Advanced Computing in the Age of AI|Monday, August 3, 2020
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Cisco Advances ‘Intercloud’ With Metacloud Deal 

Cisco Systems is acquiring privately held Metacloud, which deploys and operates private clouds based on the OpenStack cloud controller. The acquisition is intended to accelerate Cisco's intercloud strategy aimed at connecting private, public, and hybrid clouds.

Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Cisco said the acquisition of Metacloud's remote managed OpenStack private Cloud-as-a-Service platform would help speed its intercloud effort announced in March. The strategy aims to knock down "silos" as enterprises shift from on-premises IT infrastructure to a mix of private and public clouds along with on-premise applications.

"The resulting silos present a challenge to IT administrators as choice, visibility, data sovereignty and protection in this world of many clouds requires an open platform," Hilton Romanski, Cisco's senior vice president for corporate development, explained in a statement announcing the deal.

Cisco said it has been steadily enlisting technology partners along with service and cloud providers to its intercloud effort. All are standardizing on Cisco's cloud architecture, which is based on OpenStack software for building public and private clouds.

The Metacloud deal is expected to accelerate the effort by allowing service providers to combine their public cloud deployments with remotely managed OpenStack private clouds, thereby linking what are now separate cloud infrastructures.

Metacloud, based in Sacramento, California, was founded in 2011 by Steve Curry and Sean Lynch. Its OpenStack platform is intended to deliver private cloud performance on a par with public clouds. It is based on as a Software-as-a-Service model and an "application-driven approach to infrastructure" intended to allow customers to focus on on-premises applications.

"Metacloud OpenStack will advanced the [Cisco] intercloud offering by being the interface to the end-developers and DevOps teams building, deploying and operating hybrid cloud applications," Lynch explained in a company blog post.

Cisco's vision of a global network of interconnected clouds and cloud service providers also focuses on critical application workloads and a "near infinite" scaling capability. The OpenStack-based approach also would allow for local hosting and cloud provider options while ensuring data sovereignty, that is, stored data would comply with regulations of the country in which it is located.

Along with Metacloud, Cisco's intercloud technology partners include Johnson Controls, NetApp, Red Hat, Sungard, Telstra, and VCE. Red Hat announced earlier this month it would work with Cisco on an integrated infrastructure platform for OpenStack-based cloud deployments. Along with intercloud, the partnership is intended to advance Cisco's Application Centric Infrastructure, the partners said.

Meanwhile, the market for cloud startups appears to be heating up. Last week, Cisco rival Hewlett-Packard announced it was acquiring Eucalyptus, a provider targeting private and hybrid clouds that predates OpenStack. The Eucalyptus deal follows HP's announcement in May that it will invest more than $1 billion over the next two years in hybrid IT platforms under its Helion portfolio.

Cisco said Metacloud employees would join Cisco's Cloud Infrastructure and Managed Services unit led by senior vice president Faiyaz Shahpurwala. The Metacloud acquisition is expected to be completed during the first quarter of Cisco's fiscal year 2015 that ends in December.

About the author: George Leopold

George Leopold has written about science and technology for more than 30 years, focusing on electronics and aerospace technology. He previously served as executive editor of Electronic Engineering Times. Leopold is the author of "Calculated Risk: The Supersonic Life and Times of Gus Grissom" (Purdue University Press, 2016).

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