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Cisco joins cloud computing race with $1 billion plan: WSJ

Cisco Systems plans to offer cloud computing services, pledging to spend $1 billion over the next two years to enter a market currently led by the world's biggest online retailer

Cisco said it will spend the amount to build data centers to help run the new service called Cisco Cloud Services.

Cisco, which mainly deals in networking hardware, wants to take advantage of companies' desire to rent computing services rather than buying and maintaining their own machines.

(Read more: Cramer sees bigcloud on the horizon –

Peter Chernaev | E+ | Getty Images

The company said it plans to deliver the service with and through partners including Australian telecom service provider Telstra, tech distributor Ingram Micro, and Indian IT company Wipro.

"Customers, providers and channel partners … want to rapidly deploy valuable enterprise-class cloud experiences for key customers—all while mitigating the risk of capital investment," Rob Lloyd, Cisco's president of development and sales, said in a statement.

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