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Cisco Integrates Microsoft Azure Stack Into UCS Kit

Tom Jowitt is a leading British tech freelance and long standing contributor to TechWeek Europe

Opening it up….Cisco’s Unified Computing System is now certified to run Microsoft’s Azure Stack

Cisco has integrated Microsoft’s Azure Stack into its Unified Computing System (UCS) portfolio, to help encourage the adoption of hybrid cloud systems.

This means that Cisco kit can now deliver Azure compatible infrastructure that can be installed in customer’s on-site data centres.

It also means that the Azure Stack is now available on the servers from four certified hardware partners, namely Cisco, Lenovo, HP and Dell.

cisco_ucs_blades_official_500x400Cisco UCS

The two firms says that the joint solution will give enterprises the tools for them to “grow and modernise their applications in a highly flexible and scalable hybrid cloud environment”.

The official name of the Cisco Azure Stack option is the ‘Cisco Integrated System for Azure Stack’ and it should become available for deployment in the third quarter of this year.

Now that UCS servers have been added to the roster of servers able to host the Azure Stack, it gives Cisco customers the ability to grow their businesses thanks to an efficient and flexible cloud consumption model. Service providers for example can deliver Azure infrastructure as-a-service (IaaS) and platform-as-a-service (PaaS).

The partnership between Microsoft and Cisco on this also means that customers will benefit from UCS architecture, which boasts high-performance networking with the Cisco Virtual Interface Card optimized for Azure Stack.

Customers will be offered simplified management and control so they can managing all elements of compute and networking through policy-based templates. This, claims Cisco, reduces the total cost of ownership for joint customers.

“Cisco and Microsoft are coming together to offer a hybrid cloud solution built on the power of UCS and Microsoft Azure,” said Liz Centoni, senior VP and general manager, Computing Systems Product Group at Cisco. “Through our joint engineering efforts, application developers and IT managers will have a turnkey solution that is easy to deploy, manage and scale.”

“Microsoft and Cisco are proven innovators and trusted technology partners, giving customers the confidence their IT environments can be supported and secure,” said Mike Neil, corporate VP, Azure Infrastructure & Management at Microsoft.

“Microsoft Azure Stack provides services and application programming interfaces (APIs) compatible with the Azure public cloud, allowing developers to do their best work while giving them the agility to deploy their applications to public, private or hosted clouds,” he said.

Azure Stack

Microsoft’s Azure Stack is a Azure cloud infrastructure product that will let businesses run Azure IaaS and PaaS services directly in their own data centres.

Essentially, customers will be able to benefit from the full range of public Azure services, but maintain them on their own hardware in private or hybrid platforms.

Microsoft believes Azure Stack will put the company in good stead to compete with cloud rivals Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Google, as well as OpenStack.

That said its arrival has been badly delayed. Originally planned for a 2016 release, Microsoft has delayed the launch date until mid-2017 at the earliest.

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