Light Reading
New Cisco Intercloud offers infrastructure on which service providers, such as Telstra, can build their own differentiated cloud offers.

Can Cisco Help SPs Offer Cloud-based Apps?

Dan O'Shea
3/24/2014
50%
50%

Cisco Systems has confirmed to Light Reading that it is launching a $1 billion cloud services effort focused on creating an application-driven "cloud of clouds," aimed at service provider partners and enterprises. (See Cisco Set to Launch Cloud Services.)

By creating the infrastructure to deliver cloud-based apps, the new Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) initiative could particularly appeal to network service providers that have yet to roll out their own cloud services, by giving them a platform on which they can develop differentiated services.

Mike Riegel, vice president of marketing at Cisco Systems Cloud, says the Cisco Global Intercloud will (no surprise here) be built on the Intercloud platform the vendor announced in January. This enables cloud users to move resources between different types of clouds -- public, private or hybrid (See Cisco Goes Soft With APIC, Intercloud Announcements.)

He adds that some of Cisco's $1 billion commitment will go toward building data centers built using Cisco's own hardware, storage and computing solutions, with Cisco becoming its own good customer at a time when it is being challenged in its core hardware business. Riegel says Cisco will offer further details of its data center build-out plan at Cisco Live in May.

Cisco is making this move because it sees the cloud services market moving beyond infrastructure as a service, or merely providing compute, storage or even network services, Riegel says. "The cloud market has moved on," he comments. "Today it's all about providing business-specific apps provided from the cloud with good customer experience." (See Verizon: Major Apps Move Cloud-ward in 2014.)

The vendor plans to offer its Global Intercloud via its own channels, as well as a band of Cisco Cloud Services partners, a group that already includes Australian telco Telstra Corp. Ltd. (ASX: TLS; NZK: TLS). "The first thing our service provider customers will tell you is that you can't go it alone any more," Riegel says. "So, for example, customers will be able to get a whole range of offerings from Cisco, from Telstra and from all of the other partners in Intercloud. Cisco will go to enterprise customers, but service providers will also be able to create their own offerings on top of Cisco capabilities and bring them as their own brand or co-brand them with Cisco." (See Telstra Extends Cloud Capabilities With Cisco.)

Cisco will need to coordinate with its service provider partners, and vice versa, to ensure service differentiation, but Riegel says the intent is to create a broader selection of cloud services, each with their own added value, for customers. "It's about what the application workloads are," he says. "We'll mix and match with our service provider partners to make them successful."

Those partners also will be able to leverage Cisco's managed threat defense capability, announced last week, to scan security threats across distributed cloud environments. They will also be able to use this distributed infrastructure to comply with regulatory requirements that restrict where data can and can't be stored.

"We're in the post-Snowden era," Riegel says. "Increasingly, companies are wanting data to stay in the country of origin. We can enable that."

The announcement may be the latest and biggest indicator that the networking hardware giant is undergoing a major philosophical shift in what it produces and how it sells the fruits of its labor. "Everyone competing on the same infrastructure basis -- that's not an interesting market any more," Riegel says. "We're evolving to a services/solutions/software model. We will continue to be successful in infrastructure."

In the cloud market particularly, he acknowledges that Cisco needs to be much more than an "arms supplier, as we have done in the past." As for potentially competing with its service provider customers by selling direct to enterprises, Riegel says the cloud market will be like other markets, such as video and conferencing, where Cisco goes to market in multiple ways, and does so successfully.

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, and Carol Wilson, Editor-at-Large, Light Reading


Want to learn more about carrier cloud services? Check out the agenda for the Big Telecom Event (BTE), which will take place June 17-18 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.


(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
sam masud
50%
50%
sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/25/2014 | 3:23:12 PM
Aha!
Dan,

You write: "He adds that some of Cisco's $1 billion commitment will go toward building data centers built using Cisco's own hardware..."

Seems to me this is a great way for Cisco to increase its data center business--particularly if you're competing with VMware.

