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Google ties up with Cisco on hybrid containers for business

Google is making a big push with hybrid cloud, but the full architecture will not be available until the second half of 2018

Google has partnered with Cisco to develop a hybrid cloud based on Kubernetes running on GCP and Cisco’s HyperFlex, on-premise IT.

In a blog post, Nan Boden, head of global technology partners at Google Cloud, said: “Together, we’re working on a complete solution to develop, run, secure and monitor workloads, enabling customers to optimise their existing investments, plan their cloud migration at their own pace and avoid lock-in. Developers will be able to create new applications in the cloud or on-premise consistently using the same tools, runtime and production environment.”

Google hopes enterprises will deploy its hybrid architecture to accelerate on-premise application modernisation by using a Kubernetes-based container strategy.

For on-premise IT,  she said businesses will be able to use Cisco’s hyper-converged platform, HyperFlex, to provide a cloud-ready architecture for Kubernetes and containers, along with management tools to enforce security and consumption policies.

“We’re working together to deliver a consistent Kubernetes environment for both on-premise Cisco Private Cloud Infrastructure and Google’s managed Kubernetes service, Google Container Engine,” said Boden. “This way, you can write once, deploy anywhere and avoid cloud lock-in, with your choice of management, software, hypervisor and operating system.”

She said the collaboration between Cisco and Google will help enterprises extend existing on-premise systems with services running on Google Cloud, which are able to communicate using modern APIs (application programming interfaces). “Google’s Apigee API management platform allows developers to quickly and more securely access legacy systems without all the complexity. This approach helps enterprises get up and running in the cloud at their own pace, while preserving the value in their existing on-premise investments.”

“Our partnership with Google gives our customers the very best cloud has to offer – agility and scale coupled with enterprise-class security and support,” said Chuck Robbins, chief executive officer at Cisco. “We share a common vision of a hybrid cloud world that delivers the speed of innovation in an open and secure environment to bring the right solutions to our customers.”

Read more about Google's hybrid cloud plans

  • Powered by the Google Kubernetes system, Google Container Engine provides services for clustering, orchestrating and running Docker containers both on-premise and in the cloud.
  • Google API management tools get a major upgrade with Apigee to support designing and maintaining APIs to fit enterprise needs – plus the chance to one-up market leader AWS.

Research conducted by analyst Forrester at the start of 2017 estimated the global cloud market would be worth $236 bn by 2020 – 23% higher than the analyst’s 2014 forecast of $191bn.

The hybrid cloud is seen as a safe option for many enterprises wishing to start on the road to a cloud-native strategy, and Google’s tie-up with Cisco may help to make its public cloud more amenable to enterprise customers.

The Google/Cisco partnership comes just as Microsoft unveiled its Kubernetes on Azure offering, AKS. However, the Google/Cisco rival product will not generally be available until the second half of 2018.

In the meantime, Google has also recently forged a deal with VMware and Pivotal to make container technology work across multiple clouds, which seems to be a feature many enterprises look for when turning to the public cloud.

“Our data also shows 48% of infrastructure decision-makers expect to use public cloud platforms by the end of 2017,” said Forrester. “A dramatic expansion of the services available in the major public clouds, a heightened focus by cloud platform suppliers on enterprise customers, and major improvements in performance and security have driven the growth in public cloud adoption.”

It said the hybrid cloud remains integral to many organisations’ IT strategy. “It’s unlikely any one public or private cloud platform will meet all your needs, and our data confirms most enterprises already have a hybrid, multi-cloud strategy in place.”

Its research showed 59% of North American and European infrastructure decision makers whose firms are planning to implement, have implemented, or are expanding cloud told Forrester they have a hybrid cloud strategy in place.

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