Cisco, Google Buddy Up For Hybrid Cloud Push

Diane Greene

Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene Business Insider

Google and Cisco are the latest tech companies to join forces in an effort to knock Amazon off its spot at the top of the enterprise cloud services heap.

"Cisco and Google are focused on a unique and open hybrid cloud offering that enables applications and services to be deployed, managed and secured across on-premises environments and Google Cloud Platform". While Google is an internet giant, it is a relatively small player in business computing, ranking fourth in cloud infrastructure services in 2016 with only 2.3% market share, according to a September report from research firm Gartner Inc. A general rollout is scheduled for later next year.

Hybrid clouds may be the direction many enterprises are heading in, but it is a path fraught with challenges. "You want to be free to use microservices wherever they are - whether that's on-prem or in the cloud". This hybrid cloud approach allows organizations to combine the advantages of both in-house and as-a-service approaches, but managing such deployments can prove challenging.

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Both teams stressed that a multi-cloud solution for enterprises must include support for the security, configuration and policy requirements of enterprises, as well as the ability to get real-time networking and performance data.

Some analysts said the partnership will could help Google Cloud better compete with Microsoft, which already offers a hybrid cloud service.

Through the partnership, Google Cloud could gain new corporate clients who use Cisco's tools, and Cisco also benefits because its customers can more seamlessly use services on-premises and through Google Cloud. "We have seen a natural distribution of existing applications, some that belong on-premises, and some that belong in public cloud", explained Kip Compton, vice president of Cisco's Cloud Platform and Solutions Group.

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"Our partnership with Google gives our customers the very best cloud has to offer - agility and scale, coupled with enterprise-class security and support", said Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins.

The other pillar of the collaboration is Istio, another open source tool released earlier this year to help manage micro-services via what developers call a "service mesh network". The whole affair runs with Google's world-renowned cloud backend delivered through the Google Cloud Platform, and Istio is on board for traffic control, enforcement of user-set policies across machines and projects, network and connection management, and routing to ensure that work continues smoothly without any network-related hiccups. "Developers will be able to create new applications in the cloud or on-premise consistently using the same tools, runtime and production environment".

Boden said a number of components "can be tailored to the needs of each customer, purchased together or separately".

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Locally speaking, the partnership comes four months after Google launched its cloud platform in Australia, with Sydney becoming part of the nine regions, 27 zones and 100 points of presence comprising the global GCP footprint. From there, Cisco's Hyperflex will be running on-premises, customized to hook into Kubernetes and sync every element in real time through what is essentially a cloud container that provides a cloud experience when working on-premises, even offline.

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