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Cisco pumping $1 billion more into Intercloud

Cisco expanding on its Intercloud multi-cloud service provider initiative

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Cisco on Monday said it is expanding on its Intercloud multi-cloud service provider initiative with another $1 billion investment, designed to lead to more products, data centers and partners.

Announced six months ago, Intercloud is a global interconnection of public, private and hybrid clouds. Cisco launched Intercloud with an initial $1 billion dollar investment, and hails it and its Application Centric Infrastructure product line as the foundational elements of the Internet of Everything.

The Intercloud will be designed to deliver enterprise-class cloud IT services for businesses, service providers and resellers, with the ability to move application workloads between public, private and hybrid clouds and cloud providers. The Intercloud will ostensibly compete for those workloads with Amazon Web Services.

For moving workloads, Cisco announced that the Intercloud Fabric is now shipping. This software resides on x86 servers in enterprises and service provider clouds and allows workloads to migrate from private, to hybrid and public clouds no matter which provider is offering the public service.

Enterprises use four or five different cloud providers anyway, Cisco officials say.

Cisco says Intercloud Fabric is not based on the company's Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) fabric, which is designed to move application policies across Cisco networks. But some 30+ new partners announced this week are implementing both ACI and Intercloud Fabric as foundational technologies for participation in the Intercloud.

BT, a new enlistee to the Cisco Intercloud, will use Intercloud Fabric to develop hybrid cloud services that connect with the Cisco's own cloud service, and with the cloud and managed services offerings of Intercloud providers. BT also plans to extend Cisco's cloud services to its network of data centers, which span more than 20 countries.

Also coming on board is Equinix, which offers collocation and data center interconnect services from 100 data centers across 32 markets in 16 countries spanning the Americas, EMEA, and Asia-Pacific.

Equinix will offer enterprise customers an Intercloud interconnection to public clouds. Its Cloud Exchange will provide secure private access to cloud service providers in Equinix data centers globally, Cisco says. Cloud Exchange is currently available in 19 markets with connections to dozens of public clouds including Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure.

Equinix will deploy Cisco's Nexus 9000 Series switch, Application Policy Infrastructure Controller and the Evolved Services Platform in Cloud Exchange. The service provider will also deploy Cisco Cloud Service nodes in 16 markets.

Cisco's Evolved Services Platform is virtualization and orchestration software that creates, automates and provisions services across compute, storage and network functions. It enables cloud providers to deliver security and cloud VPN business services to enterprises and small-to-midsize businesses, the latter of which is expected to be a $62 billion market by 2019.

Cisco itself is also now offering its own hybrid cloud service, called Intercloud Services bundle. The service, based on Intercloud Fabric, will allow customers already using a private cloud to extend to Cisco's Infrastructure-as-a-Service. Customers not yet using a private cloud can purchase a hybrid cloud solution from Cisco, the company says.

Other key new partners are Deutsche Telekom and NTT DATA, who are among the more than 30 new companies to participate in Cisco's Intercloud. The new partners mean that the infrastructure has been expanded with 250 additional data centers in 50 countries.

Deutsche Telekom will deploy Intercloud nodes within its data centers in Germany, which will be operated by T-Systems, a unit of DT. T-Systems will deliver Infrastructure-as-a-Service offerings to business customers throughout Europe.

Deutsche Telekom's Intercloud infrastructure will be based on OpenStack and implement Cisco's Intercloud Fabric and ACI, which includes the Nexus 9000 switches and Application Policy Infrastructure Controller.

Other new partners include Adapt, ANS Group, CGI Group, Cirrity, CTI, Ethan Group, Infront Systems, LightEdge Solutions, LG CNS, Logicalis, Long View, Netelligent, NWN, OneNeck IT Solutions, OnX Managed Services, Peak 10, Presidio, Proxios, PT Portugal/Oi, Quest Media and Supplies, Steria, Virtustream, Wipro, Dimension Data, Forsythe Technology, Presidio, World Wide Technology, Comstor, Ingram Micro and Tech Data.

The $1 billion infusion will also allow subsidiary Cisco Capital to offer financing on ACI purchases, technology migrations, and providing flexible payment structures.

Lastly, Cisco said it closed the acquisition of privately-held Metacloud, a provider of OpenStack-as-a-Service private cloud services. Metacloud is expected to be integral to Cisco's Intercloud offering.


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