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Cisco, Microsoft Strengthen Cloud Pact

Eight months ago, Satya Nadella -- before he was named Microsoft CEO -- announced a cloud-based partnership with Cisco: "Microsoft and Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure, hello cloud!"

"Through this expanded partnership, we will bring together Microsoft’s Cloud OS and Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) to deliver new integrated solutions that help customers take the next step on their cloud computing journey," Nadella wrote at the time.

Well, the companies took another step on their own journey yesterday with the networking giant's announcement that "Cisco Doubles Down on Datacenter with Microsoft."

But the language stayed pretty much the same.

"By providing our customers and partners with greater sales alignment and even deeper technology integration, we will help them transform their datacenters and accelerate the journey to the cloud," said Cisco exec Frank Palumbo.

The three-year agreement, announced at the Microsoft Worldwide Partner Conference in Washington, D.C., will see the companies investing in combined sales, marketing and engineering resources.

Cisco announced integrated products and services that will focus on the Microsoft private cloud, migration of servers, services providers and SQL Server 2014.

"Cisco and Microsoft sales teams will work together on cloud and datacenter opportunities, including an initial program focused on the migration of Windows 2003 customers to Windows 2012 R2 on the Cisco UCS platform," Cisco said.

A bevy of other offerings to be integrated includes Cisco Nexus switching, Cisco UCS Manager with System Center integration modules, Cisco PowerTool, Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2, Windows PowerShell and Microsoft Azure. Future releases will integrate Cisco ACI and Cisco InterCloud Fabric.

Further details were offered by Cisco's Jim McHugh. "At Cisco we believe our foundational technologies -- with UCS as the compute platform, Nexus as the switching platform, and with UCS Manager and System Center management integration -- provide customers an optimal infrastructure for their Microsoft Windows Server workloads of SQL, SharePoint, Exchange and Cloud."

Microsoft's Stephen Boyle also weighed in on the pact. "Enterprise customers worldwide are betting on Microsoft and Cisco to realize the benefits of our combined cloud and datacenter technologies," Boyle said. "Now, together, we're strengthening our joint efforts to help customers move faster, reduce costs and deliver powerful new applications and services for their businesses."

And now, eight months after that first ACI announcement, you can expect the companies' joint journey along with their customers to the cloud to progress even further.

"This greater alignment between Cisco and Microsoft will set the stage for deeper technology integration," said Cisco's Denny Trevett. "Together we will deliver an expanded portfolio of integrated solutions to help customers modernize their datacenters and accelerate their transition to the cloud."

So get ready for your trip, because you're going.

Posted by David Ramel on 07/16/2014 at 12:47 PM


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