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Google, Cisco combine for the hybrid cloud

Google and Cisco might be falling behind in the cloud wars, but they aren’t giving up. Their recently announced partnership for the hybrid cloud aims to bring them both forward in the fight against their bigger cloud computing competitors, namely AWS and Azure.

After discontinuing Intercloud, Cisco isn’t giving up

It seemed that Cisco was pulling back from its cloud investments as it just recently discontinued its public cloud infrastructure, Cisco Intercloud Services. This product was partnered with numerous cloud providers and meant to help customers avoid vendor lock-in. However, it wasn’t successful enough to continue.

Cisco has continued to grow on its previous cloud strategy so it doesn’t get buried in the dust behind Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure. Cisco’s main goal now is to help customers with their hybrid cloud approach.

They can’t stick with their old business plan, considering that the physical datacenter market for things like routers and other networking gear is slowly shrinking away as businesses switch to the cloud. This shift is difficult for companies like Cisco, who built their business off of selling equipment for physical datacenters.

However, Cisco’s own market analysis finds “83 percent of datacenter traffic being based in the cloud.” So, while they were once “the world’s most valuable publicly traded company” back in 2000 when this physical equipment was at its peak, it’s pushing hard to readapt to new times.

Cisco has lost business to the leaders in the cloud computing pack and sees that they can’t effectively be a direct competitor to AWS, so Cisco is redefining their goals to focus on hybrid-cloud infrastructure, platforms, and services.

Google and Cisco partner for the hybrid cloud

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With Cisco’s new commitment to the hybrid cloud, they’ve joined forces with Google, which has also been falling behind in the cloud wars. Perhaps the new partnership will help both Google and Cisco grab more of the cloud computing market shares.

This new solution helps companies increase their scale and security in the hybrid cloud by providing numerous development and deployment tools. According to Cisco, this partnership “extends Cisco’s multicloud portfolio and Google Cloud’s open, hybrid cloud technologies, including Kubernetes, Istio, and Apigee.”

This partnership is aimed to assist customers to “maximize their investments across cloud and on-premises environments.” Essentially, it brings speed, scale, and security to a hybrid cloud platform that allows you to deploy, manage, and secure applications and services across different on-premises environments and Google Cloud Platform.

Essentially, with this new partnership, enterprises are better able not only to avoid vendor lock-in but also to migrate from physical datacenters to the cloud at their own pace. They also are able to optimize what they have already invested in by having a better way to run, secure, and monitor their workloads.

According to Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins, the “partnership with Google gives our customers the very best cloud has to offer — agility and scale, coupled with enterprise-class security and support. We share a common vision of a hybrid cloud world that delivers the speed of innovation in an open and secure environment to bring the right solutions to our customers.”

The joint solution is meant to allow large corporations slowly adjust to a hybrid cloud approach, rather than simply dropping 100 percent of their physical datacenter investments with a quick, difficult switch to being cloud-based, as well as to bridge the security gap that some enterprises have when their information is stored both on-premises and in the cloud.

This solution allows developers to leverage their managed Kubernetes, GCP Service Catalog, Cisco networking and security, and Istio authentication and service mesh monitoring with the ability of enterprise developers to securely access cloud APIs and of cloud developers to access enterprise APIs and on-premises resources.

It works to do this by helping to orchestrate and manage lifecycle and resources of applications and services across multiple hybrid environments. It also extends the security policy and network policy and configurations to many different on-premises and cloud environments.

Application performance monitoring

Along with monitoring application behavior, this partnership also grants real-time network and application performance monitoring and automation. When enterprises are ready to slowly convert to the cloud, this hybrid cloud cooperation gives its customers cloud-ready infrastructure with a hyper-converged platform that supports existing applications and cloud-native Kubernetes environments.

Another feature of Google and Cisco’s partnership is their Service Management with Istio. This open-source solution helps to provide “a uniform way to connect, secure, manage, and monitor microservices.” Additionally, Google’s Apigee API management helps to enable legacy workloads that run on-premises to connect to the cloud through APIs.

If your developers want to code in hybrid environments, Cisco’s DevNet Developer Center is ready, giving tools and resources for both cloud and enterprise developers to get to work. If they encounter any issues, this partnership also offers coordinated, combined technical support.

This solution will only be released to a small number of customers in the beginning of 2018, with general availability planning to be released later in the year.

To help this partnership succeed, Cisco’s Developer Network, DevNet, is offering many tools so enterprise and IoT developers can better utilize open source technology and develop IoT opportunities more, as well as build hybrid cloud solutions.

Their Cisco DevNet Sandbox gives developers free, instant access to hardware and software development environments so they can instantly start with Kubernetes and container networking using Contiv in the Sandbox.

If they’d like, they can also take a DevNet learning track on edge computing or even cloud-native development. Additionally, Google Cloud offers information, tools, and documentation to help these developers better understand container management and Kubernetes.

Google and Cisco Systems might be very popular within their own technology sectors, but they are quickly falling behind in the cloud. Will this partnership be enough to help them catch up to No. 2 Microsoft Azure or No. 1 Amazon Web Services?

We'll see if Cisco’s close ties to corporate customers and Google’s lead in containers are enough to help the two companies gain customers for their new partnership, assisting those large companies that are looking for a solution to manage and securely run software both on their own premises and in the cloud.

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