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Living in a World of Many Clouds

The following is a guest post by Pat Adamiak, senior director of cloud solutions, at Cisco Systems Inc.


Here on the final day of VMworld 2012 Barcelona, I can't help but be reminded that cloud is currently one of the hottest topics in the IT industry.


We believe that cloud represents a fundamental shift in how IT will be delivered and consumed.  In these early days of cloud, public cloud has often received much of the media attention, with conversation often centered on whether massive scale is necessary to be a viable cloud provider.


While there is indeed a strong role both now and in the future for scale providers, we're also seeing an equally interesting  trend as well - the emergence of more highly differenced cloud services, focused on addressing industry specific needs,  such as application types, compliance requirements or geographical differences.


Cisco Cloud GraphicAs we work with both cloud service providers and end customers, we've seen that a one-size-fits-all type cloud solution is not always preferred. As a result, we are seeing the rapid rise of what we refer to as 'a world of many clouds.'


For example, a financial institution has entirely different application and service requirements from a high-end gaming company.  Or for that matter, from those of a federal or provincial government. The result is an increasingly rich tapestry of clouds that will mark our future - some public, some private, and some hybrid.


Connecting many of these different elements efficiently and seamlessly - and with flawless security -requires sophisticated interplay within the datacenter and across the many flavors of networking that interconnect the datacenters, clouds and cloud service customers.


As part of this, the industry is already making rapid progress towards developing open, programmable networks, which feature APIs to support rich interaction between cloud software and the underlying network, as well as increasing virtualization of the network, computing and storage.


Leading cloud solution providers are already embracing the transition to more robust and customizable cloud offerings. A great example of this is Savvis, which has been cited by industry analysts as both a visionary and leader in the critical infrastructure as a service market.


By upgrading its data centers and switching to an IP Next-Generation Network last year, Savvis combined its expertise in serving vertical markets with a cloud solution that can provide on-premise levels of performance, availability, security and flexibility. It has done an excellent job of preparing for and benefiting from the world of many clouds.


Cloud is the future of IT services. This future will not be made of one giant monolithic cloud but, rather, a world of many clouds. These different clouds will be unique in how they are able to serve specific market segments with tailored offerings. Those providers, like Savvis, with the ability to roll out customizable, vertically focused clouds, will have a significant advantage in the race to capture marke t share in the growing cloud space.