Cisco announced on Monday that it will invest $1 billion over the next two years to create the “world’s largest cloud network.” The investment will go towards building data centers to support its expanded Cisco Cloud Services, including Cisco Intercloud.
Cisco plans to discriminate itself from other cloud computing companies by creating an architecture that allows for an open cloud, one of the trends identified in a recent Data Center Knowledge report. This way of creating infrastructure with APIs for development purposes could give Cisco an edge in an increasingly competitive market.
“Our cloud will be the world’s first truly open, hybrid cloud. The Cisco Intercloud will be built upon industry-leading Cisco cloud technologies and leverage OpenStack for its open standards-based global infrastructure. We’ll support any workload, on any hypervisor and interoperate with any cloud,” Robert Lloyd, president of development and sales, Cisco said in a blog post.
The announcement comes shortly after similar news from competitor IBM in January, when it revealed a $1 billion investment to increase its data center footprint in major geographic and financial areas.
Another key part of Cisco’s strategy is to have multiple partnerships with service providers, aggregators, enterprise data centers and software platform providers. So far, Telestra, Allstream, Canopy, Ingram Micro Inc., Logicalis Group, MicroStrategy, INc., OnX Managed Services, SunGard Availability Services and Wipro Ltd. have either endorsed or plan to use Cisco cloud services.
“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,” Lloyd said. “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.”
The move to invest more in a global cloud network also brings Cisco into the trend of the Internet of Things. According to the press release, the Internet of Things “is expected to be a $19 trillion economic opportunity in the coming decade.” The movement to connect everything would be facilitated by its app-centric environment. Cisco’s technology allows user to transfer workloads across public and private cloud and the Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure allows for a quicker integration of new services.