Cisco is teaming up with enterprise powerhouse Google in a wide-ranging deal that provides the networking giant with a seamless bridge to next-generation public cloud technologies including the coveted Kubernetes container orchestration platform.
The Cisco and Google Cloud hybrid cloud offering, which will become available in the second half of 2018, opens the door for developers to combine emerging Google Cloud services with Cisco on-premises networking, hyper-converged, and security offerings.
Partners said the blockbuster deal gives Cisco a major competitive advantage as it extends its networking and security offerings into the fast-growing enterprise public cloud marketplace.
"With Google Cloud, Cisco can remain there to help you with the security, the routing, the orchestration -- it's a very good approach," said Robert Keblusek, CTO of Sentinel Technologies, a Downers Grove, Ill.-based solution provider and Cisco Gold partner ranked No. 117 on CRN’s 2017 Solution Provider 500 list. "It makes a lot of sense that Cisco wants to essentially network clouds -- provide orchestration, automation, management and security across all these different clouds. The more Cisco allows us to do from a networking and security perspective for customers that are consuming cloud services, the better."
The hybrid solution will extend network policy and configurations to multiple on-premises and cloud environments, including orchestration and lifecycle management of resources, applications, and services.
Kip Compton, vice president of Cisco's Cloud Platform and Solutions Group, said the combined platform would be open and flexible leveraging Google Container Engine with Cisco's broad portfolio of networking, security, hyper-converged and infrastructure solutions.
"From the Cisco side, our HyperFlex hyper-converged platform we'll be adding Kubernetes to support this solution. But we're really bringing our entire portfolio to play," said Compton, in an interview with CRN. "We're going to be enable customers to define policy on the networking side that span the on-premise and Google public cloud environment. Likewise on security."
The solution's hyper-converged platform supports existing application and cloud-native Kubernetes environments. It also leverages Google's Apigee enterprise-class API management, which enables legacy workloads running on premises to connect to the cloud through APIs. Enterprise app developers can securely access cloud APIs, and cloud developers can securely access enterprise APIs and on-premises resources.
Sentinel's Keblusek said managing things like security, automation and artificial intelligence requires partners to "have a deep API access to infrastructures."
"More and more of our investments in our management tools and how we go about automation are through APIs talking to various cloud providers," said Keblusek. "With Google's Apigee, you can take these legacy workloads on-premise to connect. So if I have a legacy workload and I want to connect to another workload or manage something in the cloud, I can tap into the API to help take control of aspects of the cloud that I need."