Cisco Gets Tighter With Microsoft Through New UCS-Azure Offering Aimed At Hybrid Cloud Acceleration

Cisco Systems is teaming up with Microsoft in the data center by integrating its Unified Computing System with the Microsoft Azure Stack, enabling partners to deliver Azure services from their on-premise data center.

"Cisco and Microsoft are coming together to offer a hybrid cloud solution built on the power of UCS and Microsoft Azure," said Liz Centoni, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco's Computing Systems Product Group, in a statement. "Application developers and IT managers will have a turnkey solution that is easy to deploy, manage and scale."

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The combination of Microsoft's Azure cloud platform with Cisco UCS into an integrated system designed specifically for cloud workloads will give customers full control over how they manage security and performance.

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Partners can tap into a new recurring revenue opportunity by delivering Cisco UCS along with Azure's Infrastructure as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service. The offering also provides a single pane of glass for managing all elements of compute and networking through policy-based templates that reduce the total cost of ownership for joint customers, according to Cisco, San Jose, Calif.

The Cisco Integrated System for Azure Stack will become generally available for channel partners to sell in the second half of 2017.

"Microsoft Azure Stack provides services and application programming interfaces (APIs) compatible with the Azure public cloud, allowing developers to do their best work while giving them the agility to deploy their applications to public, private or hosted clouds,’ said Mike Neil, corporate vice president of the Azure Infrastructure and Management Group at Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft, in a statement.

Cisco Thursday also launched what it calls the industry's first Secure Internet Gateway in the cloud, dubbed Cisco Umbrella.

Cisco Umbrella is a cloud-delivered security platform that provides the first line of defense to protect employees both on and off the corporate network. The Secure Internet Gateway provides customers with safe access to the internet anywhere users go, even when they're not on the virtual private network.

Cisco Umbrella stops current and emerging threats over all ports and protocols, while blocking access to malicious domains, URLs, IPs, and files before a connection is established or a file downloaded.

"Cisco Umbrella can protect today's enterprise and beyond as mobility increases and new cloud services are adopted," said David Ulevitch, vice president and general manager of Cisco's Security Business Group. "It provides the most comprehensive visibility and enforcement for internet traffic, and together with Cloudlock, Cisco’s Cloud Access Security Broker, it enables discovery and control for SaaS apps, both on and off the corporate network."