ORLANDO, Florida — Cisco CEO Chuck Robbins proclaimed that networks will power the future but admitted that the networking giant will have to rely on partnerships to keep on top of the latest technologies. “We have to think differently about how we build networks,” he said. Robbins’ remarks were made at the opening keynote address at Cisco Live, the company’s annual conference that started today.
“We have to help you power this multi-cloud environment that you are living in,” Robbins told the crowd of about 10,000 that’s attending the event. “We need partnerships … strong partnerships to pull this off,” he added.
To emphasize that point, Robbins was joined on stage by Google Cloud CEO Diane Greene. Last October, Cisco and Google joined forces to develop a hybrid cloud offering that will allow enterprises to deploy Kubernetes-based containers on premises and in Google Cloud Platform.
Greene touted the huge gains of Kubernetes, the container orchestration platform Google developed and then contributed as an open source project. “This is one of the fastest growing open source projects,” Greene said, adding that Google itself launches more than 4 billion Kubernetes instances per week. The Cisco-Google hybrid cloud is based on Kubernetes and also uses Istio, another open source platform co-developed by Google that lets companies manage and monitor microservices across public and private clouds. According to Greene, the Cisco-Google hybrid cloud is available “in early access” with some customers. “Our engineers are working closely together.”
The deal gives Cisco a public cloud partner as customers adopt a multi-cloud strategy, and it gives Google a foothold in the enterprise data center space, which it needs to pull market share away from cloud services heavyweight Amazon Web Services (AWS).
Robbins also provided a brief update on the company’s container platform that it announced in January. That platform is using Google’s Kubernetes management platform to support enterprises migrating workloads and applications in production environments.
Robbins said that next month Cisco will have an early access program available for the platform, and then in October it will have a bigger launch.
Greene noted that Kubernetes and containers help modernize the developer environment and provide developers with about a 10-times productivity improvement. “The Kubernetes environment in Istio is now taking care of things, so developers can focus on the business,” she said.