Cisco and VMware Get Hitched

by Jenn Cano on September 10, 2012

Apparently, Cisco and VMware go together like “peas and carrots,” and have recently decided to tighten their connection.  Of course, they’ve been together for some time; but in August at VMworld 2012 they announced that the connection between the two firms will deepen, and their honeymoon destination seems to be the Cloud.

The primary purpose of the partnership is to invest in deeper integrations between VMware cloud infrastructure and management stacks, and Cisco Data Center Networking and Fabric Computing platforms.   The end result, they say, is the future ability to deliver “next-generation” cloud infrastructures.  Both will contribute investment dollars toward the creation of an integrated division that will hire a completely new and independent engineering team to focus on the enablement of the software-defined datacenter.  The joint engineering investments will be made to launch new solutions that will significantly boost agile compute and network services, workload and workspace mobility, end-to-end visibility, and ease of troubleshooting across physical and virtual infrastructures.

“The next-generation data center will enable customers to capture the value of VMware cloud infrastructure and management stacks along with the next wave of Cisco innovations in hardware, ASICs, systems and network programmability to deliver unprecedented scalability, security, diagnostics and policy management,” said Rob Lloyd, Cisco’s executive vice president.

Pat Gelsinger, new VMware CEO had this take on it, “The software-defined datacenter will deliver the next leap in software-based datacenter automation across server, storage and networking, but it requires equal hardware and systems-based innovation. We are very excited to further our partnership with Cisco, the industry-leading innovator in networking, as we believe it will bring significant value to our joint customers through the integration of the VMware cloud infrastructure platform with Cisco's intelligent network fabric.”

This collaborative effort will include integrating Cisco’s flagship line of Nexus 1000V switches into VMware’s vSphere 5.1 suite. The two will also co-develop Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS)-based cloud systems that bundle vSphere 5.1 and vCloud 5.1 with Cisco-made switch, firewall and router products.  The vCloud Suite 5.1 bundle of virtualization software will be available Sept. 11.

Not everyone is comfortable putting their applications into someone else’s data center, which would give VMware (and Cisco) an edge over cloud providers such as Google and Amazon, out-going CEO of VMware, Maritz said in a recent interview. “We’re not believers that all the world’s computing has to go into two or three uber-clouds.”  Clearly, the marriage for networking hardware giant, Cisco, who depends on the continued use of their networking hardware in individual company data centers is a good move.   

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Topics: Cisco Technology, Cisco, cloud computing, Software Defined Networking

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