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Digital Transformation: When giants collaborate.

By Eli Sabatier

When it comes to cloud versus on-prem infrastructure, the battle has raged on for years with each gaining and losing ground as IT needs evolve. For instance, it wasn’t that long ago that the cloud was feared by many—representing everything from a lack of control to a lack of security, and more. During those times, on-prem IT infrastructure maintained its hold on the status quo.

Then came the new world order of As-a-Service offerings, making the cloud not only viable, but also the central focus of many companies. Pair that with the simplified nature of cloud infrastructure and, suddenly, the cloud gained ground in the technological war.

However, though the battle was seemingly won, the age of Digital Transformation emerged. This new global phenomenon has now become the driving force in the new digital economy, forcing all industries to dissolve the proverbial silos within companies to unite all divisions and their processes to deliver better products, services, and experiences to the end-user.

The outcome? A perfect marriage of on-prem and cloud infrastructure—one that addresses the need for faster applications, many of which must reside within on-premises hardware, and cloud infrastructure that can manage applications, along with instantaneous expansion and retraction as business needs change in real time. 

It’s this new world of IT that has spawned the partnership of Cisco and IBM—two tech giants that are seizing the opportunity to work together to deliver the hybrid model that many companies now need to compete and succeed. The result: Cisco and IBM working together to develop a hybrid-cloud architecture that will seamlessly meld Cisco’s data-center, networking and analytics platforms with IBM’s cloud offerings.

On the on-prem side of the equation, Cisco customers who are currently deploying its Virtual Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI)—Cisco’s software-defined networking (SDN) data-center package—will now be able to extend their network fabric from on-premises to IBM Cloud. This also means that ACI Intent-Based Networking technology—the magic that enables companies to automatically implement network and policy changes in real time while also ensuring data delivery—will also be available on IBM cloud infrastructure. 

As for the IBM side of the equation, aside from IBM enabling Cisco technology to run seamlessly within its cloud environment, IBM will be delivering a host of tools including prepackaged Cloud Paks with secured Kubernetes container and containerized IBM middleware designed to let customers quickly spin-up enterprise-ready containers. In addition, IBM has also indicated that it will add support for IBM Cloud Private, which manages Kubernetes and other containers.

In all, this partnership will represent yet another monumental leap forward in hybrid cloud technology. As digital transformation projects and initiatives continue to dominate the business world, the need to move seamlessly between platforms and technology providers is paramount. And I fully suspect that this is not the last great partnership we’ll see of this nature. 

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