Public cloud has been around for about a decade; during that time we’ve gone through a very rapid evolution from skepticism, to experimentation, to a great debate about private versus public cloud and which is best. Through this debate, it’s become evident that the vast majority of enterprises will use private and public clouds together to enable their business. As simplistic as that sounds, managing a hybrid cloud environment can be costly and complex. Today, hybrid cloud is here to stay and almost every organization and cloud player realizes it’s all about the right workload in the right environment whether that is a private or public cloud.

While hybrid is here to stay, that’s not to say that it’s easy. There are significant differences between public and private clouds, and it’s hard to write applications that can move easily between these environments, let alone provide a consistent experience for developers. Developers want to be able to develop in the public cloud and deploy in the private cloud, for instance. While just about everyone knows that they need hybrid cloud capabilities, it’s not been easy, especially for organizations who want an open approach that can extend to work with multiple public clouds.

We have seen a natural distribution of existing applications, some that belong on-premises, and some that belong in public cloud. The challenge — and the magic — is in getting those applications to all work together. In essence, allowing applications to extend across environments where they can take advantage of applications and services residing in other data centers and clouds.

One of the things that makes hybrid hard is that while cloud generally abstracts underlying hardware and resources, these abstractions are different in various clouds. It’s actually a good thing – enabling the rapid innovation and expansion of cloud platform capabilities that we’ve seen over the last several years – but those differences can become a real hindrance for enterprises implementing hybrid cloud.

It’s with these challenges in mind that engineering teams from Cisco and Google Cloud started working together on a new solution. We wanted to enable applications to take advantage of the best of the cloud, and seamlessly integrate with existing IT assets on-premises. We wanted to ultimately offer a consistent environment on-premises and in the cloud so developers could develop wherever they want, and deploy wherever they want. We wanted to do it in a modern way that would enable continuous rapid innovation. The result is a solution that will deliver cloud agility and scale, coupled with enterprise-class security and support.

Our joint work led us to the new Google Cloud and Cisco strategic partnership announced today. We’re really excited about what our teams have come up with, and believe we will be able to help enterprises navigate this critical but complex space with more speed, agility, and confidence. Our solution abstracts the various capabilities in environments – including on-premises and in the cloud – enabling applications to connect with the native capabilities in whatever environment they are run in. This means developers can build modern applications wherever they want and deploy wherever they want, unlocking tremendous developer productivity. It also means that applications in the cloud can take advantage of on-premises capabilities (including existing IT systems), and applications on-premises can take advantage of new cloud capabilities. Now, you don’t need to “lift and shift” to get cloud speed and agility.

And of course, all of our teams’ innovation wouldn’t matter for enterprises if it wasn’t integrated with enterprise-grade security, networking, and infrastructure capabilities, with enterprise-grade support, all things that enterprises have come to expect from Cisco.

This partnership will enable applications to seamlessly span premises and cloud-based environments so customers can have cloud speed and scale where they need it.

We hope you are as excited about this new strategic alliance as we are. We have a lot to share with you and can’t wait to tell you more. Look for more from Cisco in the coming weeks and months. If you are a developer, be sure to check out more information on our solution components at the DevNet links below. And take a look at the blog from my colleague Nan Boden, Head of Global Technology Partners, Google Cloud.

So what do you think about the Cisco and Google open hybrid cloud solution? We’d love to see your comments.

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Kip Compton

No longer with Cisco