Cisco announced a multi-year sales agreement with Microsoft at the Redmond-based company’s World Partner Conference today. The two companies will work together on selling cloud and datacenter services, and have agreed to deepen integration between some of their key products.
In particular, the two companies will be working to integrate a number of products including Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS), Cisco Nexus switching and Microsoft Cloud solutions including Windows Server, System Center, SQL Server and Microsoft Azure.
Here’s a video from Microsoft’s Brad Anderson talking about the relationship between the two companies:
One of the key sales initiatives for Microsoft is a push by both companies to get customers using Windows 2003 to migrate to the newer Windows Server 2012 R2 using Cisco UCS. In addition, both companies will be working together on partner incentives that encourage mutual channel partners to sell Cisco and Microsoft products.
The deal will also include building integration with Cisco’s Intercloud Fabric service, which will make it easier for sysadmins to integrate Microsoft software and services into systems working with other cloud providers.
The news comes as Microsoft continues to try and expand its cloud offerings in order to compete with other moves by Amazon Web Services and Google’s Cloud Platform. Earlier this month, Amazon announced a number of new services, including tools for mobile app developers and a new suite of productivity tools.
Cisco is also working on getting into the cloud business with an investment in what it calls a Global Intercloud, which allows users to unify Cisco’s private cloud solutions with public cloud infrastructure.