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January 26, 2010

Cisco, VMware and NetApp unite for cloud push

Firms offer more secure, efficient datacentres

By Steve Evans

Cisco, VMware and NetApp have joined forces to produce a three-way partnership offering a new design architecture to provide secure cloud computing datacentres.

Secure Multi-tenancy Design Architecture is made up of Cisco’s Nexus and Unified Computing System (UCS) platforms, VMware’svSphere, vShield Zones and vCenter and NetApp’sMultiStore, Data Motion and iSCSI products. Although the companies have signed two-way partnerships in the past this is the first time all three have joined forces.

The platform aims to provide end-to-end secure multi-tenancy datacentres and can isolate applications across network, servers and storage and means that sensitive customer data is kept separate between business units, customers, departments or security zones. The firms said that the agreement is aimed at companies looking to migrate to cloud computing but worried about the security of a shared infrastructure.

John Rollason, NetApp’sEMEA head of marketing, told CBR that the partnership is a response to the changing world of datacentres. Datacentre designers are moving away from application-based silos because they are inefficient and costly, he said. No one argues with the idea that a shared infrastructure reduces costs. The challenge is to take individual workloads and move them to a shared infrastructure. This design architecture enables that.

The firms have also agreed a services partnership, which aims to offer support across the platform. Rollason said that this joint support offering should reduce risk for customers looking to head to the cloud.

The Secure Multi-tenancy Design Architecture will also benefit companies looking to cut costs, Rollason said. The economic situation means companies need to be more efficient, and that means using a shared infrastructure that can provide dramatic costs savings. I think the industry was likely to see more partnerships like this one as it makes sense to have both server and storage virtualised, he told CBR.

Cisco, VMware and NetApp will not be going to market with the product themselves but will be utilising a partnership programme including companies such as Logicalis and Cognizant.

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