Posted by: Greg Ness | June 19, 2009

Here Comes the Intercloud

I don’t know who coined the “intercloud” term, but it is a big step forward in defining the enterprise cloud endgame.  See this Cisco blog and recent intercloud preso.


As sexy and compelling an idea as it is, the Intercloud would probably today be a bane according to Mark Masterson, who created a brilliant presentation on enterprise cloud security.  In essence he talks about the unintended consequences of larger computing systems with more complexity.


I think the gap between the intercloud promise and reality is the network.  That’s why it makes great sense for companies like Cisco to begin educating the market about where it needs to go, and ultimately the automation and management required.  The vision will help to champion the technology required.


That means it is time to talk about the challenges of intercloud, before we get too carried away with the promise.  Everyone probably agrees that it will be the most powerful, cost effective and compelling form of cloud computing for the enterprise.  Yet according to Cerf, today’s Internet isn’t ready for the simpler stuff.


“One of the most critical needs is authentication, Cerf said, and he told the crowd at a TechAmerica gathering Wednesday that anyone who performs transactions over the Internet — which is everyone — “should be deeply concerned about that technology.”

The lack of authentication is pervasive and is even a problem in simple cases, such as authenticating entries in the domain name system, he said.”

Patrick Thibodeau, Computerworld June 11, 2009


There are still issues with management and virtualization, as Denise Dubie suggested in Network World recently:


“A majority of IT departments are deploying virtualization, but still most don’t feel comfortable with the tools and technologies they have in place to manage application performance or troubleshoot problems in the virtual environment, according to recent survey results.”

– Denise Dubie, Network World, May 2009


More specifically, the gap between today’s network and the intercloud will need to be addressed by more automation and integration around some of the more mundane stuff at the core of the network, like DNS and IP address management, which perform a key role in making sure that network traffic reaches the right place.


You can catch some of the buzz about infrastructure 2.0 from the recent Future in Review Conference.



  1. To me it seems that Intercloud computing is nothing more than a long-term vision of “marketects”. First companies need to be convinced to move to the cloud before they may start interconnecting different clouds. I remember that everybody was talking about “peering CDNs” before CDNs even had won some traction. Finally, that never happened.

    We rather made the case for a model that we call myPaaS: the customer gets his services as a customized SaaS from one hand, while the service provider may change infrastructure and software requirements at any time the customer wants (even across different infrastructure clouds).

    • Matthias:

      It is a vision with some substantial technological barriers. And you’re right that enterprises are still on the fence when it comes to private clouds. Thanks for the comment.

  2. […] Here Comes the Intercloud « ARCHIMEDIUS – I don’t know who coined the “intercloud” term, but it is a big step forward in defining the enterprise cloud endgame. See this Cisco blog and recent intercloud preso. […]

  3. The Intercloud is a global cloud of clouds, and a great way to frame discussions about cloud computing interoperability. It’s also very compliant with my vision of cloud computing and the “Intercloud” as an operating environment, building on the structure in place in the form of the Internet (a global network of networks). Although I don’t see it displacing its predecessor, it’s far more useful than other terms like “CloudBurst” which triggers the gag reflex every time I hear it…


    • Sam:

      A global cloud of clouds. Well put. Thx

  4. […] to the Wikipedia entry, it was first introduced in 2007 by Kevin Kelly, both Lori MacVittie and Greg Ness wrote about the Intercloud last June and many reference James Urquhart in bringing it to […]

  5. It was Kevin Kelly who coined the term (officially that is). Check out for up to date news on the intercloud.

  6. Yes. I’m a Kevin Kelly fan… but I wish he would speak at FIRE instead of TED.

  7. […] Here Comes the Intercloud « ARCHIMEDIUS Google Adsense Google Adsense Categories: Cloud News Tags: endgame, gap Comments (0) Trackbacks (0) Leave a comment Trackback […]

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: