Company to expand its cloud offerings through partners to include IaaS, PaaS and others

Cisco Systems Inc. plans to spend US$1 billion over the next two years building what it calls the world’s biggest global Intercloud for hosting applications through a number of international carriers and service providers, including the Allstream division of Manitoba Telecom Services and Toronto-based OnX Managed Services.

Cisco already offers a number of software as a service offerings such as WebEx for collaboration, Web security and Meraki cloud management. Through the Intercloud Cisco will be able to match offerings from IBM, Microsoft, Amazon and others in platform as a service PaaS, infrastructure as a service (Iaas), services power by SAP HANA and others.

More details on pricing and availability will come out at the Cisco Live conference in May. But the company did say that it will provide “industry-competitive” service level agreements that will allow partners and developers to deliver services.

In an interview Allstream president Michael Strople said the provider has been offering Cisco’s hosted collaboration suite since last May. So far that’s the only one of its cloud products it will be selling. It’s now looking at whether it will add more as a result of the Intercloud partnership.

The Intercloud is being architected for the Internet of Everything, Cisco said in a statement, with a distributed network and security architecture designed for high-value application workloads, real-time analytics, “near infinite” scalability and full compliance with local data sovereignty laws.

The Intercloud will be based on the OpenStack open source cloud platform and hosted across a network of Cisco and partner data centres. It will include APIs for rapid application development, and what it says will be a new enterprise-class portfolio of cloud IT services for businesses, service providers and resellers.

The announcement was made in Las Vegas at Cisco’s annual partner conference.

Other carrier partners include Australia’s incumbent carrier Telstra; European cloud company Canopy; cloud services aggregator, provider and wholesale technology distributor Ingram Micro Inc.; global IT and managed services provider Logicalis Group; business intelligence software maker MicroStrategy, Inc.; information availability services provider SunGard Availability Services; and Wipro Ltd., an Indian-based global consulting and outsourcing company.

“The timing is right for Cisco and its partners to invest in a groundbreaking, application-centric global Intercloud to provide broader reach and faster time to market,” said Robert Lloyd, Cisco’s [Nasdaq: CSCO] president of development and sales. “Together, we have the capability to enable a seamless world of many clouds in which our customers have the choice to enable the right, highly secure cloud for the right workload, while creating strategic advantages for rapid innovation, and ultimately, business growth.”

MTS’ Allstream division runs a fibre optic backbone across much of the country to serve business customers with a number of IP services. “We’re excited to use Cisco Cloud Services to expand our cloud portfolio and rapidly offer new cloud-based services to our customers without the need for major capital investments,” Allstream president Michael Strople said in a statement.

“Utilizing Cisco Cloud Services will enable OnX to focus on our core competency; which is to deliver a world-class managed services experience, based on ITIL and ITSM best practices.” said Wayne Kiphart, president of OnX Managed Services.  “Our customers are looking for flexibility in their cloud infrastructure solutions, including the ability to integrate and customize the highly secure delivery of services from multiple cloud providers, regardless of location.  Because Cisco is building its cloud services as an open, secure, heterogeneous hybrid cloud environment we can cost effectively address their needs and deploy our capital resources on strategic initiatives.”

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