Cisco, Microsoft Team on New Cloud Platform

By Perry Vandell

Cisco is extending its cloud and data center relationship with Microsoft to include a new technology platform designed to help cloud providers get to the equipment giant’s Intercloud more quickly and efficiently.

Intercloud is Cisco’s global network of clouds designed for high-value application workloads and analytic services.

The two companies have unveiled Cisco Cloud Architecture for the Microsoft Cloud Platform to address incompatibility among hardware, software, network and storage devices using the cloud. The new technology will combine Windows Azure Pack and Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure in an effort to simplify tasks and reduce costs. The integration aims to help cloud partners evolve beyond traditional hardware sales to combine software and platform-as-a-service offerings in one solution to drive value for customers.

"We want our service-provider partners to move up-market with us and offer higher-end cloud services,” Nick Earle, Cisco’s senior vice president of cloud and managed services said. “By partnering with Microsoft we’re able to deliver a tightly integrated, application centric cloud architecture. This unique new platform will help our partners dramatically accelerate the delivery of new and innovative hybrid cloud services for their customers."

"Cisco and Microsoft already have a strong relationship in the cloud and data center markets,” said Aziz Benmalek, Microsoft’s general manager of hosting service providers. “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.”

The two companies also believe the combined platform will give partners an easier way to deliver their respective services, whether it be disaster recovery, big data or enterprise applications. Cisco noted that Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 is integrated with the Cisco Unified Computing System Manager to simplify matters further.

Cisco also announced that 14 more cloud partners have announced they’ll join its Intercloud partner ecosystem. A full list of company names can be found here.

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