Cisco’s InterCloud Software to Drive Workload Portability Between Private and Public Clouds

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Cisco has announced a new hybrid cloud infrastructure software known as Cisco InterCloud which is designed to be highly secure and interoperable, and pave the way for greater cloud workload portability between private and public clouds.

According to to Cisco’s Tuesday announcement, InterCloud is expected to be able to move workloads to and from participating cloud providers with Cisco Powered services, such as BT, CSC/ServiceMesh, CenturyLink Technology Solutions, and Virtustream.

Along with InterCloud, the new products and services in Cisco’s extended cloud portfolio include: Cisco Validated Design (CVD) for Cisco/Red Hat integrated Cloud Management and Provisioning; Cisco Services for Cloud Strategy, Management, and Operations; and automation software Cisco IAC 4.0.

For the past two years, Cisco has been pursuing its “World of Many Clouds”, which relies on the company’s partner-led model and openness to different vendors and technologies to provide unique solutions.

“Now, as brokers of IT services, organizations can add value by dynamically combining, integrating, and tailoring the delivery of cloud services – whether public, private, or hybrid – to best meet their business needs…cloud workload portability will deliver immense benefits to cloud providers and cloud customers, paving the way toward an open and highly secure cloud ecosystem that delivers greater levels of agility, transparency, and speed of deployment,” Cisco development and sales president Robert Lloyd said in a statement.

InterCloud will integrate with cloud management solutions such as Cisco IAC, CSC/ServiceMesh’s Agility Platform, Red Hat CloudForms, and other products from Cisco’s ecosystem partners. Other technology partners supporting Cisco InterCloud include EMC, Citrix, Denali Advanced Integration, Microsoft, NetApp, Rackspace, VCE and Zerto.

For instance, InterCloud will help NetApp realize its enterprise data management vision whereby data can move efficiently between ONTAP clouds irrespective of data type or location, and customers can make use of ONTAP’s ecosystem of over 350 cloud services.

In a blog post, NetApp’s Cloud Solutions Group VP Phil Brotherton writes, “Cisco’s InterCloud software complements NetApp data management capabilities by working across the network layer to enable an enterprise IT cloud broker to move virtual machines securely and quickly between premise and those external clouds while preserving Layer 2 network addressing so that VMs remain securely connected to the on-premise cloud.”

“This means that in addition to preserving network and security policies IT teams can preserve their investments in existing management tools,” he said. “Legacy tools just work as a result of extending the enterprise network. Together, we simplify secure movement of applications and data between on-premise and external service provider clouds and do so in a way that won’t require massive retraining of IT teams.”

Microsoft is also working with Cisco to add flexibility to public, private and hybrid clouds using Windows Server, System Center, and Windows Azure. Microsoft has a particular interest in helping customers move applications and services to its public Azure cloud, for which InterCloud might be key.

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