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Cisco Intercloud turns into a cloud of clouds

CloudCisco President Rob Lloyd

It’s just been six months since Cisco president of development and sales Rob Lloyd announced the Intercloud at the annual Partner Summit in Las Vegas and the number of partners have quadrupled to reach 40.

The networking giant today announced 32 more partners that include major distributors such as Ingram Micro, Tech Data, and Westcon/Comstor. It also includes system integrators such as Montreal’s CGI and solution providers such as Calgary’s Long View Systems, Toronto’s OnX Managed Services, U.S.-based companies Presidio, Worldwide Technology, Dimension Data and Forsythe Technology. Dimension Data and Forsythe have significant Canadian operations. Another Canadian Intercloud partner is SunGard Canada.

This new ecosystem expands the reach of the Intercloud to 250 data centres spread across 50 countries.

Neil Lock, director at BT Compute called this new development a “cloud of clouds.”

Lock added that CIOs are changing how they buy cloud. They are looking for a set of services for better agility and more managing risk. “This is why hybrid clouds are important because they can mix and match to current investments, while still being able to get what the cloud brings,” he said.

Lock sees the Intercloud providing new access to partner services.

Channel partners such as Long View, OnX, Dimension Data and Forsythe will be tasked to build Intercloud-ready private clouds on the recently shipping Cisco Intercloud Fabric solutions, while the distributors become cloud aggregators specifically for Cisco and they will enable other solution providers to resell cloud services.

The remaining new partners announced today are: Adapt, ANS Group, BT, Cirrity, CTI, Deutsche Telekom, Ethan Group, Infront Systems, LightEdge Solutions, LG CNS, Logicalis, Netelligent, NWN, NTT DATA, OneNeck IT Solutions, Peak 10, Proxios, PT Portugal/Oi, Quest Media and Supplies, Steria, Virtustream and Wipro.

Cisco’s channel team plans to continue the recruiting and expect to see more cloud providers, cloud builders and cloud aggregators along with ISVs and solution providers.

Roy Purtill, vice president of Cloud Computing for Cisco Canada, told CDN that the plan is not to stop at an ecosystem of 40 partners. Cisco is still in active recruitment mode and the plan is to have more than five Canadian Intercloud partners.

Purtill said the company would be exploring Infrastructure-as-a-Service partners next along with technology partners. There is also strong interest in resellers as Cisco wants Intercloud to be a wide channel offering.

Cisco Canada is talking with other distribution partners and so the aggregator section could grow. “We see the cloud aggregators taking us to that wider reseller community. They enable us to scale and they can be that engine to wider markets,” Purtill said.

Lloyd introduced new Cisco hybrid cloud bundles along with virtualized managed services solutions that will include the already shipping Intercloud Fabric.

Cisco Intercloud Fabric is a secure, open, and flexible hypervisor-agnostic cloud interconnect technology.

“The opportunity is massive and the network of cloud platforms is suited for big data, analytics, mobile devices, sensors and all the new applications where they want to get to this platform globally. It will be a big part of this ecosystem and the channel will see new revenue streams that are not there today,” Purtill said.

On top of that Cisco Capital will be offering an additional $1 billion targeted at the channel and customers. This billion dollars is incremental to the $1 billion already made available by Cisco Capital.

“Cloud is a reality, but we also have an explosion of mobile devices and a new breed of apps and with the Internet of Things expect to see hundreds of billions of connected devices,” Lloyd said.

How Lloyd sees this playing out is with large public clouds, private clouds and then highly localized Interclouds. He said this reminds him of how Local Area Networking (LAN) came about more than 30 years ago but today they are public clouds. “It feels like the Internet but this is the next phase of the Internet,” Lloyd said.

CiscoIntercloudWS

There is an alliance technology partnership angle to this new Intercloud ecosystem. Recently Cisco has strengthen its technology alliances with NetApp and FlexPod, VCE and its V-Block plus made new deals with Hitachi Data Systems on its HDS-ULP and Red Hat for the UCS Open Stack solution.

Lastly Cisco announced that the acquisition of the privately-held Metacloud, a private cloud provider from Pasadena, Calif., that bases is solution on OpenStack successfully closed and that they will be a major part of Intercloud’s as-a-service model going forward.