The last few months have been quite interesting from a cloud perspective with lots of new innovations.
Just before the end of the year we announced and made available our latest hybrid solution, a product of collaborating with AWS, the Cisco Hybrid Solution for Kubernetes on AWS (yes there are definitely more words in that title that I can count in one hand).
And at the same AWS re:Invent that we first showcased our solution, AWS announced more than 60 new features and services for their platform; new compute instances, storage and archiving, databases, data lakes, blockchain, ML/AI, serverless, networking and control services (and this).
Amongst many topics at that conference, cost management was especially hot, and validates what we have been hearing from customers a lot lately. So at our equivalent annual European conference, Cisco Live, in Barcelona, we announced our Cisco CloudCenter Suite (including enhanced cost management features) as well as ACI Anywhere, enabling customers to extend their on-premises data center networks directly to pubic clouds.
And what happened in those few short months is just the tip of the iceberg. This amount of innovation coming from the industry is evidence of the industry maturing.
Customers are now evaluating and planning to adopt more advanced solutions between on-premises and public clouds than just IaaS and SaaS, and the industry is responding to this demand with a new generation of offerings.
Scaling up innovation
Is this really new news? What has been the evolution of cloud computing and what does that tell us about the paradigm, the market and its future overall?
Let’s take a step back. In 2012’s Gartner’s Hype Cycle, more mature cloud offerings and concepts PaaS or “cloud-optimized application design” were given 2-5 years for mainstream adoption, as opposed to IaaS or SaaS.
And looking at the date today makes you think they were about right, weren’t they? Score one for Gartner.
Indeed, we are slowly moving towards the maturity of the “platform” era, where cloud computing is about to become more interesting, honouring its roots to service-oriented architecture moving further away from being just a technical answer to an infrastructure use cases to being more closely aligned to business initiatives.
The result? To better align with business use cases, cloud computing will necessarily become more industry-specific and modular, being consumable directly by line of business users or developers in the form of reuseable building blocks.
And we’re talking not just about services from the leading public cloud providers but also from the myriads of different SaaS vendors that will come up with new offerings to support better or new use cases.
Unlocking innovation comes after internal change
But new technologies and solutions don’t mean anything without an interal readiness to adopt them. Cloud computing is driving more and deeper organizational change by decomposing technology silos, processes and teams.
It is therefore no surprise that in that same 2012 Hype Cycle, the term “DevOps” was just making its premiere appearance in the magic quadrant with a 5-10 years projection to maturity (notice that hybrid cloud and hybrid IT fall in the same bucket).
This amazing universe of innovation on top of a new landscape of technology is forcing change and requires organizations to adapt to adopt.
Change is not always easy to implement. It involves people, technology, process…in other words, the “big picture.” It involves being able to navigate between managing the on-premises existing investments in infrastructure and applications and deciding what portion to modernize and what to replace with new, all while increasing the adoption of public cloud services.
It also involves defining new governance models that drive a new culture in the way development and infrastructure teams collaborate together, especially when new offerings are further decoupling the infrastructure layer from the application.
And of course, we can’t forget the critical requirement of managing risk during the process.
The cloud era is producing a huge amount of opportunity and innovation. And how do organizations respond? By building strategies based on where they are in their own technology journey. And that can take time.
A new kind of hybrid solution
And that brings up back to the present. Our collaboration with AWS was exactly based on making that connection between our customers’ existing environments and the innovation of the AWS platform. Im other words, it takes into account the need to combine “the existing and the new” as part of their multicloud strategy and is aimed at customers that want to maintain control while extending their investments with interoperable components.
The Cisco Hybrid Solution for Kubernetes on AWS is the first hybrid solution in the industry to integrate directly with AWS’s managed Kubernetes offering (EKS) – essentially a hybrid Container-as-a-Service offering.
This means users responsible for deploying Kubernetes clusters and handing them off to developer teams don’t have to manually deploy and configure Kubernetes on top of AWS’s IaaS layer. They can use the solution to both deploy on-premises and trigger deployment on AWS EKS, creating a consistent environment for developers to run applications.
Practically speaking, it means less time spent on operations and a common authentication method across the two locations.
Futhermore, the part that makes the solution truly extensible and goes beyond containers, is the optional software that supports the full lifecycle of existing, non-containerized applications and hardware on-premises or in other clouds. CSR1000v for connecting, CloudCenter Suite for deploying, Stealthwatch Cloud for securing, and AppDynamics for monitoring.
The result? Customers can now make containers and Kubernetes a core engine of their strategy and innovation and increase adoption of public cloud services, without creating more silos that don’t integrate with their existing investments and assets.
Just like many areas of cloud offerings, Kubernetes-based solutions are maturing and driving change for organizations. Successful organizations in multicloud will not be the early adopters necessarily, but the ones that adopt the latest and greatest in the best way to fit their strategy.
If you’d like to learn more about Cisco Hybrid Solution for Kubernetes on AWS I’ve got a few suggestions:
- Read the At-a-Glance. This two-page document summarizes the value proposition and highlights benefits.
- Register for the upcoming webinar. This 45-minute deep-dive will feature speakers from Cisco and AWS.
- Visit the solution landing page. There you’ll find videos, information about related services, and much, much more.