Cisco jumps into containers

Kubernetes continues to show its dominance of cloud container management -- as Cisco adopts it for its new container orchestration platform.

Multi-cloud considered the foundation of digital efficiency

Video: Multi-cloud considered the foundation of digital efficiency

How do you know when a technology has really made it? When companies that are not known for being innovators adopt it. That's the case today, as Cisco announced its Cisco Container Platform (CCP), a Kubernetes-based container platform. Another day, another company betting on Kubernetes for the cloud win.

The CCP is designed to enable companies to build multi-cloud architectures with consistent application deployment and management on Cisco HyperFlex, virtual machines (VMs), and bare metal, both on premises and in the cloud. It will be available first on HyperFlex in April 2018. CCP will show up on other platforms this summer.

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To Cisco, the real selling point of Cisco Container Platform provides an extensible platform for container management using Kubernetes to address the end-to-end management of container clusters including setup, orchestration, authentication, monitoring, networking, load balancing, and optimization.

The Cisco Container Platform is also extensible to other open-deployment environments and can be used with the open-source container networking program Contiv. Contiv can be integrated with Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI). This enables customers to deploy containers and build ACI network policy definitions via Kubernetes.

Why? Because, by automating repetitive tasks, CCP increases operational efficiencies and drives faster time to value by eliminating the need to source, configure, and support multiple disparate solutions. This simplifies deployment and management of production-grade container environments. Cisco will also offer new services to help customers modernize traditional applications and optimize containers for scale and performance, and provide enterprise-class support for the Cisco Container Platform.

Read also: Microsoft introduces a free, dedicated Azure Container Service for Kubernetes

Cisco is designing this to be as simple as possible for cloud administrators. Based on upstream Kubernetes, CCP provides an easy-to-use user interface, self-service deployment, and management of container clusters. These clusters consume private cloud resources based on established authentication profiles, which can be bound to your existing role-based access control (RBAC) models. With this, your teams can manage their cluster resources, including responding to conditions requiring a scale-out or scale-in event, without worrying about disrupting another team's assets.

Cisco will release CCP first on Cisco's new HyperFlex 3.0 cloud platform. This new version of Hyperflex added container support and can be used on Microsoft Azure.

CCP will also be a key element of Cisco and Google's hybrid cloud offering, which will be out this later this year. With it, customers should be able to run containers on any infrastructure through the combination of the CCP and the Google Kubernetes Engine (GKE), which is part of the Google Cloud Platform (GCP). CCP does this by using a GCP and GKER compatible application programming interface (API).

Read also: Oracle joins the Kubernetes movement

In a statement, Eyal Manor, Google's VP of Engineering, said, "As the adoption of Kubernetes has exploded, container orchestration and management have become of paramount importance to customers because they enable application portability and consistency across on premises and cloud-based environments. Cisco Container Platform is optimized in collaboration with Google Cloud to deliver a next-generation open hybrid cloud architecture, and represents an important milestone for our integrated Google and Cisco hybrid cloud solution coming later this year."

When the program becomes available, pricing will be subscription-based on number of cluster nodes deployed, with volume-based discounts.

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