Cisco Teams With AWS On Cisco Hybrid Solution For Kubernetes

Cisco is stepping up its hybrid multi-cloud sales offensive by teaming with public cloud behemoth Amazon Web Services on a Cisco Hybrid Solution for Kubernetes on AWS.

Cisco said the new product opens the door for its customers to run production-grade Kubernetes in on- premises environments by combining Cisco networking, security, management and monitoring software with the AWS cloud.

Kip Compton, senior vice president, Cloud Platform and Solutions at San Jose, Calif.-based Cisco, said Cisco Hybrid Solution for Kubernetes on AWS enables developers to leverage existing investments to build new cloud-scale applications.

"This makes it easier to deploy and manage hybrid applications, no matter where they run," said Compton in a prepared statement. "This allows customers to get the best out of both cloud and their on-premises environments with a single solution."

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Cisco Hybrid Solution for Kubernetes on AWS—which will be sold by Cisco directly and through partners—is priced starting at $65,000 per year for a typical entry-level configuration. The software licenses will be available in one-, three- and five-year subscriptions.

Douglas Grosfield, CEO of Five Nines IT, a fast-growing Kitchener, Ontario, strategic service provider, said the Cisco Hybrid Solution for Kubernetes on AWS represents yet another example of the blurring of the lines between private cloud and public cloud in an increasingly hybrid cloud world.

"There used to be pretty clear market delineation between private cloud and public cloud, on-premises and off-premises," he said. "Large companies like Cisco are really blurring those lines and taking hybrid cloud to an entirely new level."

Grosfield said the new Cisco Hybrid Solution for Kubernetes on AWS is a great opportunity for strategic service providers to act as trusted advisers ensuring security and data privacy in a complex hybrid IT world.

"Cisco is looking to find a broad audience for a cool new take on containerization, but strategic service providers need to make sure that customers don't get in over their heads," he said. "The strategic service provider is being placed—rightly so—in a position of being the voice of reason and trusted adviser for the customer. There are a lot of different vendors and manufacturers involved in a solution like this and the strategic service provider has to stand in the middle and be that one throat to choke to make sure everyone is adhering to the SLAs [service-level agreements] and complying with data privacy regulations like GDPR [General Data Protection Regulation, which was implemented in May]."

One sign of just how critical Kubernetes is becoming in the hybrid IT world is IBM’s recent $34 billion proposed acquisition of Kubernetes kingpin Red Hat. IBM claims Red Hat’s Kubernetes leadership makes the combined company the leader in the hybrid cloud market.

Solution providers credit Red Hat’s decision four years ago to embrace Kubernetes, the open-source container orchestration technology first developed at Google, as the key to the $34 billion Red Hat price tag.

The Cisco-AWS partnership comes just a few days before Cisco gathers thousands of partners for its Cisco Partners Summit Nov. 13- 15 in Las Vegas.

It also comes one year after Cisco partnered with Google Cloud on a similar hybrid solution. Under that pact, Cisco extended its multi-cloud portfolio with Google Cloud's hybrid cloud technologies including Kubernetes, Istio and Apigee.