Microsoft, Cisco Partner on Private, Hybrid Cloud Solutions

Microsoft and Cisco announced a set of joint programs to accelerate the development of Microsoft-based private and hybrid cloud solutions.

HOUSTON–Microsoft announced a set of programs to promote the development of private and hybrid cloud solutions with key partners, including networking giant Cisco.

At the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference (WPC) 2013 here, Cisco announced it would team with Microsoft to accelerate the deployment of private and hybrid cloud infrastructure worldwide. The companies will invest in initiatives to align sales teams and channel partners, while helping customers modernize their data centers with private cloud solutions.

In a blog post, Satya Nadella, president of the Server and Tools Business at Microsoft, said, “the first new program we are announcing is Cloud OS Accelerate. As part of this new program, Microsoft and key partners–Cisco, NetApp, Hitachi Data Systems, HP and Dell–will invest more than $100 million to help put thousands of new private and hybrid cloud solutions into the hands of customers.”

Over the past two years, Cisco and Microsoft have invested significant development resources to integrate data center technologies. By combining the innovative Cisco Unified Data Center architecture with Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V and System Center 2012, Cisco and Microsoft are helping customers simplify data center operations, boost IT productivity and improve data center economics.

Cisco and Microsoft plan to invest together to stimulate hundreds of private cloud and hybrid cloud deployment. Building on a successful pilot with channel partners over the last 10 months, the planned joint initiative will be rolled out globally in conjunction with Microsoft's Cloud OS Accelerate program, which provides funds to help customers offset the services cost of deploying these Microsoft solutions, accelerate deals and drive competitive wins, Cisco said.

"Microsoft's Cloud OS, built on Windows Server 2012 and Windows Azure, provides a consistent platform that spans our customers’ data centers, service providers' data centers and Windows Azure,” Nadella said in a statement. “We are excited to work with Cisco to help our joint customers implement proven private and hybrid cloud solutions and improve their data center operations."

Meanwhile, by bringing together innovative technology such as the Cisco Unified Computing System, Cisco UCS Manager and Cisco Nexus switching, with Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V and System Center 2012, Cisco and Microsoft are helping customers drive out the complexity from data center operations.

“Our most important task now is to provide joint Cisco and Microsoft channel partners with the air cover needed to help customers simplify their IT operations, create more effective cloud deployments and realize the significant cost savings and efficiency benefits of optimized data centers,” said Chad Berndtson, a content and social media strategist in Cisco’s Global Partner Marketing group, in a blog post.

Key integrated solutions include Nexus 1000V Switch for Windows Server Hyper-V, which is a distributed virtual switching platform that provides advanced network virtualization features and tight integration with Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V. The EMC VSPEX Proven Infrastructure Solution for Microsoft Private Cloud is a validated reference architecture that integrates Cisco server and networking components and EMC storage with Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V to provide customers with an easy on-ramp to the cloud. And FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud is a validated reference architecture that integrates Cisco server and networking, NetApp storage and data management, with Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V and System Center 2012.

"In the mobile-cloud era, IT organizations need an integrated approach, incorporating technology architectures that enable business agility, operational simplicity and improved application performance,” said Padmasree Warrior, chief technology and strategy officer at Cisco, in a statement. “Over the last two years Cisco and Microsoft engineering teams have worked diligently to combine our industry-leading technology into integrated data center solutions. Now, we're taking the next step by investing together to rapidly accelerate demand for our private cloud solutions."