Cloud Provider Commentary

May 9 2012   4:17PM GMT

Interop 2012: The 5-minute Cisco cloud news round-up

Jessica Scarpati Jessica Scarpati Profile: Jessica Scarpati

It’s no surprise that Cisco is making a lot of news at the networking industry’s biggest show of the year, Interop Las Vegas. And, yes, a lot of it is enterprise-focused, but there are a few relevant news nuggets for cloud providers:

Cisco carves its own SDN path: While the rumor mill has been churning for weeks that Cisco would make a software-defined networking (SDN) play, many doubted that it would embrace OpenFlow (because, after all, where’s the money in that?). In the first keynote of the show, Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior unveiled Cisco’s own vision of SDN, which it calls the Cisco Open Programmable Environment (COPE). But COPE’s core demographic right now may not be enterprises, but rather cloud providers, according to Andre Kindness, an analyst at Forrester Research.

Cisco Cloud Connect: Also of potential interest to providers is an upcoming software update to the ISR G2 and ASR 1000 routers, Cloud Connect (not to be confused with dozens of other vendors’ products and a trade show that share the same name or Connect Cloud, a feature on Cisco’s Linksys home routers).

Network World reports:

Cloud Connect will include software modules called Cloud Connectors. Cloud Connectors will include Cisco applications such as Hosted Collaboration Services and ScanSafe, a SaaS-based Web security service. Cloud Connector software will also allow software developers to write applications to Cloud Connect to expand its capabilities, Warrior says.

Cisco will also soon unveil a product for connecting private enterprise clouds to the public cloud to create hybrid implementations, Warrior says.

The product is designed to maintain the identity, security and policies of workloads as they move form a private cloud into the public cloud.”

The ISR is obviously targeted at enterprise IT buyers, so it’s clear this is an enterprise branch-office play. But the ASR 1000s are a definitely service provider-grade machine, so what’s going on there? We’ll have to wait until May22 to find out.

Customers prefer root canals to cloud networking: Cisco released some interesting (if not entertaining) survey results in a report called the 2012 Cisco Global Cloud Networking Survey, revealing some of the networking issues that are keeping customers from adopting (or at least fully embracing) cloud services. Cisco found:

  • Almost two in five (39 percent) of those surveyed said they dread network challenges associated with private or public cloud deployments so much that they would rather get a root canal, dig a ditch, or do their own taxes.
  • At the same time, nearly three quarters (73 percent) feel they are confident with enough information to begin their private or public cloud deployments. However, the remainder (27 percent) feels they have more knowledge about how to play Angry Birds than the steps needed to migrate their company’s network and applications to the cloud.
Obviously, this is pretty oversimplified (what technology concept is easier than learning how to play Angry Birds?), but it highlights some points cloud providers may want to keep in mind as they talk customers through their cloud anxieties.

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