Monday, August 4, 2008

The Cisco Cloud

With a variety of rumors flying around about an EMC acquisition by Cisco, I thought I'd pose a question. Why isn't Cisco doing more in the cloud infrastructure space?

Cloud computing can be simply defined as a form of network computing. That being said, Cisco is arguably one of the more technically advanced in the networking space, and EMC in storage & infrastructure. Cisco + EMC would seem to be a match made in heaven.

Douglas Gourlay - Senior Director of Marketing and Product Management of the Cisco Data Center Business Unit, recently posted some cloud computing ideas on his blog.

Some of his more interesting points included:
  • "Enterprises will build mini-clouds."
  • "Service Providers will move into higher revenue cloud models."
  • "Hypervisors will become THE way of defining the abstraction between physical and virtual within a server."
  • "Service Providers will scale their cloud managed application/hosting/hypervisor offerings out initially by taking ‘low hanging fruit’ applications."
  • "IP Addressing will move to IPv6."
  • "Workload portability between Enterprise Clouds and Service Provider Clouds."
  • "The Value of Virtualization is compounded by the number of devices virtualized."
  • "Someone will write a DNS or a DNS Coupled Workload exchange."
  • "Skynet becomes self aware."
Complete post:

Here are few of unsolicited ideas for The Cisco Cloud.

1. Cloud VLAN - Adaptive virtual in cloud networking
2. Cloud Federation - Combine a router/switch with a distributed federated command and control bot for in data center cloud management
3. Wide Area Cloud - VPN services for globally disperse cloud partitioning, management, migration and security.
4. Network / WAN optimization - The network is the biggest limitation in most cloud environments, own the network, own the cloud.

It would seem inevitable that Cisco will jump into cloud computing, I think the question is when, not if.

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