Amazon and Cisco have a new product for companies that aren't ready to fully embrace the cloud

Key Points
  • The partnership comes after Cisco signed deals with Google and Microsoft.
  • The collaboration is meant to simplify the deployment of applications on Amazon's cloud or in corporate data centers.
  • Cisco and other traditional data center companies are making moves to stay relevant as businesses move to the cloud.
Chuck Robbins, CEO of Cisco
Ashlee Espinal | CNBC

Amazon Web Services and Cisco announced on Thursday that they're teaming up on a product that will allow developers to build applications in the cloud or in traditional data centers while making it easier for them to move between the two.

It's Cisco's latest effort to create hybrid options for customers that want to push work to the cloud but still need to run some projects on their own hardware for privacy and regulatory reasons. Cisco previously announced partnerships with the other two major cloud providers, Google and Microsoft, but Amazon is by far the leader in the cloud infrastructure market.

The broad trend they're playing into with the new offering is around containers, a modern way for developers to move code between machines. Amazon offers a service for deploying containers on servers in its data centers, and Cisco has developed software that works on servers that companies manage themselves.

Both draw on the Kubernetes open-source software, which originated at Google.

"Containers are the way applications are built today," said David Goeckeler, executive vice president and general manager of Cisco's networking and security business, in an interview. "The question is where are they going to run it."

Cisco remains a powerful player in the world of traditional data centers, where companies are buying their own networking switches and routers. But increasingly that infrastructure has moved to the cloud, making it difficult for Cisco and other data center companies to find growth in their main markets. VMware announced a partnership with AWS two years ago and has since made its management software available on the Amazon cloud.

Cisco will sell and provide commercial support for the technology, which it's calling Cisco Hybrid Solution for Kubernetes on AWS, starting at $65,000 per year when it becomes available next month. Companies will also be able to buy specialty hardware that comes with the software.

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