Cisco Embraces Amazon, Microsoft With InterCloud Infrastructure Software

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Mark Melvin, CTO at ePlus, a Herndon, Va.-based solution provider and No. 40 on the SP500 list, said that, while the market has already seen hybrid cloud solutions from some of Cisco's competitors, InterCloud seems to be the most advanced.

"Some of the other competitors have had some pieces which allow you to do links into the public cloud, but this is going to give you a much greater level of scalability and a wider and deeper integration level than we have seen before," Melvin said. "Some competitors promise this, but haven't delivered on it."

According to Cisco, InterCloud gives customers more flexibility by allowing them to move workloads across multiple public and private clouds while maintaining those workloads' unique network and security policies, and allowing customers to manage those workloads through a single pane of glass. InterCloud can be integrated with cloud management solutions including Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC), CSC-ServiceMesh's Agility and Red Hat's CloudForms.

Cisco said the InterCloud solution is not meant to be viewed as an updated version of the Nexus 1000v launch it staged last year. It is, instead, a "totally new, high-level and broader software-based" hybrid cloud solution, but it can be used with other Cisco products, such as the Nexus 1000v.

Cisco also unveiled Tuesday the Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) Enterprise Module, an expanded version of its APIC controller that will deliver the benefits of Cisco's ACI solution -- such as increased network automation -- beyond the data center and into enterprise WAN and access networks.

Cisco said its new APIC Enterprise Module, available during the first half the year, will arm IT organizations with increased network visibility and automation while making it easier to rollout and manage applications across wired and wireless infrastructures.

The APIC Enterprise Module also includes technology from Cisco's $2.7 billion acquisition of security specialist Sourcefire that allows organizations to automate network-wide threat detection.

The module also offers network-wide Quality of Service (QoS) for compliance management across both branches and headquarters, Cisco said.

The aim of the APIC Enterprise Module, Cisco said, is to help IT organizations spend more time on developing next-generation business applications and less time on manual network operations. Cisco said it estimates IT organizations to spend as much as 80 to 90 percent of their time on network operations, and that the new APIC Enterprise Module can cut down on that time by up to 36 percent.


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