Microsoft, Cisco Collaborating on IT Infrastructure

By Peter Galli  |  Posted 2007-08-20 Print this article Print

Microsoft and Cisco are collaborating in seven areas of IT and network infrastructure.

NEW YORK—Microsoft and Cisco talked publicly for the first time about several of the seven focus areas on which they are currently collaborating, which include IT architecture, management, Unified Communications and security. At an event held at the Mandarin Oriental hotel here in New York on August 20 to discuss the interoperability work between them, Ciscos chief development officer Charlie Giancarlo and Bob Muglia, Microsofts senior vice president for server and tools, highlighted some of the collaborative work they are doing and which they have not talked much about before. The first area they called out was their joint work around the IT Architecture for Microsofts infrastructure optimization model and Ciscos Service-Oriented Network Architecture.
"This work is designed to align our work and get a consistent message and architectural approach for enterprise customers," Muglia said.
One of the scenarios under development here is network optimization and Quality of Service considerations as customers begin Windows Vista deployments, particularly the opportunities created by the redesigned Internet Protocol stack in Vista, he said. The two firms are also considering establishing a Cisco-Microsoft Architecture Center of Excellence, but gave no additional details. Click here to read more about how Ciscos Reactivity buy further consolidates SOA. With regard to the work they are doing on the mobile phone front, the two pointed to the initiative underway to extend the capabilities of the Cisco Unified Communications Manager to enterprises with devices powered by Windows Mobile and Cisco Unified Mobile Communicator. "This will give customers integrated presence, telephony, calendaring and other unified communications capabilities from both of us, Ciscos Giancarlo said. Ciscos Unified WLAN system is being designed to provide detailed information to a connected devices location, and the two companies will work together to integrate this capability and make it available via Microsofts location API, he said. To read more about the new phones and devices from Microsofts partners, click here. But the area of Unified Communications is a tricky one for the two as they both compete aggressively in this space and take differing views on how to deliver and manage synchronous-asynchronous communications. Page 2: Microsoft, Cisco Collaborating on IT Infrastructure

Peter Galli has been a financial/technology reporter for 12 years at leading publications in South Africa, the UK and the US. He has been Investment Editor of South Africa's Business Day Newspaper, the sister publication of the Financial Times of London.

He was also Group Financial Communications Manager for First National Bank, the second largest banking group in South Africa before moving on to become Executive News Editor of Business Report, the largest daily financial newspaper in South Africa, owned by the global Independent Newspapers group.

He was responsible for a national reporting team of 20 based in four bureaus. He also edited and contributed to its weekly technology page, and launched a financial and technology radio service supplying daily news bulletins to the national broadcaster, the South African Broadcasting Corporation, which were then distributed to some 50 radio stations across the country.

He was then transferred to San Francisco as Business Report's U.S. Correspondent to cover Silicon Valley, trade and finance between the US, Europe and emerging markets like South Africa. After serving that role for more than two years, he joined eWeek as a Senior Editor, covering software platforms in August 2000.

He has comprehensively covered Microsoft and its Windows and .Net platforms, as well as the many legal challenges it has faced. He has also focused on Sun Microsystems and its Solaris operating environment, Java and Unix offerings. He covers developments in the open source community, particularly around the Linux kernel and the effects it will have on the enterprise.

He has written extensively about new products for the Linux and Unix platforms, the development of open standards and critically looked at the potential Linux has to offer an alternative operating system and platform to Windows, .Net and Unix-based solutions like Solaris.

His interviews with senior industry executives include Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Linus Torvalds, the original developer of the Linux operating system, Sun CEO Scot McNealy, and Bill Zeitler, a senior vice president at IBM.

For numerous examples of his writing you can search under his name at the eWEEK Website at


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