When Cisco first unwrapped its Project California effort, now known as the Unified Computing System (UCS), in 2009, Linux vendor Red Hat was identified as a key partner.
This week, during Cisco's launch event for its latest generation of UCS servers, Red Hat once again was front and center.
"As Cisco has continued to grow their server marketshare through UCS, Red Hat has worked closely with them to ensure platform certification and support are in place," Scott Musson, vice president of Strategic Alliances at Red Hat, told ServerWatch.
"With more Cisco Validated Designs available," Musson continued, "as well as participation in the FlexPod architecture, Red Hat has participated as the leading Linux platform provider."
Collaboration on the Cloud
Cisco is now working with Red Hat on a supported OpenStack cloud effort, though Cisco also supports multiple OpenStack vendors. Cisco is one of the leading members of the OpenStack Foundation and first released its own OpenStack Edition back in 2012.
Earlier this year Cisco pledged to invest $1 billion into its cloud and OpenStack efforts.
While Cisco is not vendor agnostic when it comes to OpenStack support, Red Hat's efforts are somewhat differentiated.
"From the Red Hat perspective, Cisco will support multiple platforms, including Microsoft, VMware and other OpenStack distributions; however, the expanded partnership and availability of UCS Integrated Infrastructure for Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform demonstrates a commitment of support for Red Hat's platform," Musson said.
"Integration and packaged availability for enterprises wanting to deploy an on-premise private cloud will focus on the Red Hat Enterprise Linux OpenStack Platform version," Musson continued.
The Cisco partnership isn't just about OpenStack on the Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) side of the cloud, but also on the Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) side as well.
"Cisco supports multiple offerings to provide customer choice, and they contribute to many open source projects, including OpenShift Origin and Cloud Foundry, though they are not part of the Cloud Foundry Foundation," Musson said.
He added that like Red Hat, Cisco sees strong demand from service providers and large corporate end users interested in using PaaS technologies.
"OpenShift beat out Cloud Foundry in several head-to-head comparisons inside Cisco," Musson said. "In the case of OpenShift, the Cisco support will include deeper integration and inclusion in the integrated Cisco/Red Hat infrastructure offering, as well as support in Cisco's Intercloud."