Cisco and Red Hat have been deepening their relationship in the past year, said Caroline Hinton, vice president of software product marketing for Insight, a Tempe, Ariz.-based solution provider and partner to both vendors.
"Before this, the relationship between them was not as formal," Hinton said. "But this new relationship is at the senior executive level. It shows a commitment at the highest level."
Insight has brought the two vendors together in deals in the past, Hinton said. "But there's power in the message that they are coming together on this new 'Journey to the Public Cloud' program. This is more than fluff. They're looking at how to expand opportunities jointly more than if they do it separately."
Bradley Brodkin, president and CEO of HighVail Systems, a Toronto-based solution provider and partner to Red Hat and Cisco, called the new "Journey to the Open Cloud" program more than a go-to-market play.
The program goes beyond the Cisco ACI (Application Centric Infrastructure) framework, which provides a way for vendors to work with Cisco on data center infrastructures, Brodkin said.
"Red Hat is not only making sure OpenStack is tied to Cisco's servers and networking, but is also plugged into Cisco's tools, which are the main reason customers purchase Cisco UCS," he said. "But I also like it as a go-to-market strategy. Having the technology doesn't mean anything unless people know about it."
James Chinn, CEO of Shadow-Soft, an Atlanta-based open-source software developer and channel partner of Red Hat that is currently building a Cisco UCS relationship, said he is "bullish" about the increasing relationship between the two vendors.
"We want to stay in front of it," Chinn said. "We're one of Red Hat's biggest partners. We're not big with Cisco yet, but we want to make that relationship much bigger. We're investing a lot of resources in this relationship and plan to help with the execution of the Red Hat and Cisco plans."
John Iacone, president of International Integrated Solutions (IIS), a Plainview, N.Y.-based solution provider and partner to both Red Hat and Cisco rival Hewlett-Packard, said it was strange to see Cisco out in force at the Red Hat Partner Conference.
"It's interesting to see how those two have become close," Iacone said. "I would have liked to have seen a bigger HP presence here."
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