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Cisco Launches Multi-Cloud Infrastructure Software

Cisco yesterday launched a new portfolio of software that it claims will let large enterprises and customers build more reliable, secure cloud-based infrastructure and, perhaps most pointedly, is designed to connect multiple clouds via key partnerships and industry standards. The company introduced its new cloud offering at its Cisco Live! conference taking place this week in Milan, Italy.

A key component of the new offering is Cisco InterCloud, management software. The company said  the software lets enterprises build and securely tie together multiple private clouds while ensuring their resiliency. Cisco claims InterCloud, the latest addition to the Cisco One cloud platform, will also reduce the cost of building public, private and hybrid clouds. The software is in field trial now and the company plans to make it available next quarter.

Microsoft is among several key partners in the Cisco One cloud program. Others include EMC, Citrix, Denali Advanced Integration, NetApp, Rackspace, Red Hat, VCE (the company formed by VMware, Cisco and EMC) and Zerto.

Cisco described InterCloud as a software-based tier that lets enterprises and service providers combine and move workloads (including data and applications) across various public or private clouds. Cisco InterCloud is  also designed to carry over security and network policies. Using InterCloud, Cisco said customers can move workloads between Amazon Web Services, Microsoft's Windows Azure and services from BT, CSC/ServiceMesh, CenturyLink Technology Solutions and Virtustream.

Cisco InterCloud will plug into cloud management offerings including Cisco's own Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC), CSC/ServiceMesh's Agility Platform, Red Hat CloudForms, among others. Given integration with Cisco's Unified Computing Systems (UCS), Windows Server and System Center, all indications are that Microsoft will tie its own Cloud OS solution (consisting of System Center and Windows Server) to Cisco InterCloud as well.

Brad Anderson, Microsoft corporate VP for cloud and enterprise, noted in a blog post how InterCloud will let mutual customers extend Redmond's Windows Azure service. "Cisco InterCloud provides the necessary gateway and virtual networking infrastructure to enable customers to seamlessly move and run their applications and workloads on Windows Azure," Anderson said. "

While touching on Cisco's emphasis on interoperability, Anderson didn't mention Cisco IAC 4.0 management software, which Cisco also announced yesterday. IAC is a separate management offering from Cisco that provides orchestration among multiple cloud infrastructures including Amazon's EC2, VMware's Hybrid Cloud service and clouds based on OpenStack.

Since Cisco did say that its new InterCloud would link with IAC, at some point it's also a safe bet that it will tie to Microsoft's System Center, though neither company officially announced such plans.



Posted by Jeffrey Schwartz on 01/29/2014 at 12:50 PM


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