Google Cloud and Cisco team up for souped-up SD-WAN multi-cloud apps

Saturday, April 25, 2020
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An announcement from Google Cloud and Cisco has confirmed a partnership between the two organisations. By combining their product offerings, they aim to create a world first - in the form of an application-centric multi-cloud networking fabric.

This means that a customer will be able to choose between and combine application stacks for optimal performance. Across the Google Cloud and Cisco’s software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN) Cloud Hub, a customer will be able to create a more manageable workload by distributing components.

To put this into a use case scenario, a front end system could run on the public cloud, whereas a backend library that requires higher levels of security could be run in another location.

This isn’t the first collaboration between Cisco and Google Cloud. There was another integration back in 2017, which created a hybrid cloud partnership. This was done with the purpose of joining Cisco’s infrastructure with that of Google’s services.

Returning to the present announcement, this newest integration is aimed towards Google Anthos. This platform was first deployed in 2019 to aid with application management, both on premises or within cloud environments. The aim of Cisco SD-WAN integrating closely with Google Cloud and Anthos is to create a new offering for the market that hasn’t been produced before. This is effectively a turnkey, multi cloud networking fabric, which is called the Cisco SD-WAN Cloud Hub with Google Cloud.

The purpose of this new product is to assist enterprise level clients by making enterprise networking more straightforward. This is alongside improving security and aiding IT teams to reduce costs associated with operations, as well as fulfilling application service-level objectives.

In a blog post Shailesh Shukla, VP of Products and GM of Networking for Google Cloud stated, ‘With tighter integrations between Cisco and Google Cloud, this solution will bring an end-to-end network that adapts to application needs, and that enables secure and on-demand connectivity from a customer's branch, to the edge of the cloud, through Google Cloud's backbone, and to applications running in Google Cloud, a private data center, another cloud or a SaaS application’.

It seems that both companies are excited by the potential this partnership brings. Shukla makes this point, ‘We believe by combining the core technology strengths of both Cisco and Google Cloud, we can provide best-in-class, cloud-delivered enterprise networking solutions that make network management easy for our customers and allow them to meet their business needs with agility.’

The need for this product came out of an understanding that more and more, enterprises are utilising a combined approach to give their customers the best experience possible. This means utilising both hybrid and multi-cloud to deliver the standards they expect. However, due to the scale and growth of technology and business offerings, the current network is increasing in difficulty exponentially. This means including multiple clouds, Saas applications, on-prem locations, and geographies are increasingly harder to manage, secure, and scale on an enterprise level.

The closer integrations between Cisco and Google Cloud will create a network that is flexible to the needs of the applications. It also fulfills on-demand connectivity for a customer that is secure and reaches the full perimetre of the cloud.

Derrick Monahan, WWT Cloud Networking Architect, commented by saying, ‘Customers are looking at modernizing their network along with moving and containerizing applications with technologies like Google Cloud’s Anthos and placing those workloads in Multicloud Architectures,’ he continued with, ‘Due to the fluid nature of the where data, applications, and services reside, along with a need for a more integrated security strategy, Cisco SD-WAN Cloud Hub with Google Cloud Platform will be a key architectural step to accelerating our customers Digital Strategy.’

There is still some time to go before these technologies are available to the general public, which is planned for the first half of 2021. Selected customers could be asked to preview the solution towards the end of 2020 though.

It’s certainly an interesting time within the industry, the collaboration of industry leading companies such as Google Cloud and Cisco shows a lot of potential. On one level, it means that technological evolution can move at a faster pace, restricted less by business competition. Encouraging further levels of integration over the coming years would create an environment for innovation that would be exciting to witness.