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Cisco Expands Intercloud Effort

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The cloud shouldn’t just be a bunch of independant siloed bastions of computer power, it should be a federated utility. That’s the idea behind the Cisco Intercloud initiative, which is being expanded this week.

Cisco has been talking about Intercloud since January, when it first discussed the concept of the Intercloud router as a gateway to enable cloud interoperability. In March, Cisco upped the ante, by announcing a much broader Intercloud vision, complete with a $1 billion investment in technology and services.

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As part of the March announcement, Cisco evolved Intercloud into a partner effort, with multiple global service providers including Telstra, Allstream, Canopy, Ingram Micro Inc., Logicalis Group, OnX Managed Services, SunGard Availability Services and Wipro Ltd.

Now Cisco is adding 26 new cloud service providers to the Intercloud initiative, dramatically expanding the available footprint and number of data centers that can potentially be connected for a federated cloud. Among the new service providers are giants Deutsche Telekom, NTT Data and Equinix. All told, 250 new data center locations across 50 countries are now set to be part of the Cisco Intercloud.

From a technology perspective, the Intercloud is a combination of Cisco hardware and the open-source OpenStack cloud platform. On the hardware side is Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) enabled equipment, which provides a Software Defined Data Center (SDDC) approach.

“Since we announced our OpenStack-based cloud strategy six months ago, we’ve received tremendous industry-wide support,” Rob Lloyd, Cisco’s president of development and sales, said in a statement. “The strategy is gaining momentum in the open source community and providing partners with a powerful cloud platform with global reach, and Internet scale and efficiencies.”

Cisco is no stranger to the OpenStack ecosystem. Cisco has been one of the leading backers of OpenStack since 2011when it first joined the list of OpenStack supporters.

While Cisco has its own OpenStack edition and multiple industry partnerships, it also has a specific relationship with Linux vendor Red Hat. Earlier this month, Cisco announced an expanded partnership with Red Hat to deliver an integrated infrastructure for OpenStack based clouds.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at Datamation and Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist

Photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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