Google-Cisco Hybrid Cloud Play To Challenge AWS, Azure

A new partnership between Cisco and Google is creating a hybrid cloud platform that puts Google on the same path as Amazon Web Services (AWS), and Microsoft.
This week, Cisco and Google announced a partnership that will allow workloads to be run on Cisco’s UCS hyperconverged hardware and the Google Cloud Platform. This deal is intended to attract more enterprise customers to Google’s public cloud services. It also closes the gap between Google and AWS and Microsoft, which both offer hybrid cloud solutions.
AWS and Azure are the No. AWS and Azure are No. 1 and No. 2 in the public cloud space, respectively. 2 and No. 1 respectively in the public cloud space, with Google trailing by a large margin. Microsoft has begun rolling out AzureStack, its new hybrid cloud solution from Dell EMC and Hewlett Packard Enterprise. This is in an effort to maintain its lead over Google. In addition, Cisco is an approved hardware partner for Azure Stack with its first shipments expected.
Cisco’s plans to offer GCP-compliant infrastructure expands its cloud reach and gives Google a significant enterprise advantage. In a blog post, Kip Kipton, vice-president of Cisco’s Cloud Platform and Solution Group said that applications in the cloud can use on-premises capabilities (including existing IT system) to make the most of the pact. “And applications can take advantage new cloud capabilities.”
The GCP-compatible Cisco offering will be released in the latter part of 2018, with testing starting early in 2018.
Cisco’s HyperFlex HX-Series systems enable hybrid workloads to be run both on-premises or in GCP. Kubernetes is an open-source container orchestration platform that supports hybrid workloads. The hybrid GCP offering is built on Kubernetes. Kubernetes integrates with Cisco’s software-defined networking architecture. This was just updated earlier this month with the third version of Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure.
ACI 3.0 features improved network automation, security, and multicloud support. Customers can now deploy workloads as microservices within containers with ACI’s Kubernetes integration. Cisco stated that Kubernetes integration provides unified networking constructs to containers, virtual machines, and bare-metal hardware. Customers can also set ACI network policies.
Cisco’s hybrid cloud offering will also include the open-source Istio service management software. According to its Web site, Istio manages traffic flow between microservices, enforces access policies, and aggregates telemetry data, without requiring modifications to the code within the microservices. Istio, which is based on Kubernetes provides automated HTTP, WebSocket, and TCP load balancers as well as various authentication and security controls.
The Apigee API management software will be included in the Cisco offering. Google acquired Apigee last year, which is a leader in API management software. It allows legacy apps to run on-premises, and connect to the cloud via APIs.
“We’re working together in order to deliver a consistent Kubernetes ecosystem for both on-premises Cisco private cloud infrastructure and Google’s managed Kubernetes services, Google Container Engine,” Nan Boden, Google’s head for global technology partners for GCP said in a blog post by Cisco. This allows you to write once and deploy anywhere, and avoid cloud lock-in. You can also choose your management, software, and operating system.
Boden said that Google will provide a cloud broker to connect on-premises workloads with GCP services for machine intelligence, scalable databases, and data warehousing.
GCP will be stronger thanks to the partnership with Cisco