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Cisco and Microsoft are launching the Cisco Cloud Architecture for the Microsoft Cloud Platform and 16 CSPs have joined the Cisco ecosystem

Cisco has extended its cloud and data centre relationship with Microsoft to include a new technology platform designed to accelerate service delivery and streamline the journey to the cloud for service providers.

Microsoft campus SeattleCisco said cloud providers are challenged with managing the complexity and cost of integrating the infrastructure and application layers required to bring new cloud services to market. To address these issues, Cisco and Microsoft are launching the Cisco Cloud Architecture for the Microsoft Cloud Platform.

The integrated solution combines Windows Azure Pack and Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI) to help cloud providers rapidly deliver hybrid cloud services while drastically simplifying operations and reducing costs.

Additionally, 14 cloud providers have announced they plan to join Cisco’s Intercloud partner ecosystem, bringing the number of Intercloud providers to more than 60, with a total footprint of more than 350 data centres across 50 countries.

The Cisco Cloud Architecture for the Microsoft Cloud Platform will provide the “building blocks” for cloud providers to evolve beyond traditional infrastructure as a service (IaaS) offerings, to create combined IaaS, platform as a service (PaaS) and software as a service (SaaS) solutions that “deliver more value to their customers”, said Cisco.

The Cisco/Microsoft collaboration will also deliver pre-packaged policy management libraries that allow cloud providers to implement applications more quickly with consistent policy management. In addition, Microsoft System Center 2012 R2 is integrated with the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) Manager, to provide the operational simplicity and control that cloud providers need to manage their growing business, said the partners.

Cisco and Microsoft plan to support their ecosystem partners with a full lifecycle go-to-market approach that delivers everything from service and demand generation to customer retention.

Nick Earle, senior vice president for cloud and managed services, said: “We want our service provider partners to move up-market with us and offer higher-end cloud services. By partnering with Microsoft we’re able to deliver a tightly integrated, application centric cloud architecture. This unique new platform will help our partners dramatically accelerate the delivery of new and innovative hybrid cloud services for their customers.”