Cisco Cloud Framework Gets A Name: 'CloudVerse'

Cisco's cloud strategy continued to gel Tuesday with the launch of a cloud framework, called CloudVerse, a triple-threat ecosystem that Cisco said combines Cisco's Unified Data Center, Cloud Intelligent Network and Cloud Applications to arm partners to offer Cisco-based cloud environments.

Along with the new framework and the new CloudVerse name, Cisco also added a host of new features to CloudVerse, products and services the San Jose, Calif.-based company said will help partners build, manage and connect clouds of various flavors, whether public, private or hybrid.

Cisco's official cloud framework comes on the heels of a Cisco study, dubbed the Cisco Cloud Index, that found that cloud traffic will increase 12 times by 2015 reaching a colossal 1.6 Zettabytes. The study also predicts that more than half of data center workloads will be cloud-based by 2014.

"It's no secret at this point that the cloud is emerging as not just a neat idea, but as a dominant force," Cisco Vice President of Worldwide Channels Ralph Nimergood said. The cloud is being fueled by users accessing data via multiple devices and the big data deluge impacting businesses. To accommodate this growth, Cisco foresees what Nimergood called a "world of many clouds," meaning there isn't a single type of cloud that will be the end all be all.

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Nimergood said with CloudVerse Cisco is looking to tear down the silos of different clouds and offer integrated management across clouds by tying together three foundational elements of the cloud. Nimergood said with CloudVerse the Cisco Unified Data Center integrates with the Cisco Intelligent Network to enable Cloud Applications.

And CloudVerse delivers cloud computing within the cloud, between clouds and beyond the cloud to the end user. And partners, Nimergood said, will deliver CloudVerse to customers. Currently, more than 70 percent of cloud providers are using CloudVerse in some form.

The Unified Data Center component offers a fabric-based platform to automate an "as-a-service" model across physical and virtual environments. With CloudVerse, Cisco adds new unified management capabilities including Cisco Intelligent Automation for the Cloud, which offers automated provisioning and management of data center resources for IT asset delivery between data centers; and Cisco Network Services Manager, which creates, deploys and modifies networking resources on-demand in physical and virtual environments, said Cisco Director of Product Development Eric Schoch.

The Cloud Intelligent Network drives to offer a consistent cloud experience across multiple clouds. On Tuesday, Cisco launched Cloud-to-Cloud Connect, a new feature in the Cisco's ASR 1000 and ASR 9000 Series Aggregation Services Routers that enable resources to move between ASRs for resource orchestration between data centers and clouds, Schoch said.

And for Cloud Applications and Services, which enable "as-a-service" delivery of Cisco and third party cloud applications, Cisco added a new capabilities to its Hosted Collaboration Solution (HCS) including Private Cloud HCS, which lets business and partners build collaboration clouds using Cisco's designs and management capabilities; Mobile HCS, which lets partners and users connect mobile users; and Customer Collaboration, which adds contact center capabilities.

So far, Cisco has 22 partners signed on for HCS, six of which are in the market now and seven more that are readying their launch, Schoch said.

NEXT: Cisco's Cloud Partner Program Growing

Cisco launching CloudVerse and putting its cloud plays into the hands of partners comes after Cisco launched its official Cloud Partner Program earlier this year. According to Nimergood, the three-track program includes three types of partners: Cloud Builders, Cloud Providers and Cloud Services Resellers.

Nimergood said that since the program's launch 29 Cloud Builders have completed all requirements; 12 more are nearing completion; and 60 additional potential Cloud Builder partners have been identified and are in the recruitment process. Cisco's now boasts 22 Cloud Providers offering Cisco Powered Cloud Services, including Infrastructure-as-a-Service, HCS, Contact Center and TPaaS. And on the Cloud Services Reseller side Cisco has started introductions between VAR partners and providers and is currently enrolling provider VARs into the program, Nimergood said.

Along with the unveiling of CloudVerse, Cisco Tuesday also showcased new Cloud Enablement Services for Cloud Builders that are part of the CloudVerse environment. Nimergood said the services are designed to build and enhance partners' cloud professional services (CPS) offerings. They include one-on-one mentoring with best practices, tools and processes and are customized based on partners' competencies. And Cloud Builder Accelerator Services include CPS Cloud Practice Management Accelerator, CPS Cloud Technical Consulting Accelerator and CPS Cloud Customer Workshop Accelerator.

Cisco also launched the Cisco Capital Jump Start Program, a program available to qualified Cloud Provider partners that offers cloud products and services to partners with one year of no payment and no interest followed by 36 months of payment at normal interest rates. And Nimergood said the new Scale Pay Program offers new financing and licensing options for partners selling cloud products and services.

"We're putting our partners in the position to offer CloudVerse as a portfolio and new cloud capabilities," Nimergood said.