercloud is being built for the Internet of Everything.
Cisco said it would include “a distributed network and security architecture designed for high-value application workloads, real-time analytics, near infinite scalability and full compliance with local data sovereignty laws”.
Describing its Intercloud as the “first-of-its-kind”, the major said it will feature APIs to enable rapid application development. It also promised an “enterprise-class portfolio of cloud IT services for businesses, service providers and resellers”.
Cisco said that by tapping into partner capabilities and investment it could grow faster by bringing in additional investment. Partners committed to Cisco Cloud Services or that have endorsed Cisco’s global Intercloud initiative include: Australian service provider Telstra, Canadian business communications provider Allstream, European cloud company Canopy, enterprise software platforms provider MicroStrategy, and information availability services provider SunGard Availability Services.
“Customers, providers and channel partners alike are turning to Cisco to create open and highly secure hybrid cloud environments, and they want to rapidly deploy valuable enterprise-class cloud experiences for key customers – all while mitigating the risk of capital investment,” said Robert Lloyd, president of development and sales at Cisco.
“The timing is right for Cisco and its partners to invest in a groundbreaking, application-centric global Intercloud to provide broader reach and faster time to market. Together, we have the capability to enable a seamless world of many clouds in which our customers have the choice to enable the right, highly secure cloud for the right workload, while creating strategic advantages for rapid innovation, and ultimately, business growth.”
Intercloud will use OpenStack and is designed to allow users to combine and move data and applications across different public or private clouds, while maintaining network and security policies.
It will use Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). Cisco promised to improve application security, compliance, auditing and mobility by using ACI’s centralised, programmable security policy to enable detailed control and isolation at scale, making it suitable for private and public cloud environments.
Cisco spends close to $6bn a year on R&D but analysts have been saying the company needed to move away from being just a hardware provider. Its latest financials showed an 8% drop in revenue.