Light Reading

Cisco's Cloud Bet: What's in It for SPs?

Mitch Wagner
3/25/2014
50%
50%

Service providers struggling to implement a cloud strategy can look to a buddy for help. Cisco wants to be that buddy. Cisco this week introduced Intercloud, a strategy to enter partnerships with service providers to go to market together with cloud services for the enterprise. Cisco plans to invest $1 billion over the next two years on infrastructure to implement Intercloud. (See Can Cisco Help SPs Offer Cloud-based Apps?)

Together, Cisco and its partners will offer application services such as virtual desktop, firewall, remote management, and more.

"When you look at the service provider world, it's pretty clear that as the market matures it's impossible to build everything in-house," Fabio Gori, Cisco director of cloud marketing, told Light Reading.

The business opportunity for service providers is twofold: To resell Intercloud to the SP’s own customers at a markup, and also to build addition cloud offerings using Intercloud as a platform, Cisco says.

Cisco and Service Providers, Buddies
(Source: Julie Brown)
(Source: Julie Brown)

But partnering with Cisco could present problems for service providers looking to differentiate from their competitors, Heavy Reading analyst Rosalyn Roseboro said. “Operators keep saying they’re concerned about differentiating, but if they’re going to leverage a platform being offered to everyone, that doesn’t solve the differentiation issue,” she said. “Using the same stuff as everyone else is using doesn’t get them there.”

Service providers might well succeed as cloud brokers, helping customers figure out the best cloud services for their workload, Roseboro said. In some cases, it might make sense for enterprise customers to run Amazon Web Services. In others, enterprises might be well served on Intercloud, some other platform, or the service provider’s own cloud. Service providers might partner with Cisco for small and mid-sized enterprise businesses, but handle the big customers on the SP’s own network, Roseboro said.

Internet of everything
Cisco sees Intercloud as an opportunity for service providers to take advantage of the Internet of Everything, with exploding demand by enterprises for services and bandwidth. "Some of these applications have to deal with billions of things and trillions of events," Gori said. "Any network, even the biggest in the world, will be destroyed by all this traffic coming in to even the biggest data centers." Cisco wants to help service providers beef up their networks and data centers to meet the onslaught.

Intercloud offerings from service providers will prominently feature the Cisco brand, Cisco says. The cloud fabric will be built on the Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). (See Cisco's ACI Gets Physical With SDN.)

Intercloud will use Cisco's own data centers, along with its partners', to blanket the world. "We have no intention of building data centers all the way across the globe, and even if we wanted to, we would simply be an American company doing business with a foreign country," Gori said. "By working with local players we will have a more compelling proposition in the marketplace."

For a service provider like the Australian Telstra, one of Cisco's Intercloud partners, Cisco installs the entire stack, including ACI, open stack libraries, hardware, software, and interoperating with the service provider's existing business system. Cisco also operates the cloud infrastructure in that kind of partnership, Gori said.

Other partners will use the existing Intercloud infrastructure and connect over high-level APIs to offer applications to customers.

Cisco will have more details on Intercloud at his Cisco Live event in San Francisco, May 18-22.

Early reports about Intercloud positioned it as competitive with Amazon Web Services. But Cisco doesn't see it that way. Amazon provides bare metal virtual servers, so to speak, with an infrastructure as a service (IaaS) offering. Cisco is mainly offering application software as service (SaaS), a higher level than Amazon’s. Although Intercloud will also offer PaaS and IaaS, but those are not central to Intercloud, Gori said.

"Amazon has an infrastructure centric proposition, we have an application centric proposition,” Gori said. “We are not competing with Amazon. We are competing with other kinds of clouds. We are more like VMware, or HP Cloud.”

Among the services available from Intercloud are collaboration, security, network infrastructure management, virtual desktop, cloud DVR (see Cisco Cloud DVR Emerges), virtualized mobile Internet, virtual PCs, firewall and provider edge services, remote management, and energy management.

Of course Intercloud runs on teh Intarwebz.

— Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profile Follow me on Facebook Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to mwagner@lightreading.com.