 

 
C Chappell
50%
50%
C Chappell,
User Rank: Blogger
3/25/2014 | 9:32:55 AM
Cisco and Intercloud
Heavy Reading research shows that telcos are lagging when it comes to having the kind of cloud infrastructure they need to compete with the cloud leaders, ie an infrastructure that is low cost enough, highly integrated, based on the latest and most innovative technologies and that leverages carrier network strengths. Only a handful of telcos, cf Verizon, are prepared to invest in building such infrastructures themselves. A high proportion of early adopter telco cloud providers started out with VCE and the idea of having a common inter-cloud provider, VCE-based infrastructure is not new. At the same time, telcos have also been struggling with the SaaS broker opportunity, a point not lost on Huawei and NEC which already have cloud app partner programs. So the fact that Cisco is sharpening its strategy on all these fronts is unsurprising. It is a channel partner play (for infrastructure) that is taking Cisco into IBM/Softlayer, HP and Microsoft territory - but arguably with added carrier networking kick.
DOShea
50%
50%
DOShea,
User Rank: Blogger
3/24/2014 | 5:19:28 PM
Re: Whatever did we do before apps?
That's a good question, and is maybe the eternal question regarding Cisco. Cisco has said in the past enterprise customers don't want to be stuck with one cloud environment. They want to use private, public and hybrid clouds of their choice depending on the workload, which is why Cisco wants to manage the stitching between those clouds. They seem to be looking for a business model for the day when no one has use for their hardware anymore, though they might put it differently.

I'm starting to think they carefully outline service provider partnerships for us just because we keep asking if they are going to compete with their provider customers or partner or what. Maybe in the market, the conflict rarely comes up, since we never actually hear much about something like "Cisco hit on a Verizon customer, and Verizon got mad." --Does this ever actually happen?

No, I don't think this does answer your question.
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
3/24/2014 | 4:53:06 PM
Re: Whatever did we do before apps?
Here's their explanation: The telcos can take the Cisco platform and add their services - voice, conferencing, data - to the package to differentiate, and then sell it to the enterprise folks they are already providing data services to, as part of the package. 

There is no doubt that telecom service providers are now including cloud services in the data/managed service sales pitches. I realize some people - including one on this thread - are serious skeptics as to whether they can succeed at this. 

As for Cisco competing with its customers, they do it all the time now, selling gear direct to enterprises and through channels that their SP also package and sell with their data services. I don't know how Amazon would respond to this, but they continue to seem unfazed by cloud competition from the telecom sector.

 
brookseven
50%
50%
brookseven,
User Rank: Light Sabre
3/24/2014 | 4:47:13 PM
Re: Whatever did we do before apps?
Dan/Carol,

Why does Cisco think that the carriers have a better into Enterprise Cloud Apps than Cisco itself does?  Isn't Cisco one of the worlds largest vendors to the Enterprise already?

As described this seems to be a channel play, when you already have one of the largest direct Sales Forces calling on the exact same customer.  Or am I confused somehow?

Maybe as a better way of describing my confusion, would be to parrot back Carol's comment with.  If Cisco can sell some Cloud Stuff to Enterprises, who cares what caririer is the bit pipe for it?

seven

 
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
3/24/2014 | 4:44:21 PM
Compete with own customers
Cisco seems to be running the risk of competing with its own customers here, most notably Amazon.
Carol Wilson
50%
50%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
3/24/2014 | 3:42:35 PM
Whatever did we do before apps?
Now the cloud-world is ready to go app-crazy. Service providers could well find it appealing to turn to a known quantity but if this is going to be a significant set of future servcies, do you want it built on a single vendor's technology?
Educational Resources
sponsor supplied content
Educational Resources Archive
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Custom TV
Using Service Quality to Drive WiFi Monetization

10|22|14   |   6:51   |   (0) comments


Live from the SCTE conference: Heavy Reading's Alan Breznick explores the forces shaping the WiFi opportunity in an interview with CableLabs' Justin Colwell and Amdocs' Ken Roulier.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 2

10|21|14   |   8:51:00 AM   |   (0) comments


ARRIS CTO Network Solutions Tom Cloonan discusses why many if not most MSOs will continue with integrated CCAP, while addressing why some are also looking at two futuristic, distributed access architectures: Remote PHY and Remote CCAP.
LRTV Custom TV
Distributed Access Architectures – 1

