Cisco Container Platform (CCP) now ships with Amazon Elastic Container Service for Kubernetes (EKS) APIs for consistent application deployment, monitoring, networking, compliance control, and security management between data center infrastructure (Cisco Hyperflex and UCS) and EKS. This required a significant level of collaboration between Cisco and Amazon, to enable CCP to run the EKS Control Plane. The EKS Control Plane contains the “secret sauce” of Amazon’s managed Kubernetes offering, handling provisioning, security, encryption, cluster health, and upgrades.
One Kubernetes API for Developers
Software developers can now use the same API calls to deploy new application instances to the corporate data center and to EKS. This enables development groups to modernize and test existing enterprise application locally, before making the decision whether to migrate the application partially or entirely to the Amazon cloud or whether hosting the application on Hyperflex or UCS might make more sense. This also opens the scenario of leveraging the Amazon cloud for utilization peaks, high availability, or to outsource specific application components.
Unified DevOps Toolchain Integration
DevOps tools such as Jenkins, Maven, Chef, Puppet, Ansible, Selenium, Jira, GitHub, or GitLab can now integrate with Kubernetes in the data center in exactly the same way as they would connect to EKS. This enables DevOps teams to optimally implement and test continuous security and compliance behind the safety of the corporate firewall, before deploying to the public cloud. At the same time, development teams can provision and dispose of fully consistent ad-hoc environments for continuous testing behind and in front of the corporate firewall while maintaining configuration consistency.
One Operating Model for Corporate IT
AppDynamics (APM), Stealthwatch Cloud, Cisco CloudCenter, and Cisco CSR 1000v can now all be used to consistently manage production Kubernetes environments on CCP in the data center or on EKS in the Amazon Cloud. IT operators can centrally create and enforce application placement, scalability, and management policies, and ultimately, enable policy-driven application deployment.
Next Stop – Integration with Cisco Intersight Systems Management
Ultimately, we can expect Cisco’s container management strategy to intersect with the company’s Intersight systems management platform. This would enable granular on-demand infrastructure provisioning and lifecycle management depending on the performance, compliance, security, and availability requirements of each individual application. For example, additional GPU resources for training machine learning models could be provided on a specific type of Cisco UCS servers with Pure Storage object storage attached, while another WordPress environment would be created on EKS. Top think this even a little further, eventually, Intersight should also provide visibility and management capabilities into public cloud services, such as EKS.
Ahead of Dell, Nutanix, and HPE, Cisco managed to forge partnerships with Google and Amazon to be able to offer both vendor’s managed Kubernetes services on top of its own hardware. As a result, Cisco can now offer a unified operating model for Kubernetes within the data center and the Google and Amazon Cloud. Next stop: Azure.