Though Rackspace declared it is no longer in search of a buyer, another two participants have announced their intentions. Network hardware giant, Cisco, has announced its acquisition of OpenStack private cloud vendor Metacloud. All of this coming on the heels of HP’s acquisition of Eucalyptus last week signals an uptick in Cloud M&A activity.
Cisco entered the cloud world with a $1 Billion investment announcement of its Intercloud fabric in March of this year. Subsequent months have seen the onboarding of a number of ‘Cisco-powered’ provider partners (including Telstra, Atos, Sungard and others) who make their services available in the Cisco Intercloud. These providers are building their cloud solutions on Cisco technologies and they will be made available via a common fabric along with existing Cisco cloud services like WebEx.
Enter Metacloud, an OpenStack based, private cloud technology company. Initially, an OpenStack distribution builder offering up on-premise private cloud support, Metacloud recently rolled out a hosted option. Per the Metacloud blog post “Cisco and its partners will offer Metacloud OpenStack private cloud as-a-Service to enable hybrid IT solutions”. This could be interpreted a couple of ways: Cisco will have its own private cloud as a service offering based on Metacloud, or Cisco partners will be given access to Metacloud so that they can deliver their own offering. The former would be a significant departure from their earlier statements on the ecosystem they have spent the past year creating, while the latter would be a continuation of their commitment to partner enablement.
Cisco’s introduction of the Intercloud includes a commitment to OpenStack and interoperability “The Cisco Intercloud will be built upon industry-leading Cisco cloud technologies and leverage OpenStack for its open standards-based global infrastructure. We plan to support any workload, on any hypervisor and interoperate with any cloud.” The Metacloud move seems a smart acquisition of OpenStack engineering talent, IP, and customers who will help accelerate the Cisco Intercloud rollout and add value to their ecosystem of partner providers. Or they could be following in VMware’s footsteps with a partner-competitive product of their own.