VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger and AWS CEO Andy Jassy hug on stage at VMworld 2018 in Las Vegas VMware
VMware CEO Pat Gelsinger and AWS CEO Andy Jassy hug on stage at VMworld 2018 in Las Vegas

Branded Hybrid Clouds Redraw Data Center Boundaries. Here's How

They hold out the promise of unifying public and private cloud assets into a broader image of the data center. But how tight of an integration do enterprises really want?

Amazon Web Services’ announcement in November of its Outposts on-premises managed compute and storage racks, preceded by mere weeks by Cisco’s announcement that it was coupling its existing Kubernetes-based Cisco Container Platform (CCP) with Amazon’s Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (AKS), has intensified interest in hybrid cloud solutions. Suddenly, there appear to be several options for data centers co-mingling on-premises assets with public cloud resources, all in one network space, without needing an advanced certification to pull it off.

They may all be “end-to-end” in at least one sense, but which ends are they talking about and why? Let’s take a look at some of the more significant partnership-oriented packages and do some legitimate apples-to-oranges comparisons.

Cisco Hybrid Cloud Solution (with Amazon AWS)

Kubernetes lays at the center of this marketing trend.  Logically speaking, a Kubernetes cluster is made up of pods, each of which maintains one or more containers (e.g., Docker containers). Each pod has an IP address, and it’s the ability to address these pods throughout a cluster that makes applications and microservices viable.

The most significant of these new hybrid cloud solutions are those that extend a single virtual address space across on-premises servers and public cloud-based resources. With Cisco’s new Hybrid Cloud Solution, CCP’s address space may be extended to include AWS territory without IT operators having to exit Cisco’s CloudCenter and enter AWS’s interface to manage it.

“The thing about clouds today is, most businesses believe they’re a wonderful source of innovation,” says Dave Cope, Cisco’s senior director of market development for CloudCenter. “They want to be able to access that innovation easily. The solution that we created with AWS on their EKS platform, we think, does create the ultimate in tight integration between a private data center and a public cloud.”

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