Cisco Systems' (CSCO) network of cloud-certified partners is growing again. IT and communications provider EarthLink has achieved the Cloud and Managed Services (CMSP) Advanced Partner designation, putting it in a position to further build and solidify its Cisco-based cloud offerings.

According to the announcement from EarthLink, the IT solutions firm will be focusing on providing cloud disaster recovery, private cloud hosting and FlexCloud hosting services as a CMSP-certified partner.

"EarthLink is very proud of our IT services team that worked through months of detailed certification and process requirements to earn Cisco's CMSP Advanced Partner certification," said Thomas Hobika, EarthLink's senior vice president of Cloud IT services, in a prepared statement. "We will utilize our CMSP certification as a tremendous opportunity to expand revenue, build customer loyalty and differentiate EarthLink's sales force as we team with Cisco to sell our unique cloud services."

Certification will not only enable EarthLink to expand its portfolio, but it should also mean the company will be able to differentiate itself—something that is becoming increasingly difficult in a growing competitive market.

EarthLink likely also will be able to take advantage of several of Cisco's incentive programs, which have been delving deeper and deeper into its cloud computing portfolio of hardware and software.