Cisco, VMware, NetApp link up on cloud security

The networking, virtualisation and storage vendors have joined forces for a new architecture for multi-tenant cloud datacentres
Written by David Meyer, Contributor

Cisco, VMware and NetApp have announced a three-way partnership and a new architecture for secure, multi-tenant cloud datacentres.

The Secure Multi‐tenancy Design Architecture (SMDA), unveiled on Tuesday, works across existing products from the three companies to isolate the IT resources and applications of different clients or business units that share a common cloud infrastructure, the companies said in a statement.

The three companies already have various partnerships between them, but this is the first time all three have joined in a single venture, which is designed to provide a global co-operative support model for customers.

SMDA is based on Cisco's Nexus Series switches and Unified Computing System, any of NetApp's FAS storage systems that run the company's Multistore partitioning software, and VMware's vSphere cloud operating system and vShield Zones virtual security appliance.

"The dynamic datacentre built on VMware vSphere, along with Cisco and NetApp technologies, will provide the foundation for both private and public clouds and the ability to move data and applications between these clouds," VMware chief Paul Maritz said in the statement. "A shared virtual infrastructure requires that resources for different tenants are isolated while delivering on promised service levels."

NetApp's EMEA marketing chief, John Rollason, told ZDNet UK that SMDA was aimed mainly at enterprise-level customers, as well as service providers looking to build secure cloud services.

"People typically like the idea of sharing infrastructure to reduce cost and improve utilisation, but it's really been the ability to segment workloads that's been the concern," Rollason said. He added that the partnership between NetApp, Cisco and VMware did not mean the three companies were going up against their integration partners.

Logicalis is one of the UK systems integrators that will be offering the new architecture. Chris Gabriel, head of marketing at the company, told ZDNet UK on Monday that firms such as his were already good at putting together such architectures, but the partnership between NetApp, Cisco and VMware would give the end-user greater faith in multi-vendor cloud environments.

"The whole thing about cloud is a bit more about confidence at the moment," Gabriel said. "[The announcement] is not meant to give the channel any more confidence — it's meant to give end-users more confidence, and that's obviously good for us."

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