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Cisco and BMC partner to sell cloud platforms to cloud providers

By collaborating on the new Integrated Cloud Delivery Platform, BMC gets a cloud strategy and Cisco gets a channel.

Many think that telecom giants will end up building the foundation of most public cloud environments. With that in mind, the new Integrated Cloud Delivery Platform from Cisco Systems and BMC will aim itself at large service providers like AT&T and Verizon.

Anybody who's trying to sell cloud infrastructure is going to need this kind of capability.


Mary Johnston Turner, IDC's research director for enterprise systems management,

The Integrated Cloud Delivery Platform combines Cisco networking gear and BMC's automation and management software -- essentially a marriage of BMC's fledgling cloud line, the Cloud Lifecycle Management suite, and Cisco's network knowhow. Analysts said this offering gives BMC a legitimate grip on cloud in the face of rival CA, but Cisco isn't hitching its own cloud wagon to only one star.

"Cisco is very careful to say that this relationship and the initial relationship is non-exclusive," said Mary Johnston Turner, IDC's research director for enterprise systems management. BMC was a partner, albeit one of several, in Cisco's Unified Computing System (UCS) product, but Cisco has a lot of irons in the fire. It promotes a Cisco Validated Designs framework for virtualization and cloud environments, along with being part of a high-profile Vblock partnership with VMware and EMC .

Service providers must plot cloud moves
The fact that two tech giants have integrated their technologies fairly deeply is a sign of the foundational shift that the cloud computing model has brought about, Turner said. It is no longer a question of whether service providers will move to cloud models but rather a question of when and how.

All the major systems management players -- including CA, Hewlett-Packard and IBM's Tivoli -- say they are moving their data center software to the cloud model. And Cisco competitor Juniper has made it clear that its next generation of networking gear is predicated on virtualization and resource management, not just directing traffic. Juniper this week bought Altor, a virtualization security firm, strengthening its hand as a platform supplier.

Meanwhile, Cisco released a survey of customers that says not only are public cloud services for email, office productivity and communications highly favored in the future, but IT shops themselves are converging into streamlined, simplified units that need automated, self-service cloud computing tools.

"Eighty percent of the enterprises surveyed have converged, or are in the process of converging, these departments into one organizational structure," according to the survey.

The importance of integration in the cloud
"Anybody who's trying to sell cloud infrastructure is going to need this kind of capability," said Turner. The Integrated Cloud Delivery Platform makes sense for Cisco, since BMC had started with Cisco in mind. Turner said the "secret sauce" is the fact that BMC had, for all intents and purposes, already built Cisco's Secure Network Container reference architecture into its cloud suite.

"It's really Cisco's, but it's very deeply integrated in BMC life cycle management products," said Turner.

Turner said the Secure Network Container concepts also marked a transition that's coming down the pike: security from a resource allocation point of view, not an identity access and management point of view.

That means building security and management tools into IT architecture from the ground up instead of laying them over the top. The quicker approach just won't be sufficient to just keep people in or out in a world where the boss does more work from his iPhone than from his actual desk. Turner said this new offering is strictly for service providers, which are really the only companies really deploying major new IT infrastructure upgrades these days. Eventually, however, the offering could attract other business customers.

"This is a very high-end, large-scale solution," she said, "and a lighter weight version could be made available to enterprise."

Carl Brooks is the Senior Technology Writer for Contact him at

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