Cisco recently announced an important continuation of its cloud and data center joint partnership with Microsoft to make it easier for cloud providers to go to market. Cisco and Microsoft have extended their 2014 agreement to give providers a new integrated platform designed to accelerate service delivery and streamline the journey to Intercloud.
“We want our service providers’ partners to move up-market with us and offer higher-end cloud services. By partnering with Microsoft we’re able to deliver a tightly integrated, application-centric cloud architecture,” said Nick Earle, Cisco’s senior vice president of Cloud and Managed Services. “This unique new platform will help our partners dramatically accelerate the delivery of new and innovative hybrid cloud services for their customers.”
Because next-generation cloud services require close compatibility between hardware, software, network, storage and compute, cloud providers are challenged with managing the complexity and cost of integrating the infrastructure and application layers required to bring new cloud services to market.
Cisco and Microsoft’s answer to that need is the Cisco Cloud Architecture for the Microsoft Cloud Platform – an integrated solution that combines Windows Azure Pack (WAP) and Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) to help cloud providers deliver hybrid cloud services more quickly while drastically simplifying operations and reducing costs.
Integration of the Cisco’s ACI into Microsoft System Center and WAP will enable packaged enterprise services with a lifecycle approach to policy management.
“Cisco and Microsoft already have a strong relationship in the cloud and data center markets. Today, we’re expanding that collaboration with a solution that will allow our mutual partners to deliver services quickly and grow revenue faster with a cloud-enabled platform. The work we’ve done to integrate Cisco ACI with Windows Azure Pack will allow cloud providers to dramatically accelerate time-to-market, while decreasing costs,” said Aziz Benmalek, general manager of Microsoft’s Hosting Service Providers. “Together, Cisco and Microsoft are helping our partners evolve with current market demand and rapidly shifting customer needs.”
Cisco also announced 14 new cloud providers in its Intercloud partner ecosystem, bringing the total number of partners to more than 60, with nearly 350 data centers in 50 countries across the globe.
Cisco’s Cloud Architecture for the Microsoft Cloud Platform provides the foundation for cloud providers to evolve beyond traditional infrastructure as a service (IaaS) capabilities to create combined IaaS, platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) solutions that deliver more value to clients.
Also, Cisco and Microsoft will support their ecosystem partners with a full lifecycle go-to-market approach that delivers service ideation, demand generation and customer retention. While the new solution primarily meets the needs of traditional enterprise applications, it will also complement Cisco’s OpenStack-based architectures for cloud native workloads and provide seamless hybrid cloud capability for connecting to Azure and Intercloud. Cisco hopes to release the first reference architecture next month.