Sun's Lew Tucker to lead Cisco's cloud efforts

The former Sun cloud chief will be the first CTO of cloud computing at Cisco

Lew Tucker, who was vice president and chief technology officer of cloud computing at Sun Microsystems, has been named the first CTO of cloud computing at Cisco Systems.

With all the excitement over cloud computing, the role of the network in those efforts has been overlooked, Tucker said in a brief interview at the Structure 2010 conference in San Francisco, where his new position was announced. Because it is the common thread through all the infrastructure involved in cloud computing, the network has a big role to play, he said.

For one thing, it will be important for Cisco to address application developers so that applications can use network resources more intelligently, Tucker said.

"We need to make the network much more programmable," Tucker said.

Tucker started working at Cisco this week. He reports to Cisco CTO Padmasree Warrior and to Tony Bates, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Service Provider Group. It's not yet determined whether he will have a staff to help him coordinate Cisco's efforts in this area.

Many parts of Cisco's business touch upon cloud computing, including its emerging Unified Computing System server architecture and uses of the network it is promoting, such as video and "borderless computing" to help users access network resources wherever they are, Tucker said. Yet Cisco is a new player in cloud computing itself. Tucker plans to build a coherent cloud strategy for the company. Asked whether Cisco will become a cloud service provider, Tucker said that's not clear yet.

Oracle's acquisition of Sun closed earlier this year. Tucker said he took two months off before moving to Cisco.

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