I am infinitely weary of anyone trying to "define" any part of any cloud. This process has been going on for about two years now, creating a mess of dueling definitions. Some attempts to define future cloudiness seem to promote further confusion rather than clarity, even among those in the cloud-watching business (Internet meteorologists?). This seems to be the case with Cisco's advancement of the "InterCloud," its vision for a "a federation of clouds based on open standards" that would create a market for enterprise cloud services.
Cisco's James Urquhart briefed Gartner's David Smith on the InterCloud, which Smith critiqued as "yet another example of why terminology matters and why we talk about there being one cloud (a euphemism for an abstraction) and frown upon use of 'clouds', in the plural sense. The world of cloud computing has become so cloudy and the terms are becoming so confusing that I have to wonder if we will ever get past it." James then responded on Cisco's Data Center Networks blog, seeking to clarify the company's view of how clouds will evolve and interact. Meanwhile, Kevin Jackson has posted a presentation by Cisco's Krishna Sanker called "A Hitchiker's Guide to the Inter-Cloud," which adds some visuals about Cisco's cloud strategy. Here's a look: