Microsoft, Cisco Cloud & Server Partnership Shows Progress
Microsoft (MSFT) and Cisco Systems (CSCO) continue to work more closely on cloud computing, data center and application optimization — even as the two technology giants continue to compete on some fronts. The latest Cisco-Microsoft synergies include a data center channel initiative with NetApp and Avnet, plus a joint focus on the upcoming Microsoft Management Summit 2012. Here’s the back story, from The VAR Guy.
As you may recall, Cisco Systems’ Unified Computing System integrates network, computing and virtualization resources under one roof. But for Cisco to maximize UCS’s success, the networking giant needs to work closely with application partners. Plus, Cisco is striving to maintain an open approach in the data center, working with such companies as EMC, VMware and NetApp to optimize customer performance.
Microsoft Applications on Cisco Servers
Meanwhile, Microsoft wants to make sure its core business applications — Exchange Server, SharePoint, Lync, SQL Server and more — are optimized for virtualized data centers, as well as public and private cloud instances. So while Microsoft and Cisco battle in the unified communications market, the two companies are finding a lot of common ground in the applications market.
Plus, third-party partners — such as NetApp and Avnet — are helping Cisco and Microsoft to drive their solutions through the channel. A case in point: Cisco and NetApp are working with Avnet Technology Solutions to promote a validated, pretested data center solution for the cloud.
So where are Cisco and Microsoft heading next? The answer likely involves the Microsoft Management Summit (April 16-20, Las Vegas). Cisco will be on hand for the event — and some surprises could be coming.
In the meantime, there are signs that Cisco’s server strategy is gaining traction with partners and customers. During Cisco’s most recent earnings call, CEO John Chambers said UCS product revenue grew 91 percent year-over-year in Q2 2012 vs. Q2 2011. If you poke around a little more, you’ll find some hard numbers for the UCS business. The VAR Guy will be back soon to share some of those numbers.