Hybrid cloud computing concept design
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Cisco in November announced the commencement of its collaboration with AWS to create the Cisco Hybrid Solution for Kubernetes on AWS. The partnership is a move designed to capitalize on the demand for containerization and hybrid cloud solutions. CMSWire spoke to those in the know to find out more about this collaboration, and what it means for brands seeking a move to the cloud.

Why are Cisco and AWS Partnering?

Cloud infrastructures and containers are fueling the latest twist in the ongoing digital transformation journey. FileCloud COO Venkat Ramasamy noted that the partnership between Cisco and AWS is taking advantage of these two trends, the popularity of containers and the growing need for hybrid cloud.

For companies who want to hang on to at least part of their data and infrastructure, a hybrid cloud solution is a good option, as it allows brands to leverage on-premise servers along with private or public clouds. In addition, containers are fast-becoming the go-to solution for building, deploying and maintaining applications, with 451 Research forecasting that the application container market will be worth $2.7 billion by 2020.

To meet these demands, Cisco is providing Kubernetes — a container orchestration platform — on AWS through its integrated platform. Both Amazon and Cisco say this will help to simplify the process of developing and orchestrating Kubernete clusters across the AWS cloud and private data centers.

According to Cisco’s official website, the partnership aims to bring companies, “an integrated and validated solution to simplify containerized applications. Now you can quickly and easily deploy, connect, secure and monitor Kubernetes-based applications with a consistent experience on-premises and in the AWS cloud.”

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How will Large and Enterprise Companies Benefit?

According to PhoenixNAP Global IT President Ian McClarity, having enterprise vendors partnering together is greatly beneficial for enterprise users that rely on tried and true technologies but want to leverage cloud vendors. He added that AWS and Cisco shouldn’t be seen as a “merger,” but as a “partnership” where both vendors work together. “[The partnership] is bringing better collaboration tools between their cloud infrastructure and virtualization services offered to the enterprise. The hybrid move Cisco is making with AWS is a logical step for both organizations. Interactions like this are becoming the norm in helping enterprises orchestrate between their data centers and cloud providers and will continue to be a trend,” McClarity explained.

Madhavan Krishnan, vice president of cloud and DevOps solutions at Virtusa, noted that the most significant benefit of this partnership is choice. “GCP has worked with Cisco for hybrid cloud capabilities, and it, as well as Microsoft and IBM have acknowledged the need for hybrid cloud offerings. As far as enterprises and the developer community are concerned, this relationship [between Cisco and AWS] will come as a relief and offer more choices, further accelerating the rapid growth of cloud computing in the industry,” said Krishnan.

Mark Sami, VP of Microsoft and cloud solutions at SPR, pointed out that, “Microsoft has always been the leader in [the hybrid cloud] space, so this merger is a big opportunity for Amazon to become more competitive.” In addition, he said, that hybrid cloud offerings, in general, "allow companies with strict rules on putting data in the cloud to take a step forward without committing to moving their entire system.”

Ramasamy added that security and easier management make up two more notable benefits, citing that Cisco's hardware would offer “secured connectivity between on-premise and cloud infrastructure.” As for containerization, Ramasamy said that, customers will have, one registry of all container images across both environments, allowing them to be managed better.”

Finally, Ramasamy noted that the partnership will give users a “common authentication mechanism” to help them better manage role-based access policies in on-premise and cloud environments.