That, in turn, is perfect for Cisco because it happens to tie perfectly into the company's cloud strategy: to help organizations who are building clouds themselves by providing the "essential architecture," such as the core networking gear, the unified computing systems, the security tools, and even the endpoints. By no surprise, the network is the platform -- and the center of Cisco's cloud strategy.
Reliable and secure networking blocks, according to Tucker, are critical to the cloud. To illustrate this point, Tucker notes that today's cars are "in essence mini-clouds driving around on the highway" that contain more than 200 devices connecting to the Internet. "I might want my car to talk to another car up ahead to see what's going on with the traffic -- but I don't want someone messing around with my brakes as I'm going," he says.
As for the nonvehicular clouds, Tucker makes the case that applications need to be separated from the systems architecture -- one app per server isn't efficient. It's not a particularly unique perspective on the cloud, which is all about providing a virtual pool of compute and storage resources.
To achieve that vision, Tucker says Cisco's strategy is to build APIs into "every networkable device we sell." These APIs would also enable the automation, management, and provisioning duties.
Cisco made a similar case in a whitepaper [PDF] outlining its network-powered cloud strategy: "In general, cloud services must support virtual network resources, expose the resources through APIs, allow manipulation of the resources on demand through APIs, provide some level of application resource visibility within the network, and provide comprehensive and dynamic policy support across the ISO/OSI network layer."
Follow Ted Samson on Twitter at tsamson_iw.
This article, "Cisco insists it has a cloud strategy," was originally published at InfoWorld.com. Get the first word on what the important tech news really means with the InfoWorld Tech Watch blog, and for the latest in business technology news, follow InfoWorld.com on Twitter.