Cisco and Microsoft extend partnership

Networking giant Cisco Systems has confirmed an extension of its partnership with Microsoft through a blog post on the company’s Web site.

The former rivals formed a new partnership last year through the Intercloud announcement and based on cloud and data centre solutions. At the time, Rob Lloyd, president of development and sales for Cisco, said the billion dollar Intercloud would leverage public clouds such as AmazonGoogle and Microsoft Azure.

What’s new today is that the two vendors are collaborating on a Cisco Cloud Architecture for the Microsoft Cloud Platform that will integrate Windows Azure Pack and Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI). According to the blog, this development could help cloud providers deliver hybrid cloud services to market quicker than before, while, simplifying operations and reducing costs.

In addition, 14 solution providers that offer cloud services announced plans to join Cisco’s Intercloud partner ecosystem. This brings the number of Intercloud providers to more than 60 comprising approximately 350 data centres in 50 countries. The new Intercloud providers include Bezeq International (Israel), City Cloud Technology (China), CTC – Itochu Techno Solution (Japan), Freudenberg IT (Germany), iland (United States), Proximus (Belgium), QSS (Bosnia) QTS (United States), Skyscape Cloud Services (United Kingdom), Telecom Italia (Italy), Telefonica (Spain), Troila Technology Development (China), ViaWest (United States) and Yunan Nantian Electronic Information (China).

Tom Jolly, the vice president, Managed IT Services and Cloud for Telus Business Solutions, said the hybrid cloud is top-of-mind for Canadian business leaders as they look for ways to drive innovation and gain a competitive advantage. Together with Cisco and Microsoft, Telus is evolving its cloud services portfolio and weaving in hybrid capabilities that deliver the flexibility today’s IT environments require. By integrating their technologies into the company’s unified cloud architecture, Cisco and Microsoft are helping Telus deliver innovative services to our customers faster and more efficiently.

To support these channel partners Cisco and Microsoft plan to offer a full lifecycle go-to-market approach that delivers everything from service ideation and demand generation to customer retention that will include programs such as Cisco Powered and the Microsoft Cloud OS Network (COSN) program.

The blog went on to say the Cisco Cloud Architecture for the Microsoft Cloud Platform provides building blocks beyond infrastructure as a service (IaaS) to create combined IaaS, platform as a service (PaaS), software as a service (SaaS) solutions.

Also the combination of Windows Azure Pack and Cisco ACI enables channel partners to deliver a range of services such as networking, disaster recovery, and enterprise application services.

Cisco will also integrate Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 with the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) Manager. Cisco also plans to publish the first reference architecture of OpenStack-based architectures for cloud native workloads and connecting to Intercloud and Azure in April 2015.

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