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Cisco's Nick Earle: InterCloud via the channel will be the Cloud to rule them all

Allan Swann | May 23, 2014
Cisco's senior vice-president of global Cloud sales and go to market discusses the company's plan to help push its ambitious new Cloud platform, InterCloud, through the channel.

Basically what users are now saying to vendors is: Firstly, your complexity is not my problem. I'm not going to pay for it. Secondly, I want solutions packaged as a business outcome, not a set of features.

Thirdly, I'll only pay for it as I consume it. And fourthly, I'm not actually in the IT department. We have got to react to that.

We now estimate that 30-40 per cent of all IT is actually 'hidden IT'. Which is worrying when we're seeing these massive security breaches.

It's an interesting new problem, because as we saw with major breaches both here and overseas, especially Target, insecure infrastructure appears to be the problem...

Target is a good example. It was using a well-known public Cloud for their credit card details. Interestingly, it was the CEO that lost the job, not the CTO or CIO.

Cloud vendors are collapsing the price of IT, making it easy to consume, and the marketing message is great for CEOs. But when you look at it from the end users point of view, CTOs/CIOs are being bypassed. They're becoming the guardians of the legacy hardware.

The actual users are all off to Cloud land, and IT are becoming dinosaurs. Yet they're still on the hook for the security, and the compliance.

So where does Cisco step in?

What is really needed in the ability to have secure, compliant workload portability between multiple Clouds.

Beyond security, lots of legislation being passed around the world where data actually has to be physically resident in the country, and actually operated by a company that is registered as a local company. Those kinds of laws are being replicated all over the place.

We took a look at Cloud and said, 'Hey, we've got 62,000 channel partners here, what if we could create something that could actually be federated, or adopted by the majority of our channel partners?'

It's similar to the airlines with Star Alliance, which shares passengers between airlines. We put a common catalogue on top of it, so that you would get the benefit of everyone who puts services in, and then you could sell these services in a single marketplace, running on a network of Clouds, that all had the same policy management.

Workloads can be federated, or brokered across the InterCloud. So you have true workload portability.

InterCloud has an identical architecture, based on Openstack, across all of the nodes.

Anyone who connects to the InterCloud will be able to access the catalogue of services. This is where channel partners will be able to resell Cisco services, and those from any other provider. There will be a series of incentives for Channel partners to bring those services under their own brand, if they add value around the outside, or straight resellers, an agent type model, those services.


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