Cisco and IBM said the companies would meld their data-center and cloud technologies to help customers more easily and securely build and support on-premises and hybrid-cloud applications.\nCisco, IBM Cloud and IBM Global Technology Services (the professional services business of IBM) said they will work to develop a hybrid-cloud architecture that melds Cisco\u2019s data-center, networking and analytics platforms with IBM\u2019s cloud offerings. IBM's contribution includea a heavy emphasis on Kubernetes-based offerings such as Cloud Foundry and Cloud Private as well as a catalog of IBM enterprise software such as Websphere and open source software such as Open Whisk, KNative, Istio and Prometheus.\n\nCisco said customers deploying its Virtual Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) technologies can now extend that network fabric from on-premises to the IBM Cloud.\u00a0 ACI is Cisco\u2019s software-defined networking (SDN) data-center package, but it also delivers the company\u2019s Intent-Based Networking technology, which brings customers the ability to automatically implement network and policy changes on the fly and ensure data delivery.\nIBM said Cisco ACI Virtual Pod (vPOD) software can now run on \u00a0IBM Cloud bare-metal servers. \u201cvPOD consists of virtual spines and leafs and supports up to eight instances of ACI Virtual Edge. These elements are often deployed on VMware services on the IBM Cloud to support hybrid deployments from on-premises environments to the IBM Cloud," the company stated.\n\u201cThrough a new relationship with IBM\u2019s Global Technology Services team, customers can implement Virtual ACI on their IBM Cloud,\u201d Cisco\u2019s Kaustubh Das, vice president of strategy and product development wrote in a blog about the agreement. \u201cVirtual ACI is a software-only solution that you can deploy wherever you have at least two servers on which you can run the VMware ESXi hypervisor. In the future, the ability to deploy IBM Cloud Pak for Applications in a Cisco ACI environment will also be supported,\u201d he stated.\nIBM\u2019s prepackaged Cloud Paks include a secured Kubernetes container and containerized IBM middleware designed to let customers quickly \u00a0spin-up enterprise-ready containers, Big Blue said.\nAdditionally IBM said it would add support for its IBM Cloud Private, which manages Kubernetes and other containers, on Cisco HyperFlex and HyperFlex Edge hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) systems. HyperFlex is Cisco's HCI that offers computing, networking and storage resources in a single system. The package can be managed via Cisco\u2019s Intersight software-as-a-service cloud management platform that offers a central dashboard of HyperFlex operations.\nIBM said it was adding Hyperflex support to its IBM Cloud Pak for Applications as well.\nThe paks include IBM Multicloud Manager which is a Kubernetes-based platform that runs on the company\u2019s IBM Cloud Private platform and lets customers manage and integrate workloads on clouds from other providers such as Amazon, Red Hat and Microsoft.\u00a0\nAt the heart of the Multi-cloud Manager is a dashboard interface for managing thousands of Kubernetes applications and huge volumes of data regardless of where in the organization they are located.\nThe idea is that Multi-cloud Manager lets operations and development teams get visibility of Kubernetes applications and components across the different clouds and clusters via a single control pane.\u00a0\n\u201cWith IBM Multicloud Manager, enterprises can have a single place to manage multiple clusters running across multiple on-premises, public and private cloud environments, providing consistent visibility, governance and automation from on-premises to the edge, wrote IBM\u2019s Evaristus Mainsah, general manager of IBM Cloud Private Ecosystem in a blog about the relationship.\u00a0\nDistributed workloads can be pushed out and managed directly at the device at a much larger scale across multiple public clouds and on-premises locations. Visibility, compliance and governance are provided with extended MCM capabilities that will be available at the lightweight device layer, with a connection back to the central server\/gateway, Mainsah stated.\u00a0\nIn addition, Cisco\u2019s AppDynamicscan be tied in to monitor infrastructure and business performance, Cisco stated.\u00a0 Cisco recently added AppDynamics for Kubernetes, which Cisco said will reduce the time it takes to identify and troubleshoot performance issues across Kubernetes clusters.\nThe companies said the hybrid-cloud architecture they envision will help reduce the complexity of setting up and managing hybrid-cloud environments.\nCisco and IBM are both aggressively pursuing cloud customers. Cisco\u00a0ramped up its own cloud presence in 2018 with all manner of support stemming from an agreement with Amazon Web Services\u00a0(AWS) that will offer enterprise customers an integrated platform to help them more simply build, secure and connect Kubernetes clusters across private data centers and the AWS cloud.\nCisco and Google in April expanded their joint cloud-development activities to help customers more easily build secure multicloud and hybrid applications everywhere from on-premises data centers to public clouds.\nIBM is waiting to close its $34 billion Red Hat deal that it expects will give it a huge presence in the hotly contested hybrid-cloud arena and increase its inroads to competitors\u00a0\u2013 Google, Amazon and Microsoft among others. Gartner says that market will be worth $240 billion by next year.