Cisco has become synonymous with cloud computing over the years, especially for its Intercloud offering, which enables businesses to create highly flexible environments to support their companies. Network World’s Brandon Butler recently detailed how Cisco’s cloud approach has changed over the years.
Butler explained the idea of Cisco standing toe to toe with the likes of Amazon, Google and Microsoft in the cloud arena was not really a smart approach. Instead, the business has other ideas to differentiate itself in this expanding market.
“We’re going back to our roots,” proclaimed Nick Earle, senior vice president of Worldwide Service Sales at Cisco, as quoted by Butler. “We’re going to provide connectivity to the clouds.”
This approach led to Cisco releasing Intercloud in 2014. Butler noted the solution includes Intercloud Fabric – internal software – and application-centric infrastructure that automatically supplies resources based on specific workload demands. The suite enables businesses to migrate applications to and from different models, including public and private environments, as well as hypervisors.
Security is undoubtedly one of the main concerns regarding any cloud implementation. Organizations want to be sure any data and applications housed in a cloud environment are protected, since they lack physical control over such resources. The Cisco Intercloud employs safeguards directly related to workloads, enabling traffic to be encrypted.
Cisco investing heavily in Intercloud
Cisco appears to be putting its money where its mouth is in terms of developing the Intercloud. In 2014, the company announced it will invest more than $1 billion in its cloud infrastructure through 2016, building “the world’s largest global Intercloud” with the help of its partners.
Robert Lloyd, president of sales and development at Cisco, said customers and vendors are looking at Cisco to develop both an open and secure cloud suite that minimizes risk and creates value.
“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,” Lloyd added.
Cloud computing figures to play a critical role in the Internet-connected workplace. Cisco detailed this market will be worth $19 trillion in the next decade, prompting the vendor to create scalable Interclouds that deliver collaborative, mobile and video services.
Firms relying heavily on cloud computing for competitive advantage
In addition to boosting collaboration and efficiency, organizations are looking at cloud computing to deliver a competitive advantage of their rivals. If Cisco can work with its partners and other vendors to create scalable environments that support this desire, the Intercloud will likely become even more critical to the IT industry in the near future.
A Netsuite-commissioned survey conducted by Frost & Sullivan found 81 percent of U.S. businesses have achieved a competitive advantage using cloud computing solutions.
Lynda Stadtmueller, vice president of Frost & Sullivan’s cloud services program, said the U.S. tech industry is evolving at fast rate. Companies need tools to remain innovative during ever-changing economic conditions. This desire is not only to achieve a competitive advantage, but “survive.”
With vendors such as Cisco throwing their weight around in the cloud computing industry, organizations have an opportunity to adopt one of the most innovative technologies going. Firms are expected to implement cloud environments at even faster rates than they are currently doing so, signaling that the service is here to stay.
Organizations planning an implementation should use cloud readiness tools to select the best model for their unique businesses.
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