Cisco has announced a host of new partners for its global Intercloud cloud computing initiative nearly six months after its introduction. The firm also made available its Intercloud Fabric for connecting cloud services – a new $1bn investment – and announced its acquisition of OpenStack services firm Metacloud.
In a live webcast, Cisco president for Development and Sales Robert Lloyd gave an update on the progress of the firm's Intercloud initiative since it was launched back in March.
From an original group of six partners, the firm has now expanded to about 40, including major service providers such as BT, Deutsche Telekom, NTT and Equinix.
"Just six months along our journey to create a global connected cloud, we've now expanded the reach of the Intercloud with over 250 data centres across 50 countries," he said.
Lloyd announced that the firm's own Cisco Capital arm is to make available $1bn in finance to partners and customers in order to accelerate their cloud development efforts. This is in addition to the $1bn investment that Cisco kicked off the Intercloud initiative with, the firm said.
In addition, Cisco said that its Intercloud Fabric, a key part of the technology for its cloud strategy, is available to customers as of now. Described as a powerful software-based building block for true hybrid cloud infrastructure, it has been designed as a hypervisor-agnostic cloud interconnect that allows workloads to be moved seamlessly between clouds, regardless of the technology that underpins them.
BT announced it is one of the first to deploy Intercloud Fabric, in order to develop hybrid cloud services that connect with the Cisco Cloud as well as the service offerings of other Intercloud providers.
Neil Lock, director of BT Compute, said customers were looking to it to provide a seamless service. "It's about being able to move workloads around, create new services, and deliver them wherever your company needs to around the world," he said.
However, Cisco conceded that Intercloud Fabric is only available with support for VMware's vSphere today, but that other hypervisors such as Microsoft's Hyper-V and Xen would be supported in the coming months.
Meanwhile, Lloyd announced that Cisco has completed the acquisition of Metacloud, a cloud services firm that deploys and operates OpenStack-based private cloud infrastructure for enterprise customers.
Following the move, Cisco and its partners will be able to offer Metacloud's OpenStack private cloud as-a-service offering to customers, with cloud providers able to offer it as a complement to their public cloud service.
Lloyd reiterated that Cisco sees its strategy as enabling the cloud vision by providing customers with a broader choice when it comes to cloud services.
"Intercloud feels a lot like the internet. Like we connected the islands of isolated local area networks (LANs) with the internet 30 years ago, Intercloud feels like the next phase of the internet," he said.
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