Want to learn more about SDN and the transport network? Check out the agenda for Light Reading's Big Telecom Event (BTE), which will take place on June 17 and 18 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. The event combines the educational power of interactive conference sessions devised and hosted by Heavy Reading's experienced industry analysts with multi-vendor interoperability and proof-of-concept networking and application showcases. For more on the event, the topics, and the stellar service provider speaker lineup, see Telecommunication Luminaries to Discuss the Hottest Industry Trends at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event in June.


(13)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Blogger
3/29/2014 | 12:03:41 PM
Re: Intercloud
Mitch, 

I'll take some pictures from Interop London for you. :D

-Susan  

 
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/27/2014 | 6:40:48 PM
Re: Intercloud
Nice! I'll be in Las Vegas next week. To tell the truth, I like Vegas but I'd rather be in London. 
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Blogger
3/27/2014 | 3:21:02 AM
Re: Intercloud
Mitch, 

How nice that you are going to Interop. :D I will be looking forward to reading about your findings.

This year Interop is held for the first time in London in June as part of the London Technology Week. Needless to say I have already made arrangements to attend Interop London and the other shows. :) 

-Susan 
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/26/2014 | 4:05:46 PM
Re: Intercloud
Susan - I don't know if I'll be going to Cisco Live. Right now I'm gearing up for Interop next week. 
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/26/2014 | 1:56:29 PM
Cisco's Cloud Bet: What's in it for SPs?
@sam masud, that is what I am seeing in this picture as well.  This is Cisco's vision which works fine for Cisco, but I am not sure that the customer is always going to want the Cisco defined packages; when they are other options available that serve their needs differently. 

I agree with you that the Internet of Things will be an opportunity; I see it more of a utility as well - but if Cisco is successful in building the functional networking, with the right pricing, they can be the leader.

But I don't see that as being in the SPs best interests - which is why I think the SPs will be in the strongest position to build a "solutions" role for themselves in selecting the best networking, etc., in addition to distinguishing their individual service packages and pricing.  I think SPs need to clearly establish their roles so they are the winners.

 
sam masud
50%
50%
sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/26/2014 | 1:30:02 PM
Re: Cisco's Cloud Bet: What's in it for SPs?
But as the Internet expands (exponentially?) with the Internet of Things will service providers want the high capex that comes with Cisco's gear--particularly if Cisco does not fully embrace SDN, which Cisco pooh-poohs?
nasimson
50%
50%
nasimson,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/26/2014 | 12:50:49 PM
differentiation
>  "Operators keep saying they're concerned about differentiating, but if
> they're going to leverage a platform being offered to everyone, that
> doesn't solve the differentiation issue," she said.

@ Mitch,  I can see where the HeavyReading analyst is coming from.

IMHO, the service providers can still differentiate on the apps they choose to offer on the Intercloud, the pricing models they choose to offer, the customer service levels they maintain and the web of ancillary services they build.
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/26/2014 | 12:08:29 PM
Cisco's Cloud Bet: What's in it for SPs?
Susan, Intercloud sounds like a "smart" networking solution for Cisco, doesn't it?  I think their vision with the "Internet of Things" is on target.

 
Susan Fourtané
50%
50%
Susan Fourtané,
User Rank: Blogger
3/26/2014 | 11:33:07 AM
Intercloud
Mitch, 

As we enter the Intercloud era the Cisco Live event in San Francisco sounds interesting. Are you attending? 

-Susan

 
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/25/2014 | 6:13:09 PM
Cisco's Cloud Bet: What's in it for SPs?-2
PS - Part 2 - when I am referring to networks, I am meaning solutions other than Cisco's.
Page 1 / 2   >   >>
From The Founder
Light Reading sits down at CES with the head of Cisco's service provider video business, Conrad Clemson, to discuss how NFV and cloud security relate to video, the challenge of managing 4K/8K traffic, the global expansion of Netflix and virtual reality.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Custom TV
Join Us at the Digital Operations Transformation Summit

