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   >   >>
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
LRTV Custom TV
DOCSIS 3.1: Transforming Cable From Hardware-Defined Network to Software-Defined Network

4|29|15   |   03:48   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 can transform cable HFC network to a more agile software-defined network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Predicting Traffic Patterns for Quality Mobile Broadband

4|29|15   |   6:45   |   (0) comments


Accessing information ubiquitously creates complexity and creates heavy traffic onto the network, especially at large-scale events like sporting events or festivals. In this video, Huawei's Mohammad Hussain speaks to experts about how to predict traffic and improve user experience during periods of heavy traffic.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network functions virtualization (NFV) is not the easiest of topics to take on board, so here's a Light Reading infographic, developed following conversations with the folks at HP, that helps make sense of where NFV is taking the industry.
Hot Topics
10 Alternate Uses for Tablets
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 5/22/2015
Bidding War for TWC Looks Likelier
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 5/22/2015
Verizon Saves 60% Swapping Copper for Fiber
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 5/19/2015
Comcast Targets 6 New Gigabit Markets
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/21/2015
Chattanooga Charts Killer Gigabit Apps
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/20/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
With 200 customers in 60 countries, Stockholm-based Net Insight has carved out a solid leadership position in one of the hottest vertical markets going in comms right now: helping service providers and broadcasters deliver video and other multimedia traffic over IP networks. How has Net Insight managed to achieve this success in the face of immense competition from the industry giants?
My ongoing interview tour of the leading minds of the telecom industry recently took me to Richardson, Texas, where I met with Rod Naphan, CTO and SVP, Solutions, ...
I recently popped down to Texas to chat with CEO Eric L. Pratt about his company, Taqua.
Cats with Phones