Just days after it offered up its Cloud Index, Cisco has unveiled a framework that combines what it sees as the foundational elements needed to help enterprises build, manage and connect to public, private and hybrid clouds.
Dubbed Cisco CloudVerse, the framework combines key cloud components that work to drive agility, economics and security. Specifically, those elements are a Unified Data Center, Cloud Intelligence Network, and Cloud Applications and Services.
Clearly, Cisco smells opportunity. The Cisco Cloud Index predicts that more than 50 percent of computing workloads in centers will be cloud-based by 2014, and that global cloud traffic will grow over 12 times by 2015, to 1.6 zettabytes a year. That's the equivalent of more than four days of business-class video for every person on Earth.
"CloudVerse is interesting because while other companies are trying to figure out what they are going to do in the cloud, Cisco is providing a framework to help," said Zeus Kerravala, an analyst at ZK Research. "Cisco has forecast cloud adoption in its recent index, and they are the first company to do that. Now, they are offering the elements to help drive that adoption."
Challenges to Cloud Adoption
Cisco has identified a key challenge to cloud adoption. The company said most cloud
technologies exist in silos -- and that prevents an efficient, integrated management approach. By integrating the three foundational cloud elements, CloudVerse works to bridge that gap.
Enterprises, service providers, and government agencies are buying into the concept. Fujitsu, LinkedIn, Orange Business Services, Qualcomm, Silicon Valley Bank, Telecom Italia, Telefonica S.A., Telstra, and Terremark are among the organizations that are deploying CloudVerse. In addition, Cisco reports that more than 70 percent of leading cloud providers are using CloudVerse on their journey to the cloud.
Padmasree Warrior, Cisco senior VP of engineering and CTO explained that because cloud technology has resided in silos, it has been difficult for many organizations to build and manage clouds, and to interconnect multiple clouds. The new CloudVerse framework is intended to facilitate that effort, making it easier to for communities and organizations to connect in the cloud.
Cisco is making bold promises with CloudVerse. For starters, the company said Unified Data Center changes the economics of cloud infrastructure by providing a fabric-based platform, automating the "as-a-service" model across physical and virtual environments. The Unified Data Center is designed to scale with business demands by allocating resources within and between data centers using unified computing and unified fabric.
Then there's the Cloud Intelligent Network, which promises a consistent and secure user experience no matter where the user is located. It connects across the multiple clouds involved in delivering an application or service. Finally, Cloud Applications and Services promise to enable "as a service" delivery of both Cisco and third-party cloud applications.
The fact that so many organizations are buying into CloudVerse speaks for Cisco's credibility. One organization already well-situated on the CloudVerse bandwagon is Terremark, a Verizon company.
Terremark's president Kerry Bailey points out that we're moving to a world where business customers want to experience services anywhere, anytime on any device. CloudVerse, Bailey said, "is architected to help deliver on the promise of cloud by unifying compute, storage, and network resources."
One of the key advantages Bailey mentioned is that CloudVerse can help companies quickly and safely repurpose resources on-demand, when needed. That flexibility can be critical for handling peak traffic times on a day-to-day basis, as well as during the holiday rush, or when needed for data backup and disaster recovery.