10|21|14   |   9:01   |   (0) comments


SCTE Sr. Director of Engineering Dean Stoneback discusses the pros and cons of distributed access architecture (DAA) and its various forms, which range from basic Remote PHY to full CMTS functionality in the node.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 2

10|21|14   |   3:58   |   (0) comments


ARRIS Senior Solution Architect Eli Baruch talks about how MSOs can enable public and community WiFi through 1) outdoor access points, 2) businesses seeking to offer WiFi to customers, and 3) residential WiFi gateway extensions.
LRTV Custom TV
The WiFi Road to Riches – 1

10|21|14   |   10:15   |   (0) comments


SCTE Director of Advanced Technologies Steve Harris discusses WiFi deployments, drivers, challenges and advances, including 802.11ac, carrier-grade WiFi, community WiFi, Hotspot 2.0, Passpoint, WiFi-First and voice-over-WiFi.
LRTV Custom TV
Advantech Accelerates 100G Traffic Handling

10|17|14   |   7:56   |   (0) comments


Paul Stevens from Advantech explains why handling 100GbE needs a whole new platform design approach and how Advantech is addressing the needs of equipment providers and carriers to give them the flexibility and performance they will need for SDN and NFV deployment.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Holland's Imtech Traffic & Infra Discusses Huawei's ICT Solution and Services

10|16|14   |   4:49   |   (0) comments


Dimitry Theebe is from the business unit at Imtech Traffic & Infra which delivers communications solutions for transportations. His partnershp with Huawei began about a years ago. In this video, Theebe speaks more about this partnership and what he hopes to accomplish with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Comprehensive Storage Solutions Vital for SVR

10|16|14   |   6:16   |   (0) comments


SVR Information Technology provides cloud services for academic and special sectors. With Huawei's support, SVR and Yildiz Technical University has established Turkey's largest and most advanced High Performance Computing system. CSO Ismail Cem Aslan talks about what he hopes Huawei's OceanStor storage system will bring for him.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Mexico's Servitron's Impression of Huawei at CCW 2014

10|16|14   |   6:35   |   (0) comments


Servitron is a network operator in Mexico that has been in the trunking industry for the past 20 years. Its COO, Ing. Ragnar Trillo O., explains at Critical Communications World 2014 that his company has been interested in the long-term evolution of LTE technology and its adoption for TETRA.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Building a Better Dubai

10|16|14   |   2:06   |   (0) comments


Abdulla Ahmed Al Falasi is the director of commercial affairs, a telecommunications coordinator for the government of Dubai. Their areas of service span across multiple industries, including police, safety, shopping malls and more. In this video, Abdulla talks about his department's work with Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Lights Up Malaysia Partner Maju Nusa

10|16|14   |   1:59   |   (0) comments


Malaysia's Maju Nusa is an enterprise partner to Huawei in networking, route switches and telco equipment. At this year's Critical Communications World in Singapore, CTO Pushpender Singh talks about what Huawei's eLTE solutions mean to his company and for Malaysia.
LRTV Custom TV
Evolving From HFC to FTTH Networks

10|15|14   |   2:19   |   (0) comments


Cisco's Todd McCrum delves into the future of cable's HFC plant, examining how DOCSIS 3.1 and advanced video compression will extend its life and how the IP video transition will usher in GPON and EPON over FTTH.
Upcoming Live Events
October 29, 2014, New York City
November 6, 2014, Santa Clara
November 11, 2014, Atlanta, GA
December 2, 2014, New York City
December 3, 2014, New York City
December 9-10, 2014, Reykjavik, Iceland
February 10, 2015, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Infographics
WhoIsHostingThis.com presents six of the world's most extreme WiFi hotspots, enabling the most epic selfies you can imagine.
Hot Topics
Google: Carriers & Cloud Providers Need to Cooperate
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/16/2014
Could Data Be the New 'Currency'?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 10/16/2014
iPad Air 2 Lets Users Switch Carriers Any Time
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 10/17/2014
Analysts Warn of Major NFV Gaps
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 10/22/2014
CBS Takes OTT Plunge
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 10/16/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed