As with any technology, cloud development and cloud resources are continually evolving, scaling and reaching for the next level of usability. We've moved to a stage where hybrid cloud – the use of a combination of public and private cloud and private on-premise functionality – is a popular choice to provide the resources necessary to support today's business needs. To take this idea to the next level, Cisco announced in March its commitment to investing one billion dollars over the next two years to create a global Intercloud – a network of clouds – that could be leveraged to help partners and service providers bring new services to market more quickly.
While the full picture of how the Intercloud will be used is still developing, experts anticipate initial migrations to the Intercloud will focus on two key areas: disaster recovery/business continuity (DR/BC) and the need for on-demand "elastic" compute capacity. According to Wikipedia, the Intercloud is based on the idea that each single cloud does not have infinite physical resources or ubiquitous geographic footprint, so both of these use cases fit nicely into the basic premise of the Intercloud.
Converged Technology Group, a managed services partner, has identified five critical steps CIOs and IT pros can take to further develop their cloud strategy and prepare their organizations for the coming Intercloud.
"Cisco's Intercloud holds great promise, particularly when it comes to reducing customers' IT costs and mitigating risk, but it's important to prepare today for the architectures and options that will exist tomorrow," says Leo E. Galletta, president and CEO, Converged Technology Group. "A solution provider experienced in developing cloud strategies can walk corporate CIOs through the phases of integrating their existing technology infrastructure with the global Intercloud. This starts by defining their cloud strategy, helping them select a private cloud architecture that will support their use of the Intercloud, examining which aspects of the Intercloud will be most effective for their particular business, mapping their migration path over the next one to three years, and finally helping the CIO determine how they'll manage their hybrid cloud operations."
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