Networker Cisco Systems and data management provider BMC Software, using their 2009 Unified Computing System partnership as home base, Dec. 6 announced a second strategic alliance to develop a new, generically named cloud system for large-scale, multitenant infrastructures.
The joint development partnership will use the Integrated Cloud Delivery Platform to target telcos, large and midrange-size independent applications providers, cloud storage providers, high-traffic social media and retail Websites, and a number of other enterprises.
Cloud computing providers will use the ICDP to deploy services running on an infrastructure that spans a range of data center networks, computing systems, storage and applications.
The two companies will align their product development roadmaps and technology architectures to offer customers an automated system to deploy cloud services, Cisco Vice President of Service Provider Systems Paul Sanchirico, told eWEEK.
The ICDP is expected to begin shipping sometime in early 2011, Sanchirico said
"This alliance combines Cisco's expertise in networking and computing with BMC's expertise in cloud management and business service management to offer customers all the elements needed to quickly deploy cloud services," Sanchirico said.
Cisco's UCS at heart of the matter
The UCS, which is at the heart of these new systems, consists of a proprietary Cisco data center architecture, Cisco-made servers and a set of management software and services from BMC based on Intel's quad-core Nehalem Xeon processors.
Cisco partners are providing all hardware and software that aren't in the networking realm; storage is primarily offered by marketplace enemies EMC and NetApp, which each have long-term partnerships with Cisco.
"The Cisco-BMC platform provides full-stack provisioning for deployment of services, and you can do this in minutes rather than hours or days, thanks to preconfiguration [meaning drop-down menus and wizards]," Paul Avenant, senior vice president of products and strategy for enterprise service management at BMC, told eWEEK. "Although if you want to use a CLI [command-line programming interface], that's OK, too.
"This has complete cloud lifecycle management, including how you request a service to how you configure and provision it."
Avenant said it is built upon "new levels of integration" between BMC's Cloud LifeCycle Management, a full-service cloud-computing software orchestration and management package, and Cisco's UCS.
The ICDP will eliminate many of the complex manual steps required to set up and provision a cloud-computing service.
"Cloud-scale operations require integrated, automated provisioning, management and monitoring across infrastructure and applications," said Mary Johnston Turner, research director of Enterprise Systems Management for IDC.
"Cisco and BMC's collaboration provides service providers and enterprise customers with a pre-integrated option to enable the rapid launch and efficient ongoing support of cloud environments."