2|4|16   |   03:52   |   (0) comments


The Digital Operations Transformation Summit on February 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Centre will bring together 50 senior executives to engage in a unique debate on the opportunities and challenges presented by the transformative evolving digital landscape. RSVP now at events@lightreading.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Making the Test: ADVA Ensemble Connector vs. Open vSwitch

2|4|16   |   01:28   |   (0) comments


Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, recently tested ADVA's Ensemble Connector, which replaces open vSwitch and offers carrier-grade capability and interoperability. The test results strengthen ADVA's credibility as a provider in the virtualization space.
LRTV Custom TV
Bridging the Gap Between PoCs & Deployment in NFV

2|4|16   |   31:50   |   (0) comments


Charlie Ashton of Wind River presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Dublin.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Mike Aquino

2|3|16   |   17:34   |   (0) comments


The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Shades of Ray
MWC: Buckle Up for 5G & the IIoT

2|2|16   |   02:28   |   (0) comments


This year's Mobile World Congress looks set to be a 5G land grab and a chance to get down and dirty with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – but what will the 5G discussions actually be about?
LRTV Custom TV
Case Study: Building China's Next-Gen TV Networks

2|2|16   |   5:01   |   (0) comments


With over 2 billion viewers worldwide, Shenzhen Media Group is one of China's largest content producers. By partnering with Huawei and Sobey, SZMG was able to modernize media operations with the Converged News Center, a production studio that is a model for next-generation workflows.
LRTV Custom TV
Quad Channel Modulator Driver with 46 Gbaud Capability from MACOM

1|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


MACOM's MAOM-003427 is the industry's first surface-mount modulator driver with 46 Gbaud capability to support next generation 200G and 400G applications.
LRTV Custom TV
Video Infographic: Validating Cisco's NFV Infrastructure

1|26|16   |   02:24   |   (1) comment


We all know that the network of the future will be virtual, but when will virtual become a reality? This video infographic covers the four key areas in which Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, tested Cisco's NFV infrastructure: performance, reliability, multi-service capabilities and single pane of glass management.

For the full report, see

Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Phil McKinney, CableLabs

1|22|16   |   13:36   |   (1) comment


At CES in Las Vegas, we met with Phil McKinney, CEO of CableLabs. Phil provides an update on the rollout of DOCSIS 3.1, his views on the future of open source and how consumer interest in virtual reality could affect network traffic.
Between the CEOs
Ericsson CTO on the Changing Telecom Market

1|21|16   |   10:26   |   (0) comments


At CES 2015, CTO of Ericsson, Ulf Ewaldsson, sits down with CEO of Light Reading, Steve Saunders, to discuss the changing telecom market, the new partnership with Cisco and the future of the telecom industry.
LRTV Interviews
Ireland's Data Dream

1|21|16   |   14:31   |   (0) comments


Host In Ireland president Gary Connolly tells Light Reading's Steve Saunders about the role Ireland is playing in hosting data for the world's largest organizations.
LRTV Custom TV
Brocade Keynote: Transitioning to the New IP

1|20|16   |   27:23   |   (0) comments


At 2020 Vision in Dublin, Andrew Coward, VP of Service Provider Strategy at Brocade, presents the transition to the New IP.
Upcoming Live Events
March 10, 2016, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 5, 2016, The Ritz Carlton, Charlotte, NC
May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's latest VNI numbers suggest the world will be using 366.8 exabytes of data on smartphones and Internet of Things devices, up from 44.2 exabytes, in 2015.
Hot Topics
Alphabet Is Serious About Google Fiber
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/1/2016
Did Juniper Pay 'Peanuts' for BTI?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 2/2/2016
Google's 5G Radio Ambitions Are Expanding
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/5/2016
How Data Center Outsourcing Fuels AT&T NetBond Growth
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 2/3/2016
3.5GHz Startup Gets $22M for Small Cells
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/2/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
As anyone who knows me will tell you, I like to think I know a fair bit about this next-gen-comms malarkey, but there's nothing like an interview with one of the ...
Animals with Phones
Happy Groundhogs for Technology Day! Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and G.fast for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.