By Sean Buckley | September 29, 2014

Cisco is making a serious bet on the cloud market, announcing that it will invest $1 billion over the next two years to expand its Intercloud offering, while linking to over 30 partner cloud providers' data centers.

The vendor will work with a number of household name service providers, including Deutsche Telekom, BT, NTT and Equinix, to add 250 data centers in 50 countries to its cloud network.

Each of its service provider partners will serve in specific public and hybrid cloud roles.

Equinix and Cisco will jointly provide enterprises with what they say are more secure interconnections to public clouds. Going forward, the two companies plan to develop a hosted private cloud solution that uses the Equinix Cloud Exchange to deliver secure private access to ecosystem of cloud service providers in Equinix data centers globally.

Cisco will deploy Intercloud capabilities in 16 Equinix markets across Europe, Asia and the Americas, while Equinix plans to deploy Cisco technologies and services across its Cloud Exchange, including the Cisco Nexus 9000 Series switch, Cisco APIC, and the Cisco Evolved Services Platform.

BT will use Cisco's Intercloud Fabric to develop hybrid cloud services that connect with the Cisco Cloud and with the cloud and managed service offerings of Cisco Powered Intercloud Providers.

In addition to the service provider partners, Cisco will work with two other partner categories it is calling Intercloud Builders and Intercloud Aggregators, such as Dimension Data, Forsythe Technology, Comstor and Ingram Micro.

Intercloud Builders will drive a new channel program to build Intercloud-ready private clouds based on Cisco Intercloud Fabric, while Intercloud Aggregators are tasked with creating a one-stop shop to enable and accelerate channel partners' ability to resell cloud services.

One of the unique features of Intercloud is it will enable enterprise to direct data traffic through specific clouds and data centers. By doing this, Cisco will be able to help large multinational businesses comply with country-specific regulations requiring companies to house data collected from its citizens in local data centers.

The company hopes that its program will help convince businesses of all sizes to consider a move into the cloud by addressing the security concerns that have plagued initial implementations.

Complementing the Intercloud initiative, Cisco said it will begin offering a hybrid cloud service.

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