Co-authored by Juan Dewar, Red Hat, Director Global Alliances

After more than a decade of providing optimized solutions that simplify, streamline, and automate IT operations, Cisco and Red Hat continue to improve and expand our offerings with new solutions for our clients.

By collaborating effectively, we’re helping customers across industries to accelerate cloud-native application development and deployment journeys with ready-to-go solutions that improve orchestration, monitor for critical workloads with reduced management interfaces, avoid vendor lock-in, and support sustainability goals.

As part of organizations’ ongoing IT modernization journeys, many are upgrading technology, moving to hybrid cloud environments, and introducing containers and microservices. IDC research[1] highlights the challenges customers face with their digitization projects, including:

  • Lack of skilled container and Kubernetes administrators to support broad platforms built around Kubernetes
  • Complexities when incorporating multiple infrastructure and developer layers such as storage, networking, service mesh, security, serverless, build pipelines, and various PaaS features
  • Need for a large, effective ecosystem to deliver system software in complex environments
  • Changes to foundational infrastructure in order to implement full-stack containerizations
  • Managing enterprise-wide transitions for building cloud-native applications and migrating existing ones
  • Managing and scaling containers consistently across multiple clusters, platforms, and clouds
  • Aligning with the enterprise’s digital transformation strategy and corresponding need to educate, train, and change the mindsets of operators and developers

Building on our collaborative history of delivering validated, optimized solutions with consistent management from cloud to the edge, Cisco and Red Hat have broadened and deepened our offerings to address current client needs. We’re optimizing and aligning more Cisco products with Red Hat software platforms. As a long-time Red Hat partner and customer, Cisco knows the Red Hat products, and both organizations know how to optimize their products and services effectively. Our strategy of delivering platforms and services that enable an open, hybrid cloud environment spans multiple areas: embedded platforms, compute space, and automation.

  • Embedded Platforms: Throughout our collaboration, we’ve optimized Red Hat technology for Cisco offerings, serving customers in some of the most demanding environments to run critical workloads and services. Many of our customers in this space are communications service providers in the telecommunications segment. They require high scalability and reliable performance to meet their clients’ needs. Our strong record of collaboration and delivery provides the foundation for newer projects.
  • Compute space: Red Hat OpenShift: Red Hat OpenShift combined with Cisco UCS X-Series and Cisco Intersight provides a validated, high-performance platform for accelerating cloud-native application development and the journey to hybrid cloud. By supporting Cisco solutions on Red Hat OpenShift, we can enable different deployments based on the customer’s target environment, whether virtual or bare metal, in any location (data center, edge, co-located platforms, or a mix). Clients can run multiple functions and workloads at scale, with centralized management across the environment. These optimized, multi-faceted solutions include products from our broader partner ecosystem (e.g., NetApp and Pure). Our pretested Cisco Validated Designs (CVDs) are reviewed and supported by Red Hat, to help our clients speed implementation, reduce risk, and deploy solutions with greater confidence.
  • Automation: Adding automation capabilities continues to grow in importance for our clients. With Red Hat Ansible Automation Platform, organizations can build and operate IT automation at scale, from hybrid cloud to the edge. Our extensive collaboration in this area encompasses compute, networking (data center, cloud, and enterprise), and security-focused capabilities. Ansible Automation Platform helps automate almost every Cisco device, network controller, and platform while allowing clients to progress at their own pace. The pre-designed scripts and playbooks deliver fully automated and self-service capabilities with a consistent user experience.

Delving deeper

Our complementary products and services deliver scalability, flexibility, and enhanced security capabilities for digital transformation and data center modernization. You can learn more about how Cisco and Red Hat are collaborating to meet evolving customer needs at our upcoming conferences: Red Hat Summit (May 23-25, 2023) and Cisco Live! (June 4-8, 2023). You can also preview all the Red Hat events planned for Cisco Live! 2023.

We plan to publish additional blogs that explore the technologies introduced here in more depth. Until then, we invite you to explore our partnership page to learn how we are helping organizations establish their hybrid cloud architectures for the next decade.


Learn more about Cisco and Red Hat’s Partnership



[1] Worldwide Container Infrastructure Software Forecast, 2022-2026, IDC Market Forecast, October 2022.


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Wes Kinard

Global Strategic Partner Manager

Global & Strategic Partner Organization