The perks and pitfalls of partnering; the week in cloud

At a time when most IT vendors are focused like lasers on grabbing up more of a customer’s IT budget for themselves exclusively  (HP CEO Meg Whitman even acknowledged that two of HP’s biggest vendor allies  are now competitors) there’s still some talk about partnering.

Case in point: Akamai (s akam), a leader in content delivery networks,  launched the Open Platform Initiative which will give partnrs a set of “REST-style APIs” that will give them a window into the Akamai Intelligent Platform.  Cambridge, Mass.-based Akamai also promised additional SDKs and other tools to open up access.

Akamai is relying on Apiary to expose Akamai Intelligent Platform’s APIs to developers, customers and partners which should make it easier for third parties including customers and other vendors to integrate with Akamai’s CDN.

As a first big integration, Akamai said it is integrating its Unified Performance technology with Cisco’s ISR-AX routers to speed application delivery in hybrid clouds. As Zeus Kerravala, founder of ZK Research, summed it up in Network World, the deal means that:

“Akamai would do what it does best …  optimizing traffic across the internet. Cisco would then optimize the traffic from the Akamai network to the enterprise customer and across the WAN providing an end-to-end optimized network. Typically, customers could control the traffic on their own WAN through the use of quality of service (QoS) or [an] optimization protocol, but architecting a solution that can optimize out the internet was difficult, if not impossible, for most IT departments.”

Virtustream and Capgemini team up

Elsewhere in collaboration, Capgemini, the giant global integrator, will offer Virtustream as a private or hybrid cloud option to its enterprise customers. Capgemini is already a big partner with Amazon Web Services on the public cloud front.

Capgemini’s strong systems integration skills make it a go-to partner for enterprises looking to build out or migrate mission-critical applications to cloud, said Simon Aspinall, CMO of Washington D.C.-based Virtustream. “The partnership will help us extend our reach to more customers and sectors,” he said.

How to put together the best big data teams

Check out this week’s Structure Show for tips from Booz Allen Hamilton’s Jeff Sullivan:

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And from around the interwebz;

From GigaOM: Amazon Web Services: SHould you stay or should you go? 

From Federal Computer Week: Amazon can resume CIA cloud project

From Barrons: Building the cloud: who wins, who loses

From InformationWeek: Microsoft’s Azure cloud move and what it means. 

From GigaOM: Super-secure NSA  data center laid low by electrical problems’ report