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Cisco, Google Cloud plan application-centric multicloud networking fabric

Tech giants unite to address current systems’ perceived lack of capability to signal service level requests dynamically and offer full WAN application integration with cloud workloads

As businesses increasingly embrace a hybrid and multicloud strategy to gain the benefits of agility, scalability and flexibility, Cisco is to integrate its SD-WAN Cloud Hub with Google Cloud to give enterprises full WAN application integration with cloud workloads.

Cisco and Google Cloud say the connective fabric for modern enterprise apps and their distributed users is the network. This network fabric needs to be able to discover the apps, identify their attributes and adapt for optimal user experience.

Likewise, applications need to respond to changing needs and sometimes enterprise-sized shifts in load, while maintaining availability, security and compliance, through the correlation of application, user and network insights.

However, the partners believe that current applications do not have a way to dynamically signal service level requests to the underlying network. To address these issues, Cisco SD-WAN Cloud Hub with Google Cloud is said to offer, for the first time, full WAN application integration with cloud workloads.

This integration will extend into hybrid and multicloud environments, such as Anthos, Google Cloud’s open application platform, supporting the optimisation of distributed, multicloud, microservice-based applications.

The new automated system is designed to ensure that applications and enterprise networks share service-level agreement (SLA) settings, security policy and compliance data, to provide predictable application performance and consistent user experience.

It aims to allow networks to talk to apps, and apps to talk to the network, while applications and enterprise networks can share SLA settings, security policy and compliance data, to provide predictable application performance and consistent user experience. Network policies, such as segmentation, will follow network traffic across the boundary between the enterprise network and Google Cloud, for end-to-end control of security, performance and quality of experience.

The partners claim their platform will enable businesses to optimise application stacks by distributing application components to their best locations. For example, an application suite could support a front end running on one public cloud to optimise for cost, an analytics library on another cloud to leverage its artificial intelligence/machine learning capabilities, and a financial component running on-premise for optimal security and compliance.

With the new integration, applications will be able to dynamically request the required network resources by publishing application data in Google Cloud Service Directory. The network can use the data generated to provision itself for the appropriate SD-WAN policies.

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Cisco SD-WAN Cloud Hub with Google Cloud is also claimed to offer enterprises that deploy applications in Google Cloud and in multicloud environments, a faster, smarter and more secure way to connect with them and consume them.

“Expansion of the Google-Cisco partnership represents a significant step forward for enterprises operating across hybrid and multicloud environments,” said Shailesh Shukla, vice-president of products and general manager, networking at Google Cloud. “By linking Cisco’s SD-WAN with Google Cloud’s global network and Anthos, we can jointly provide customers with a unique solution that automates, secures and optimises the end-to-end network based on the application demands, simplifying hybrid deployments for enterprise organisations.”

Cisco and Google Cloud intend to invite select customers to participate in previews of the integrated offering by the end of 2020 and general availability is planned for the first half of 2021.

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