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Google and Cisco today announced a partnership to provide their shared customers with a consistent environment for running applications in a hybrid cloud configuration.

Their resulting offering will include support for applying the same networking and security policies across on-premises and cloud environments, for example, so that customers will be able to create a largely consistent computing setup between public and private data centers. Details on exactly what the product will entail are a bit scarce right now, but Cisco expects to begin tests with a small group of customers next year, with general availability expected in the second half of 2018.

The partnership gives Cisco an avenue for further growth, as companies are increasingly moving their computing workloads out of private data centers and into public cloud environments, like Google Cloud Platform. Companies rarely move all their workloads into the cloud in one fell swoop, which means Cisco is well-positioned to help serve those that stay in an on-premises environment and need to integrate with a company’s cloud deployment in a streamlined way.

Google, meanwhile, gets an additional foothold with enterprises, whose business it has been fiercely pursuing over the past few years as part of a transformation of its own cloud business. One of the key issues for those customers is maintaining a consistent environment across both private and public cloud environments.

While the companies’ partnership is a deep one, it is non-exclusive, and each has the opportunity to work with other partners to implement hybrid capabilities.

The move is important as Microsoft, Amazon, IBM, Oracle, and other cloud players are also working to make sure their customers have hybrid cloud products available to them. In order to keep up with the competition, Google has to make sure that its cloud can offer similar functionality.

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