By Aziz Benmalek, GM Hosting Service Provider business at Microsoft
Service providers play a vital role in the technology landscape, providing choice to customers in how they take advantage of new technology advances. Customers today are searching for hybrid cloud solutions – and are shifting how they purchase and use technology. The nature of next-generation applications and the velocity of application delivery in the cloud era pose significant challenges for these companies.
For instance, today’s next-generation services require close compatibility between hardware, software, network, storage and compute. This forces the cloud provider into a systems integrator role every time they need to bring new services to market. This manual process is time consuming and expensive– an issue that’s magnified with customers demanding applications be delivered at increased speeds.
To help cloud providers address these issues, Cisco and Microsoft today announced the availability of a new integrated solution for cloud providers— the Cisco Cloud Architecture for the Microsoft Cloud Platform. The foundation of this new solution is deep technical integration between Microsoft and Cisco technology. This isn’t simply a blueprint for building a cloud architecture with component pieces from Cisco and Microsoft. Our engineers have been working together for over a year to ensure our cloud technologies work better together. The result is an integrated solution that delivers a unique value proposition to cloud provider.
How? The “secret sauce” of the new cloud architecture is the combination of Windows Azure Pack and Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI). By implementing this capability in our platform tool, we will give service providers the ability to deploy new apps and services with lifecycle support from Cisco, Microsoft and other ISVs that participate with us. Because the application and infrastructure policies will be pre-configured and in an application policy library in Windows Azure Pack, service providers will be able deploy new services and applications with much greater speed.
The end result: the new cloud architecture provides partners with the ability to deliver services—such as network services, disaster recovery services, big data and enterprise application services—with a faster time to market, reducing total cost of ownership and accelerating time-to-revenue. The result is on-demand, efficient consumption of infrastructure resources and a simplified operational model for the cloud provider. When you add in the significant go-to-market resources from both our companies it is clear that we are investing to bring a solution to market that will benefit service providers.
Cloud continues to be at the center of opportunity for Microsoft and our partners – which is why we work closely with those, like Cisco, to deliver flexible cloud solutions that our customers want and need. I’m excited to build on our relationship with Cisco – and to see how our service provider partners will embrace these new opportunities moving forward.