The two companies are basically rolling out a package that will benefit cloud service providers in "hybrid computing", a market that is gradually gaining momentum.
According to the announcement from Cisco, the newly formed "Cisco Cloud Architecture for the Microsoft Cloud Platform" provides "pre-packaged policy management libraries" that Cisco partners can use to simplify the use of "new apps and services" while accessing Microsoft's Azure cloud computing resources.
With this partnership, a cloud service provider buys and installs Cisco's fastest switch Nexus 9000 with its Application Centric Infrastructure software and a Windows Azure Pack. This leads to a hybrid cloud that works with Microsoft Azure.
Previously, these two companies had formed an alliance supporting Cisco's management tools.
In July last year, these two companies entered into a three-year agreement that incorporated combining System Center modules into the Cisco UCS Manager product, which is used to manage UCS hardware and software components.
At present, Cisco has over 60 partners centered on its Intercloud effort, which is modeled on the OpenStack cloud architecture.
Cisco currently holds a Zacks Rank # 2 (Buy) while Microsoft holds a Zacks Rank #4 (Sell).
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