Cisco pushes Kubernetes to hybrid cloud with Amazon Web Services

Cisco and Amazon Web Services are partnering on a Kubernetes-based hybrid cloud solution. (Pixabay)

Cisco and Amazon Web Services have teamed up on a Kubernetes-based hybrid cloud solution that allows customers to bridge the gap between hardware and the cloud. 

While businesses and organizations are moving their data, applications and services to public and private clouds, not all of them are able to immediately move everything all at once.

Thursday's announcement by Cisco and AWS allows customers to use Cisco's software and, if they choose, hardware with AWS' cloud-computing power to manage workloads both on and off AWS' cloud. Both rely on Kubernetes, which was first built by Google before it was put in open source, and containers.

The Cisco Hybrid Solution for Kubernetes on AWS makes it easier for customers to run production-grade Kubernetes on premises. This is done by configuring on-premises Kubernetes environments to be consistent with Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (Amazon EKS) and by combining Cisco's networking, security, management and monitoring software with AWS' services.

"By adopting containers and Kubernetes, IT and Line of Business users can focus their efforts on developing applications, rather than infrastructure and ‘plumbing,'" said Cisco's Reinhardt Quelle, principal engineer for the company's cloud products and services group, in a Thursday morning blog post. "Because Kubernetes is available everywhere, one can choose the best place to run an application based on business needs.

"For some applications, the scale and reach of the public cloud, along with its huge number of services available, will be the determining factor. For others, data locality, security or other concerns dictate an on-premises deployment."

RELATED: Kubernetes takes center stage at Cisco Live during CEO keynote

Cisco has previously announced cloud partnerships with Google and Microsoft, but AWS is the leader in hybrid cloud.

Kubernetes was a hot topic at Cisco Live this past summer, which included the onstage presence of Google Cloud CEO Diane Green. Also of note, IBM's intent to buy Red Hat for $34 billion was largely based on Red Hat's Kubernetes portfolio.

To make the integration run more smoothly, Quelle said Cisco is the single point of contact for support across all the components of the solution—including AWS components—as opposed to having to seek support for each component separately from different vendors.

The Cisco Hybrid Solution for Kubernetes on AWS will be available next month. Cisco is offering the solution starting at $65,000 a year.

"Cisco Hybrid Solution for Kubernetes on AWS can be purchased as a hardware and software bundle consisting of all of the Cisco components or can be purchased a la carte via Cisco or a Cisco partner," Quelle said. "Only (the) Cisco Container Platform is mandatory when purchasing the solution. All Cisco software components are orderable on one, three, and five year subscription licenses and all Cisco hardware components are sold on a perpetual basis. All AWS components are billed directly to the customer’s AWS account."

With infrastructure, applications and services moving to the cloud, Cisco and other hardware-centric companies have had to evolve their product lines toward software-based cloud offerings while battling newer entries into the market. VMware in particular has been active in the cloud and Kubernetes space as it offers more services for carriers and enterprises.

On Monday, VMware announced it was buying Kubernetes startup Heptio for an undisclosed amount.