Microsoft expands Cisco alliance, reportedly nears cybersecurity deal

|About: Cisco Systems, Inc. (CSCO)|By:, SA News Editor

As part of their longstanding alliance, Cisco (CSCO - unchanged) and Microsoft (MSFT +0.1%) have signed a new 3-year "go-to-market plan" featuring tech integration and sales/marketing partnerships for a slew of data center products.

On Cisco's side, the products covered include its Nexus data center switches and UCS servers - two bright spots for the company. On Microsoft's site, they include Windows Server, SQL Server, System Center, and Azure.

The deal, which comes amid Microsoft's partner conference (previous), also features a program to migrate Windows Server 2003 clients to UCS systems running Windows Server 2012 R2. Nonetheless, Microsoft and Cisco remain rivals in the unified communications software space.

Separately, the WSJ reports Microsoft is close to buying Aorato, an Israeli developer of cybersecurity/identity-protection software, for $200M.

Aorato's products analyze interactions with Microsoft's Active Directory (enterprise authentication/ID management) service to detect suspicious activity, and prevent unauthorized access to IT resources.

The report follows the launch of an Azure identity/access management service in March, and comes amid a flurry of cybersecurity M&A activity.