I’ve written a lot about Microsoft’s Cloud OS vision and how it helps our partners and customers transform their datacenters with a flexible, scalable, cloud-ready platform. This cloud-ready platform (built on Windows Server 2012 R2, System Center 2012 R2, and Windows Azure) enables IT teams all over the world to utilize private, public clouds, and hybrid cloud infrastructure.

I emphasize these points in light of our ongoing collaboration with Cisco which has recently been showcased in the following key ways:

  • Deep integration between Cisco UCS Manager/Director and Windows Server/ System Center, combine the flexibility of software with the scale/performance of hardware in a single console management environment.
  • Extensive PowerShell integration capabilities via Cisco Power Tool, which enables seamless automation on top of programmable datacenter infrastructure.
  • Nexus 1000V support for Windows Server Hyper-V Extensible Switch, which allows customers to operate multi-hypervisor environments in familiar virtual networking contexts.
  • Enabling Cisco Nexus 3000 switches to be managed by Windows Server and System Center, thereby simplifying datacenter management through a standards-based approach.
  • And, most recently, Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) delivers innovative network infrastructure, which intelligently adapts to your application/workload requirements. These are networking policies that are defined and automatically deployed to optimize Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Exchange, or SQL Server performance in your datacenters.

This level of collaboration is an example of Microsoft’s proactive efforts to work with other industry leaders to empower IT leaders and IT pros.

Today at Cisco Live! Milan, Cisco is highlighting the new ways that our ongoing partnership now enables networks of many interconnected clouds – whether public, private or hybrid. Cisco’s new hybrid cloud solution, Cisco InterCloud, enables customers to easily deploy interoperable and highly secure public, private and hybrid clouds, and it also broadens Cisco's commitment to openness and expanded partnership between our two companies.

Now organizations can build their datacenters with interoperable and highly secure clouds based on the leading platforms and management portfolios. With projections from Gartner anticipating that nearly 75% of enterprises will adopt a hybrid cloud computing strategy by 2015, this is a time for IT teams to take action on their own Hybrid infrastructure.

Cisco InterCloud provides the necessary gateway and virtual networking infrastructure to enable customers to seamlessly move and run their applications and workloads on Windows Azure. Whether the scenario is to add dev/test capacity, take advantage of the elasticity that the public cloud provides for workload demand, or to enable low cost and efficient disaster recovery; Cisco InterCloud enables customers to take advantage of the value that Windows Azure provides. Cisco’s InterCloud also enables organizations to use Azure as a backup or DR target, as well as making it simple to migrate from private, hosted, or even another public cloud to Azure.  We are strong believers that most organizations are going to be using multiple clouds, and we also believe that with Azure we have the world’s best Enterprise-grade public cloud.  Cisco can you help you take advantage of Azure in a hybrid environment today.

Additionally, with InterCloud and Microsoft, the consistency of your datacenter is easy to maintain because Microsoft is the only Cisco ecosystem partner who integrates with Cisco in both private, hybrid, and public cloud environments. Cisco InterCloud represents a natural extension of the work Microsoft has been doing with Cisco on private cloud.

I am really excited to continue Microsoft’s long-standing relationship with Cisco and their new InterCloud solution.

To learn more on Microsoft’s Cloud OS capabilities, solutions, and services check out Microsoft.com/Cloud, and you can learn more about Cisco InterCloud at Cisco.com/go/CloudEvolution.