Cisco, Google Cloud forge hybrid cloud partnership: Here's why they need each other

Google Cloud was flanked by AWS-VMware on one side of the hybrid cloud equation and Microsoft Azure on the other. Cisco's available partner base was dwindling. Enter the win-win.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Video: Hybrid cloud, public cloud, and private cloud: Know the differences

Cisco's hybrid cloud partnership with Google Cloud Platform is a win-win on many fronts, but the reality is that both tech giants need each other since rivals are stronger in the enterprise.

The gist of the Google Cloud and Cisco deal revolves around better connecting the networking giant's infrastructure with Google's services. Kubernetes, Istio and Apigee serve as the glue in the Cisco-Google effort.


However, Google Cloud and Cisco also needed to join forces to serve as a counterweight to the Amazon Web Services and VMware partnership. VMware and AWS combined forces and that strategic relationship is likely to be embraced by enterprises. After all, VMware has a large data center footprint and AWS is the lead public cloud player.

Read also: VMworld 2017: Everything you need to know about VMware's hybrid cloud strategy | AWS cements hybrid cloud position with VMware partnership: Here's what it means | What is cloud computing? Everything you need to know from public and private cloud to software as a service

VMware is also a threat to Cisco with its software defined data center approach. Cisco has also become more software defined with its Application Centric Infrastructure and supports multiple public clouds. In addition, Dell Technologies owns EMC, which was a key Cisco partner, as well as VMware. In other words, available partners on the dance floor were dwindling.

On the other side of the hybrid cloud landscape sites Microsoft Azure, which has a bevy of hardware partners (including Cisco) with its Azure Stack as well as Windows Server in many data centers. In other words, Microsoft has multiple hybrid cloud partners.


Add it up and Google Cloud Platform had an interesting hybrid cloud story and a good take on containers, but lacked real enterprise throughput. That enterprise scale is what Cisco will bring to the party.

What all of these partnerships promise is a "solution" that makes hybrid-public cloud movement easier. To date, hybrid cloud deployments have been anything but simple.


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