/// Cisco Lays Out Agressive Strategy To Capture More Cloud Business

December 6, 2011  |  All Things Digital

Networking giant Cisco Systems has been angling to a serious provider a cloud technology for a few years now, but hasn’t really laid out a strategy for how it intends to get there. Now that I think about it, it was exactly a year ago tomorrow that I did my very first AllThingsD interview with Lew Tucker , Cisco’s CTO for cloud computing. Today Cisco finally laid out a cohesive strategy to become a serious player in the cloud business. It announced a offering called CloudVerse that combines three big elements — its Unified Data Center, its Cloud Intelligent Network and Cloud Applications — into a big portfolio aimed at companies building out their data centers. The idea is basically this: If you want to build a cloud, either to resell cloud services of some kind or for your company’s own internal operations, Cisco wants to talk to you. Under the CloudVerse tent are a bunch of offerings including computing, networking, collaboration and software to automating and managing it all. Cisco named a handful of companies who are already CloudVerse customers, and a few will catch your eye because they’re big. One is Terremark , the Web-hosting and cloud-services outfit that telecom giant Verizon acquired earlier this year. Others include Telecom Italia, Telefonica Spain and Fujitsu. Naturally Cisco is hoping to use its position as the supplier of choice for networking gear as a springboard into selling more stuff inside the data center, and it already has the key relationships with many a corporate CIO. A key part of its go-to-market strategy will be convincing those CIOs that it has something unique to offer. Here’s one thing: The Network Positioning System and Cloud-to-Cloud connected. Imagine you have a sprawling set of far-flung data centers around the globe. When one gets starts to get close to reaching its capacity load — maybe it’s Cyber Monday or something — Cisco’s NPS technology allows the routers in one data center to start automatically looking around for capacity elsewhere to keep things humming along. There’s a lot more detail to it, but it’s worth pointing out that as a percentage of its business the cloud business isn’t huge for Cisco. On an earnings conference call with analysts last month, CEO John Chambers said that the Unified Computing System that forms the backbone of its server business had recorded 116 percent revenue growth year-over-year, yet even with that it’s on run-rate to being a $1 billion annualized business. If it hits that mark in Cisco’s fiscal year 2012, which ends in July, it will amount to about 2 percent of estimated annual sales. But Cisco expects the cloud business opportunity to grow like crazy.

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Cisco Lays Out Agressive Strategy To Capture More Cloud Business

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