Cisco staffs up cloud unit, taps Dimension Data for hybrid delivery

Cisco tapped Dimension Data for help on laying the building blocks for the hybrid cloud infrastructure and reaching emerging markets.
Written by Rachel King, Contributor

SAN FRANCISCO---Following a booster shot to its collaboration suite, Cisco turned the focus to its burgeoning enterprise cloud department on the second day of its IT expo, Cisco Live.

In order to get that cloud off the ground, so to speak, Cisco is reinforcing the brainpower behind the cloud business strategy, starting with some key internal appointments.

Cisco's cloud department consists of more than 3,700 employees worldwide, led by both longtime Cisco executives as well as key new hires such as former OpenStack developers and seasoned veterans from the likes of Amazon, IBM, and Microsoft.

The San Jose-headquartered corporation announced the following three appointments early on Tuesday morning:

  • Previously senior vice president of Worldwide Services Sales and Channels at Cisco, Nick Earle will spearhead the Cloud and Managed Services unit, reporting to Services SVP, Edzard Overbeek.
  • Dr. Gee Rittenhouse will lead the new Cloud and Virtualization Group under executive vice president and chief development officer Pankaj Patel. Rittenhouse previously served as general manager and vice president of Cisco's Service Provider Cloud Systems and Network Management Business Group.
  • Faiyaz Shahpurwala will continue to lead the Cloud Infrastructure and Managed Services department, also reporting to Overbeek. Shahpurwala also oversees Cisco's Industry Solutions Group, targeting everything from education to healthcare.

Beyond accumulating individuals from both inside and out for cloud knowledge, Cisco is also looking toward entire other companies with experience in delivering these products.

Chief among them being announced on Tuesday is worldwide systems integrator Dimension Data, which conducts public and private cloud deployments for larger enterprise companies while also collaborating with service providers on delivering Software-as-a-Service.

In March, the networking giant first unveiled its big cloud play, Intercloud, with significant angles on what is becoming known as "fog computing" as well as satisfying BYOD and IT concerns while also promising to accommodate existing third-party solutions from Microsoft and VMware, among others.

At the same time, Cisco pledged to spend over $1 billion on its cloud strategy with the intention of offering corporate clients the same services as rival firms.

Cisco has tapped Dimension Data for help on laying the building blocks for the hybrid cloud infrastructure and reaching emerging markets.

Rob Lloyd, president of development and sales at Cisco, posited at Tuesday morning's keynote session that the hybrid approach offers the perfect balance between delivery models matched by the innovation and speed potential purported by cloud technology.

Boasting that Cisco already leads the private cloud industry, Lloyd acknowledged that the private cloud will "continue to be the bedrock" of the enterprise cloud market.

Still, Lloyd proclaimed Cisco aims to be the top provider for hybrid cloud delivery via Intercloud.

To start, Cisco will roll out its Intercloud Fabric along with its UCS Director and Dimension Data's public Infrastructure-as-a-Service into two different hybrid cloud choices. These are scheduled to become available worldwide within the next three months.

Furthermore, Dimension Data and Cisco are collaborating on another IaaS platform to be bundled with other Cisco technology and SaaS applications, including Microsoft SQL Server and SharePoint.

Beyond Dimension Data, Cisco has hatched a few more deals to establish a partner ecosystem for Intercloud, signing on NetApp, Accenture, and Sungard, among others, on various licensing and infrastructure agreements.

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