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Cisco Pioneers Intercloud to Bolster Data Storage and Protection

Intercloud, a brand new cloud-based network that recently received $1 billion in investment funding from Cisco Systems, is already being touted as the CIO's solution to data management across multiple and remote locations. Furthermore, the concept behind Intercloud also bolsters compliance with applicable data protection and security standards.

Just in case their massive investment wasn't enough to jumpstart the new service, Cisco also unveiled a list of new partners who will be involved in Intercloud. Spanning the globe, the list includes names such as Equinix, Inc., British Telecom, NTT Data, Deutsche Telekom and more. In fact, the recent announcement listed partnerships with a total of 250 separate data centers located through 50 different countries. Given the newfound driving force behind Intercloud, the service is now expected to provide some competition for the more popular cloud providers, including Amazon.com, Google and IBM.

In fact, the Intercloud service model is rather similar to that of its primary competition. By giving their customers the opportunity to pay only for the amount of computing power they need, just as the popular cloud service providers do, Cisco is able to minimize costs on behalf of their clients while generating brand new business as well as repeat customers.

Carl Brooks, a highly prolific analyst with 451 Research, spoke optimistically about Intercloud, though he maintained some reservations about the new service. He was quoted as saying: "Intercloud is basically a partner and channel strategy for serving up infrastructure as a service. They’re basically saying we have a stake in this game, and even though we’re not Amazon, you can’t ignore us."

As mentioned, Intercloud is also offering compliance services. By storing local data in domestic data centers, the developers behind Intercloud expect to strengthen international operations while ensuring full compliance with all data collection and storage needs.

While Intercloud may not be suitable for every enterprise or all applications, it is meant to provide a stepping stone for organizations that want to migrate away from cost-intensive and complicated private storage architectures. Not only does this lower operational costs, but it also reduces the workload of internal IT teams.

Rob Lloyd, president of development and sales with Cisco, explained the purpose of Intercloud in a recent blog posted, where he stated: "Today, the lack of ability to connect public clouds, and to move workloads and associated policies between clouds, coupled with an inability to manage public and private clouds together as a single capability, prevents IT organizations from buying cloud services from any vendor they choose and managing these services as if they were part of their extended private cloud." His blog post went on to state: " IT departments also need to enable business globally while operating within the constraints of national and regional regulations governing data privacy, security and data sovereignty. Today’s largely global (but not local) cloud solutions don’t provide this either."

Ultimately, it may be small business owners who have the most to gain from Intercloud. By providing streamlined accessibility, regulatory compliance and data security, small and medium-sized enterprises are able to concentrate on growing their business instead of simply running it.

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