It’s a busy day for Cisco as the company made two significant announcements. First is HyperFlex, a hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) appliance family that bundles compute, storage, virtualization, and networking into a single package.
Second, Cisco announced its intent to acquire CliQr Technologies, a startup that aims to make it easier to run applications across multiple cloud environments, including private and public clouds. CliQr will cost Cisco $260 million in cash and equity, plus “retention-based incentives,” presumably for CliQr talent that Cisco wants to keep around.
As we noted in a recent Network Break, rumors were afoot that Cisco would announce a hyperconverged product. It’s no surprise to see Cisco go down this road. Our very own Greg Ferro notes “
Cisco has had remarkable success with its UCS blade servers, and an HCI platform gives Cisco yet another tentacle to extend its reach into the compute market.
In addition, the networking giant has experience with converged systems via VCE, which integrates Cisco, VMware, and EMC gear; and FlexPod, a converged system with NetApp storage.
Now with HyperFlex, Cisco takes firmer control of its convergence destiny. The product is built around a bundle of Cisco hardware and software, including UCS for compute and storage, UCS Fabric Interconnects for networking, and UCS Manager for management.
The hypervisor is VMware’s ESXi, and the storage software layer is provided by a startup called SpringPath.
For a more detailed breakdown of HyperFlex, and more information about SpringPath, check out this most excellent post at GeekFluent.
Cisco Extends Its Cloud Commitment
The other news from Cisco is the CliQr acquisition. As mentioned, CliQr is a cloud management and orchestration platform.
It models application requirements and then provisions the appropriate resources across private and public cloud environments, so that customers can run applications on multiple clouds, or more easily migrate from one cloud provider to another.
This acquisition isn’t entirely out of the blue. Cisco and CliQr announced an integration back in 2015 between CliQr and Cisco ACI.
Cisco has already been making inroads to the cloud through partnerships and acquisitions, including its purchases of OpenStack providers such as Piston Cloud. Then there’s the Intercloud initiative, which is essentially a network of clouds run by partners.
By purchasing an orchestration platform, Cisco provides a bridge over which it can more easily guide customers to its own OpenStack offerings. And if customers choose a different cloud environment, the CliQr platform can still help Cisco stay in the customer’s pocket.