The Multicloud Landscape: Global Trends, Sovereignty, and Cisco’s Strategic Support


Cloud Trends

There are two major global trends that are shaping the cloud market. Customers across various segments are on a cloud adoption and cloud-native journey as they embark on application modernization to participate in an application-driven economy. At the same time, geo-political developments have increased focus on data privacy, security, and operational sovereignty.  Countries, governments, and industries are evaluating options for better application and data infrastructure control. This control includes aspects like

  • where data gets stored,
  • who has access to data,
  • who operates the infrastructure that runs applications and stores the data

The following pictures describe various levels of sovereignty expected by customers. Customers will adopt one or more suitable sovereignty levels depending on the sensitivity of the applications and data.

Example mapping of a country’s data classification framework to cloud operating models

Strategic Cloud Planning

The first step to creating a sovereign cloud strategy for any country or business is to classify the data and workloads they rely on. The classification needs to consider the sensitivity and criticality of data and associated applications. The critical question is, “What is the impact on the government or services if a particular workload or data gets compromised?”. The compromise could be a data leak, data theft, and workload compromise, leading to service disruption.  Based on such a classification framework, governments can place the right workload and data in the right cloud service. Sometimes, both sensitivity and cost must be considered in workload and data placement decisions. Depending on which workload and data we are talking about, cost considerations might be of lower priority to maintaining the sovereignty of the data and services.

Sovereign Multiclouds Strategies in Action

A key example of a country that has a sovereign multicloud strategy and is executing towards it is Italy. Based on the Italian government’s mandate, Telekom Italia is building a sovereign cloud infrastructure for various industries to adopt and get on the cloud journey. Cisco is proud to be a strategic partner in this initiative. Another key country in the Middle East is on its journey towards a similar cloud adoption journey. The sovereign multicloud trend is not restricted to governments alone, as many regulated industries like the banking and financial sector and healthcare sector are actively developing their sovereign multicloud strategy.

Given this background, any technology solution to build a private sovereign cloud should be able to be built and operated at any of those levels. At the same time, customers expect the experience of consuming services from such an infrastructure to be as close to the experience of consuming from a rich public cloud service.

The following high-level block diagram shows various building blocks of hardware and software components, making a private sovereign cloud that delivers a public cloud-like experience.

Cisco Sovereign Cloud Stack

Cisco: Your Sovereign Cloud Strategic Partner

Cisco is committed to working with our partners and customers to deliver a validated sovereign cloud stack that helps customers adopt the cloud with all security and sovereignty requirements addressed carefully.  This is where Cisco’s power of portfolio comes into play and plays a very differentiated role in our customers’ journey to the cloud. Besides building sovereign cloud infrastructure, Cisco can help our customers Connect, Secure, and Observe their sovereign multicloud environments, as shown below.

Capabilities for Sovereign Multicloud Journey

So, whether you are a Cisco customer looking to embark on your sovereign cloud journey or a Cisco partner wanting to help your customers develop their cloud strategy, we welcome the opportunity to be your strategic partner and enable this journey!

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