CISCO HAS ANNOUNCED plans to invest $1bn in expanding its cloud computing business to help it compete with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and VMware.
The firm, which is best known for its network infrastructure products, announced that what it calls the Cisco global Intercloud will be hosted on a global network of Cisco and partner data centres. The firm said it will offer a suite of applications and network-centric cloud services to support high-value workloads and real-time analytics with "near infinite" scalability.
Cisco Cloud Services will be delivered via global partners including systems integrators and telecoms providers to meet the requirements of enterprise customers by offering compliance with local data sovereignty laws.
Cisco said it expects to invest over $1bn over the next two years to build out its global Intercloud initiative. This should help Cisco make up some of the ground it has lost to other companies in the cloud services arena, notably AWS, but also VMware, which is similarly working with channel partners to offer a hybrid cloud that enterprise customers can expand out to from their own infrastructure.
Cisco president of development and sales Robert Lloyd said providers and channel partners are looking to Cisco to deliver a highly secure hybrid cloud environment, while mitigating the risk of capital investment.
"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," he said.
Cisco describes its cloud service as 'Openstack enabled', but it is not entirely clear if this means its global Intercloud will be based on the OpenStack cloud framework. The firm had not responded to a request for clarification from The INQUIRER at the time of writing.
If it is based on Openstack this will raise questions as to why Cisco has gone down this route, when enterprise customers are more likely to be operating internal infrastructure using either VMware or Microsoft's Hyper-V.
However, Cisco said its Intercloud service is designed to allow organisations and users to move workloads across different public or private clouds as needed, while maintaining associated network and security policies. It will also use Cisco's Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) to optimise application performance and roll out new services much faster, the firm said.
Partners that are either planning to deliver Cisco Cloud Services or have endorsed Cisco's global Intercloud initiative include Telstra in Australia, Canopy, an Atos company, Ingram Micro, Logicalis, Microstrategy, Sungard, Wipro and Onx Managed Services. µ