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Cisco Pulls Microsoft Azure Into Intercloud OrbitCisco Pulls Microsoft Azure Into Intercloud Orbit

Cisco unveiled a few new cloud initiatives it's working on as they relate to a partnership it struck with Microsoft last year. These new initiatives were announced this week at the Microsoft Ignite conference.

Mike Vizard

May 6, 2015

2 Min Read
Shashi Kiran senior director of market management for data center cloud and open networking at Cisco
Shashi Kiran, senior director of market management for data center, cloud and open networking at Cisco.

At the Microsoft Ignite conference this week, Cisco (CSCO) unfurled a few of the cloud initiatives it is working on as they relate to a partnership it struck with Microsoft (MSFT) last year.

Starting with a virtual Cisco Cloud Service Router (CSR) 1000V that is now available on the Microsoft Azure Cloud and integration between Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (CACI) software-defined networking (SDN) software and Windows Azure Pack, Cisco is looking to pull Microsoft Azure further into its Intercloud hybrid cloud computing framework.

Via that framework, for example, it’s now possible to port Hyper-V and ESX virtual machines from local data centers into the Microsoft Azure cloud, while still maintaining the network security and compliance policies attached to those virtual machines.

Shashi Kiran, senior director of market management for data center, cloud and open networking at Cisco, said the Intercloud network fabric that Cisco has created provides a mechanism through which IT organizations can isolate themselves from the vagaries of the cloud computing market. At a time when IT organizations are increasingly opting to deploy different types of workloads on cloud platforms that are best suited to run them, Kiran said Intercloud provides the distributed computing framework needed to integrate multiple cloud computing platforms.

Just as importantly, Kiran notes that at a time when the cloud computing market overall is still relatively immature, the Cisco Intercloud Fabric offers a measure of protection in the event a cloud service provider goes out of business or gets acquired. Via the Cisco Intercloud Fabric IT organizations can easily move virtual machines to any platform supported by Cisco Intercloud, said Kiran.

For solution providers, integration between CACI and Windows Azure Pack is especially noteworthy because via the open application programming interfaces that Cisco has published they can automate workflow across layers four through seven of the networking stack.

Cisco says that hybrid cloud computing represents a roughly $9.3 billion opportunity. While demand for such capabilities are still relatively nascent it’s only a matter of time before IT organizations wind up managing two or more cloud computing environments. As that process evolves extending the reach of their existing network and security services into those external cloud computing environments becomes a critical requirement.

Of course, there are several other players that see the same opportunity emerging. But from the perspective of network infrastructure already installed and a cadre of existing channel partners Cisco clearly has the inside track when it comes to all things networking in the cloud.

About the Author(s)

Mike Vizard

Contributing Editor, Penton Technology Group, Channel

Michael Vizard is a seasoned IT journalist, with nearly 30 years of experience writing and editing about enterprise IT issues. He is a contributor to publications including Programmableweb, IT Business Edge, CIOinsight and UBM Tech. He formerly was editorial director for Ziff-Davis Enterprise, where he launched the company’s custom content division, and has also served as editor in chief for CRN and InfoWorld. He also has held editorial positions at PC Week, Computerworld and Digital Review.

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