Cisco’s Intercloud and the Argument for More Internet Control

Cisco announced last week that the Internet requires a greater amount of control, and companies will work with governments to make that happen. Cisco and its partners have been developing the “Intercloud,” a proposed network designed to enable the next generation of standardized cloud applications by offering high performance, improved security and more control. The network intends to help companies comply with regulations involving the data that moves within their borders.

In countries that emphasize data privacy, the technology can help keep personal info from public access. In countries were infrastructure such as traffic control systems are run online, the technology will provide better security and control.

ciscoMeanwhile, there may be a downside to data sovereignty. Since digital info is subject to the laws of the country in which it is stored, censorship can result in countries with less democratic views. In the wake of Internet censorship in China and Twitter’s temporary ban in Turkey, there may be concern regarding how the network is used.

Deutsche Telekom, British Telecommunications and Equinix are among the 30+ companies in support of the Intercloud. Cisco pointed out that a number of other companies are currently developing compliant cloud systems and applications.

“Deutsche Telekom is deploying Intercloud nodes into its data centers in Germany to meet that country’s strict data protection standards,” reports The New York Times. “BT, with data centers in 20 countries on five continents, will deploy Cisco infrastructure that, a release announcing the partnership said, allows its customers ‘to meet national compliance and assurance requirements and to communicate and contract under the jurisdiction of the local law.’”

According to the press release, “Today’s news will expand the reach of the Intercloud by 250 additional data centers in 50 countries, and advances Cisco’s plan to address customer requirements for a globally distributed, highly secure cloud platform capable of meeting the robust demands of the Internet of Everything.”

At the heart of the Intercloud is open source cloud software OpenStack. Tech companies including AT&T, HP and IBM have embraced OpenStack.

“Since we announced our OpenStack-based cloud strategy six months ago, we’ve received tremendous industry-wide support,” said Rob Lloyd, Cisco’s president of development and sales. “The strategy is gaining momentum in the open source community and providing partners with a powerful cloud platform with global reach, and Internet scale and efficiencies.”