Cisco has announced that it will be ending its public cloud service offering Intercloud in March of 2017.

Current users will be migrated to other platforms before the shutdown date, and according to a statement from the company, no material issues are expected to affect customers during the transition.

The decision to shutter Intercloud was made as the result of a realignment of Cisco’s cloud business directives, to advance strategies focused on hybrid rather than public cloud services.

In the written statement, a company representative noted, “Cisco has evolved its cloud strategy from federating clouds to helping customers build and manage hybrid IT environments. Our cloud strategy centers on building and delivering secure hybrid cloud infrastructure, platforms, and services.”

Intercloud was launched just over two years ago as an OpenStack-based, public cloud contender to rival Amazon Web Services (AWS), Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud in the cloud platform business market. It comprised a secure, fully-scalable public cloud platform offering real-time analytics and local hosting, to comply with varying customer data sovereignty requirements.

At that time Cisco Capital pledged a $1 billion investment in financing for cloud technologies and services.

Cisco, a long-time leader in the IT infrastructure hardware market, has seen a lack of growth in the hardware market as businesses move toward virtualization, or begin to manufacture their own hardware. Amazon is currently building its own hardware for cloud services; Facebook is creating open-source AI and data center hardware through the Open Compute Project.

Stepping back from the public cloud will allow Cisco to focus its efforts on Enterprise Hybrid Cloud and SP Network Function Virtualization, rather than fighting for space in the increasingly competitive public cloud market.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) currently dominates the public cloud market, with 57% of customers worldwide; followed by Microsoft Azure with 20%, according to this study from January 2016. Cisco was left to compete for the remaining customers against Google, Oracle, IBM, and others.

In October, Cisco issued an end-of-life announcement for Intercloud software, but said that service and support for the software would continue to be available through 2020.

Last October, HPE announced that it was terminating its Helion public cloud offering, selling its OpenStack and CloudFoundry businesses to SUSE, in order to realign its business strategy away from public cloud as well.