During a busy week at the Distributech conference in San Antonio, and its own Cisco Live event in Milan, Italy - Cisco (CSCO) announced an extension of its cloud portfolio with InterCloud, and an expansion of its vision of Fog computing, to spark new innovations in the Internet of Things.
At Cisco Live, Cisco debuted its new InterCloud hybrid solution, introduced new validated designs, Cisco Services for cloud strategy, management and operations, and version 4.0 of its Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC).
"Cisco introduced the concept of the ‘World of Many Clouds' two years ago, and since then, we and our partners have been enabling an ever-expanding world of highly secure clouds, helping organizations shape their own unique cloud journeys," said Robert Lloyd, Cisco president of development and sales. "Now, as brokers of IT services, organizations can add value by dynamically combining, integrating, and tailoring the delivery of cloud services – whether public, private, or hybrid – to best meet their business needs. Today marks a key step in the evolution of cloud computing – cloud workload portability will deliver immense benefits to cloud providers and cloud customers, paving the way toward an open and highly secure cloud ecosystem that delivers greater levels of agility, transparency, and speed of deployment."
InterCloud: Open, Hybrid Clouds
As a part of the Cisco One platform, InterCloud is infrastructure software that will support hybrid clouds by allowing organizations to combine and move workloads – including data and applications – across different public or private clouds as needed, easily and very securely, while maintaining associated network and security policies.
Embracing an open approach, InterCloud will move workloads to and from participating cloud providers with Cisco Powered services, such as BT, CSC/ServiceMesh, CenturyLink Technology Solutions, and Virtustream. The adoption of Cisco InterCloud by other cloud providers through the InterCloud Provider Enablement Platform will give users even more choice and flexibility. In addition, Cisco InterCloud has been designed to move workloads to and from multiple public clouds, including Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Corp.'s Windows Azure.
"Our customers rely on the BT Cloud Compute portfolio of services to design and operate cloud solutions that are tailored to meet their needs," said Neil Sutton, vice president, Portfolio at BT Global Services. "BT welcomes Cisco's InterCloud announcement as it aligns to our vision. The open standards approach of this new solution makes it even easier for our customers to reap the benefits of hybrid cloud solutions and migrate traditional IT workloads to the cloud. Cisco's support for the Citrix Cloud platform builds on our long-standing partnership with Cisco, Citrix and NetApp. This collaboration continues to open new opportunities to bring innovative cloud services to meet the business needs of our customers."
Cisco and Red Hat are working together on several key initiatives to extend OpenStack and enable open, interoperable cloud environments. Red Hat (RHT) created a Cisco Validated Design (CVD) that incorporates OpenShift into Cisco's latest Intelligent Automation for Cloud and Virtualized Multiservice Data Center (VMDC) releases. This means that enterprises now will be able to build a powerful PaaS with everything from underlying Cisco server and networking hardware to OpenShift. Furthermore, we have integrated OpenShift with Cisco's Prime Service Catalog so that developers can have a single portal for requesting all their services.
Expanded Fog Computing Vision
At the Distributech smart grid event in San Antonio, Cisco continued delivering on its vision for fog computing, transforming the network edge into a distributed computing infrastructure for applications that take advantage of the billions of devices already connected in the Internet of Things (IoT). Cisco IOx is an application enablement framework for the IoT.
With the new Cisco IOx capability, customers from all segments and solution providers across industries will be able to develop, manage and run software applications directly on Cisco industrial networked-devices, including hardened routers, switches and IP video cameras. IOx allows applications to run close to the data source - in instances such as smart energy distribution, smarter traffic lights, self-maintaining trains, and lifesaving air vents. It marries Linux and Cisco IOS network operating system together in a single networked device, which allows applications to run and respond instantly to actionable data sensed in an IoE world.
“Itron’s work with Cisco is focused on providing an open, end-to-end, standards-compliant network for smart utility operations," said Jeff Carkhuff, vice president of global product management for electricity at Itron. "IOx will take this offering even further, allowing field devices to serve as both powerful IP routers and application hosts. The “bring your own interface” capabilities of IOx allow easy integration of innovative, specialized communications technology with a common IP architecture. Itron has been actively integrating IOx into our smart energy and water solutions, and we are excited about the possibilities it offers, including distributed analytics, real-time monitoring and dynamic control in the network itself.”
Cisco IOx capabilities will initially be available in Cisco industrial routers this spring. Cisco is working with industry leaders to collaborate and develop IOx-based solutions that will ease the deployment and support of the billions of connected devices in IoT.