Six months after unveiling its Intercloud, Cisco has announced new partners and milestones behind its massive networking project designed to bring public and private clouds together.
The company has announced the addition of more than 30 new Intercloud partners, including Deutsche Telekom, British Telecom, NTT DATA and Equinix. These 30 new cloud partners represent 250 data centers in 50 countries.
Cisco also said that it will expand its partnerships with Tech Data, Comstor and Ingram Micro, which will become aggregators of Intercloud services.
In addition to these partnerships, the San Jose, California-based networking company announced that it will make available up to $1 billion in financing to help customers and partners build Cisco Powered clouds.
The moves follow a series of steps that Cisco has taken to position itself at the nexus of cloud computing, said Edison Peres, senior vice president of worldwide channels at Cisco.
In March at the company’s annual partner conference, it first articulated plans to create its “Intercloud” strategy. Alliances with VCE, NetApp and Red Hat followed, as did an expanded partnership with sometimes-partner, sometimes-competitor Microsoft. (That deal called for the two companies to work together to help IT departments better align their data centers with cloud developments. Cisco then followed with the Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure.)
Since then, the company announced that Telstra, Dimension Data and Sungard Availability Services would also help promote and work with the Cisco’s Intercloud technology.
Peres likened Cisco’s latest moves to what Novell, DEC and IBM did previously, which was to provide a platform that the entire industry can rally around.
“We want to tie all these [cloud] worlds together through out Intercloud fabric,” said Peres in an interview with Channel Partners. Like many at Cisco, he believes that the company is ideally positioned to be at the nexus of cloud computing, which is threatened by a lack of interoperability between private, public and hybrid clouds.
In a blog for Cisco, Rob Lloys, company president of sales and development, explained the problem:
“Today, the lack of ability to connect public clouds, and to move workloads and associated policies between clouds, coupled with an inability to manage public and private clouds together as a single capability, prevents IT organizations from buying cloud services from any vendor they choose and managing these services as if they were part of their extended private cloud,” he wrote. “IT departments also need to enable business globally while operating within the constraints of national and regional regulations governing data privacy, security and data sovereignty. Today’s largely global (but not local) cloud solutions don’t provide this either. And, customers want the ability to buy cloud and managed services wherever they do business, anywhere in the world, from a trusted service provider. However, the exorbitant cost to scale services across continents presents a massive obstacle in globalizing services.”
Peres thinks the best way to combat this is for Cisco to unleash its technology assets and vendor partnerships and its channel alliances to create new value for customers.
“Intercloud partners will bring important value to the ecosystem with professional services, new offers, Service Level Agreements (SLA), consumption pricing, consolidated billing and much more,” he said.