Enterprise networking maker Cisco Systems has tied up with Amazon.com’s Amazon Web Services (AWS) to offer software tools that would make it easier for Cisco’s customers to use Amazon’s data centers to run their business applications.
The move is part of a push at Cisco, one of the biggest suppliers of the routers and switches that send data across computer networks, to derive more revenue from software and stay current with long-time business customers that are seeking to do more work with cloud computing companies like Amazon, Alphabet Inc’s Google Cloud unit or Microsoft Corp’s Azure.
Cisco began making that push under CEO Chuck Robbins after sales declines in its core network hardware business – declines that were largely driven by big businesses’ deciding not to build out their own data centers in favor of moving to public computing clouds like AWS, Reuters reported.
Cisco is offering new software tools, based on a technology called containers, that let developers slice up applications to run them either in their own data centers, where they might use a lot of Cisco gear, or a cloud data center like the ones offered by AWS. Developers can also use a mix of both, said Kip Compton, Cisco’s senior vice president of cloud platform.
Cisco’s new tools use the technology to let businesses move their software applications back and forth between Amazon and their own data center without interruptions. The tools will work for companies that do not currently use any Cisco hardware in their data centers, though extra security features will be available to those that do.
The Cisco Hybrid Solution for Kubernetes on AWS will be available in December 2018. It will be provided as both a software-only solution requiring only the Cisco Container Platform, or a hardware/software solution with the Cisco Container Platform running on Cisco HyperFlex.
The software is licensed in one-, three- and five-year subscriptions. Pricing for software-only subscriptions will start at approximately $65,000 per year for a typical entry-level configuration.
On AWS, customers pay $0.20 per hour for each Amazon EKS cluster that they create in addition to the AWS resources (e.g. Amazon EC2 instances or Amazon Elastic Block Store volumes) they create to run Kubernetes worker nodes.
The new solution will be sold by Cisco and its global partner network. Cisco DevNet will also provide an online resource for developers to trial and benchmark hybrid cloud applications using the solution.
The US-based Cisco last year announced a similar deal with Google’s cloud offering. The strategy of using a mix of a business’s own data centers and the cloud, sometimes called “hybrid cloud,” has become a prominent piece of the growth plans at companies such as Microsoft and IBM.
IBM’s $34 billion acquisition of software maker Red Hat also centers on making it easier to move software applications around among clouds more easily.