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  1. #1
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    [EN] Cisco Joins Race to Offer Cloud Services

    Firm to Spend US$ 1 Billion in Next Two Years to Enter Market

    Shira Ovide

    March 24,2014

    Cisco Systems Inc. plans to begin offering "cloud" computing service to corporate customers, pledging to spend $1 billion over the next two years to enter a market now led by Inc.

    The Silicon Valley company, which is mainly known for networking hardware, is the latest in a series of technology vendors hoping to capitalize on the desire of many companies to rent computing services rather than buying and maintaining their own machines.

    Cisco says its spending will go toward building up data centers to help run the new service, called Cisco Cloud Services, which will also rely on computer rooms operated by partners. Business customers, Cisco said, can rely on the computing horsepower for information-technology tasks such as keeping tabs on customer orders and letting employees access their work computers from any Internet-connected machine.

    "Companies are looking for different ways to get IT done," said Rob Lloyd, Cisco president of development and sales. "Everybody is realizing the cloud can be a vehicle for achieving better economics [and] lower cost."

    Cisco built its business, which has about $49 billion in annual revenue, largely on selling equipment that funnels data among servers in corporate-computing hubs and between those machines and the Internet. The company's latest push is fresh evidence that the cloud is causing technology giants to rethink their strategies as more companies shift spending from their own hardware to external services.

    Amazon, though best known for online retail operations, helped pioneer the market. Analysts estimate that its cloud business, known as Amazon Web Services, pulls in $3 billion or more in annual revenue. Financial firm Robert W. Baird & Co. has estimated that each dollar companies spend on Amazon Web Services replaces $3 to $4 spent on traditional information-technology services.

    Many of Amazon's customers are Web startups that never bothered to build their own computing operations. Cisco and some other rivals are focusing more on big companies and government agencies that will want to own their own computer-server farms to control their most important computing chores but will turn to cloud services for some of their tech needs.

    "It does not mean that we're embarking on a strategy to go head-to-head with Amazon," Cisco's Mr. Lloyd said.

    Cisco's approach differs from Amazon's in other ways. In some cases, Cisco plans to sell its cloud services to telecom companies that will then use them in a package of Internet-based services the companies already sell to others.

    The company, unlike Amazon, also plans to tailor its services to work especially well with software from companies such as SAP AG, Microsoft Corp. and VMware Inc., all in widespread use at big companies.

    Cisco said early partners that will use its cloud service include telecommunications companies Telstra Corp. of Australia and Canada's Allstream Inc.

    The partnership with Cisco "allows us to compete more aggressively with other public cloud providers," said Paul Geason, a group managing director at Telstra.

    (Telstra co-owns an Australian TV service with News Corp, owner of The Wall Street Journal.)

    Cisco's $1 billion spending commitment underscores the company's determination to penetrate new markets. Revenue at the San Jose, Calif., company declined about 3.1% in the six months ended Jan. 25, and Cisco has predicted a steeper sales drop for the current quarter.

    Cisco attributed the drop to a slowdown in orders from emerging countries and to some big customers holding off on new orders as they evaluate some of its latest products. But critics say Cisco is starting to feel the pinch from rival lower-cost network equipment from China's Huawei Technology Co. and others, and from new tech companies selling switching systems based on inexpensive components.

    Cisco shares are down about 3.5% this year.

    The company plans to discuss the new service Monday at a conference with its customers.

    —Don Clark contributed to this article.
    Cisco Joins Race to Offer Cloud Services -

  2. #2
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010

    Cisco Bets a Billion on the Cloud

    Cisco is building its Intercloud on OpenStack software, an open-source, cloud-computing standard.

    Cloud Computing March 24, 2014

    Even for the world of globe-spanning computer systems, Cisco is going big.

    On Monday Cisco Systems announced it would spend $1 billion on creation of an “Intercloud,” which promises to bridge multiple cloud-computing systems open to the public — like those offered by Amazon Web Services and Google Compute Engine — the private clouds of big companies and specialty cloud services for business.

    Cisco, the networking giant, is building out its own data centers for the system and says it will offer Intercloud clients a high level of security and reliability. It also hopes to enlist a dozen or so large telecommunications companies and services consulting companies as partners. Other money will go toward new technology and a specialized sales organization.

    The idea is to let companies run their software applications both internally and on public clouds, with close management, security and geographic control. What remains to be seen is whether there is really much demand for such a service.

    The goal is a “Star Alliance” of technology companies, said Nick Earle, senior vice president for cloud sales at Cisco. Star Alliance is a global network of 28 major airlines. So far, Cisco has announced only one partner, Australia’s Telstra, but it will announce other partners in coming weeks, Mr. Earle said. They will include “market makers, big ecosystems,” like IBM in business applications, Accenture in services or Verizon in telecommunications. None of these companies were part of Monday’s announcement.

    One reason for the move, Mr. Earle said, was the revelations of how much the National Security Agency was spying on just about everyone. Companies have said the N.S.A. news is changing policies around the movement of data over external networks.

    “Thanks to the N.S.A., there are lots of countries that won’t let their data out,” he said. “Thirty to 40 percent of the workloads on an A.W.S. are on personal credit cards that bypass the information technology department. With the N.S.A., this has to change.”

    Another reason was the realization that companies like Amazon and Google were essentially running their own systems, while there was room for more interoperability and open standards. Cisco is building its Intercloud on OpenStack software, an open-source, cloud-computing standard.

    There are two ways to look at this. On the one hand, Cisco is trying to meet a real need, in the face of both growing public clouds and an anxiety inside information technology departments that companies are losing control of their own computer networks, either through N.S.A. types or freebooting employees.

    On the other, Cisco and the other big incumbents it hopes to bring into its Intercloud may be making a play for relevance in a world that has evolved beyond the systems they built. What a Cisco (or for that matter, an Oracle, SAP, Verizon and others) has to offer in this future is primarily a strong relationship with the past. That is no small matter to companies that have to manage decades of data and applications.

    Whether this move is a rear-guard action or a forward-looking play, however, it’s clear that cloud computing has become a very big money game.

  3. #3
    WHT-BR Top Member
    Data de Ingresso
    Dec 2010
    "Thirty to 40 percent of the workloads on an A.W.S. are on personal credit cards"
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