Cisco Banks On Global ‘Intercloud’

When it comes to all things cloud, Cisco has been presenting its thoughts in terms of dollars in the billions and, in some cases, in the trillions.

After company chairman and CEO John Chambers suggested during his keynote at the International CES in Las Vegas in January that the so-called “Internet Of Things” (IoE) represents a $19 trillion opportunity, Cisco said it will earmark some big bucks on the expansion of a cloud-based system that will support that growing market.

In this case, it claims it will spend more than $1 billion to build its expanded cloud business over the next two years, culminating in what it claims will be the “world’s largest Intercloud,” or network of private and public clouds, assembled by Cisco and an ecosystem of partners.

Among other big claims, Cisco said this cloud of clouds will be architected for IoE, and feature a distributed network that will enable “near infinite” scalability while also complying with local data sovereignty laws.

It also promises to build it out with partners and a set of Intercloud APIs, and identified an initial group of  carriers and vendors that have endorsed the idea, including Telstra of Australia; Allstream of Canada; European cloud firm Canopy; managed IT service provider Logicalis Group; and IT outsourcing firm Wipro Ltd.; cloud services aggregator/wholesaler Ingram Micro; network applications specialist MicroStrategy; data center provider OnX; and information availability services vendor SunGard.

Cisco is basing the Intercloud on OpenStack, an open-source cloud operating system founded by Rackspace and NASA. Comcast, by the way, is building its X1 platform on OpenStack.

Cisco also cited a laundry list of Cloud Services tied to the initiative, including Cisco WebEx and its Videoscape Cloud DVR platform.