As new technologies emerge and replace traditional ones, IT teams are discovering that building an infrastructure around new functionality is advantageous in a slew of ways.
One such disruptive technology gaining ground is software defined networking, or SDN.
The premise of SDN is to allow the user to determine how the network behaves by decoupling the control plane from the data plane. Control planes are essentially the “data directors,” instructing the data plane on where to transfer packets of data. The data plane then establishes the best path and carries the data to its destination. By separating these two functions, the user can program the open-source network to act in accordance with business requirements—using a central management interface in a vendor-neutral manner.
Not only has Cisco joined the SDN approach, they’ve gone beyond the basics of SDN to include an application-driven infrastructure. It’s called, appropriately, Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure, or Cisco ACI.
Cisco ACI combines hardware, policy-based control systems, and software to deliver management automation, programmatic policy, and dynamic workloads. It’s built around the application, not the network.
What’s the advantage? Doing so enables greater support for scalability, a more dynamic network, and centrally-defined portable policies—all of which lend to faster application provisioning and a more efficient environment.
While many SDN solutions are focused solely on software and virtualization, the reality is that hardware still exists and is an integral part of the network. Cisco ACI leverages existing hardware—because no matter how de-emphasized it may become, the physical infrastructure remains important.
As Cisco senior vice president of marketing Soni Jiandani tells Unleashing IT, “ACI is SDN plus a whole lot more. Other SDN models stop at the network. ACI extends the promise of SDN—namely agility and automation—to the applications themselves. Through a policy-driven model, the network can cater to the needs of each application, with security, network segmentation, and automation at scale. And it can do so across physical and virtual environments, with a single pane of management.”
And Shashi Kiran, senior director of market management at Cisco, shares his views on Cisco ACI in this blog.
As businesses are becoming more dependent on applications, they must stay competitive and relevant by considering updating their infrastructure to speak directly to the needs of the application. Learn more in this edition of Unleashing IT, a special release focused on Cisco ACI, and see how early adopters are realizing the benefits it brings to the table.
Subscribe for access to content from customer successes to thought leadership to Cisco ACI-related resources.
Tags: application centric infrastructure, application driven data center, Cisco ACI, network, SDN
In the hyper-competitive Internet of Everything (IoE) era, every company must be ready for rapid innovation, sudden market transitions and ever-changing security threats.
But IoE — the explosion in network connections among people, process, data, and things — is about far more than vexing challenges. It is also about tremendous opportunity: Cisco predicts a staggering $19 trillion in IoE-related Value at Stake over the next decade.
The IT organization has a critical role to play in helping companies capture these staggering opportunities by driving innovation and enabling business agility and growth.
But where does your organization stand in the overall scheme of IT evolution? To what extent is mounting IoE complexity hindering growth? And what kind of IT model is needed support your company’s efforts to innovate and compete at the hyperspeed of the IoE era?
I invite you to explore all of these topics and more with me on an upcoming TweetChat on Friday, September 19 at 10 a.m. PST. Join the conversation by using #InnovateThink and #FutureOfIT. We will discuss the current state of IT, its challenges and pain points, and how it can enable business innovation. We will also discuss the solution: Fast IT.
Fast IT is the way forward. It offers immediate steps toward building a more agile, secure, application-centric infrastructure. And transforming the IT organization into a force for rapid innovation and competitive edge. Fast IT is the IT operating model for the Internet of Everything era. Cisco recently released a major global study of Fast IT — how it can address some of the toughest challenges facing IT today, and show the way forward.
By implementing a Fast IT model, organizations can:
- Respond to supercharged IoE complexity with infrastructure that is application-centric, automated, and programmable.
- Capture the full benefit of a far-flung “fabric of clouds,” moving seamlessly across even the most extensive hybrid-cloud ecosystems
- Drive the necessary organizational changes that will raise IT to the status of trusted advisor to the business and a true partner in innovation
- Reap the benefits of a 20 to 25 percent reduction in costs, which can then be reinvested in new capabilities to drive innovation and business outcomes
- Meet an ever-expanding threat landscape with dynamic, policy-driven security solutions
Tags: CIO, cloud, Future of IT Fast IT, Internet of Everything
EVRY chooses Cisco MDS 9710 to adapt easily to emerging and future customer demands. EVRY provides IT services to businesses, financial institutions, national public sector entities, municipalities, and health authorities in Norway and other Nordic countries.
EVRY’s virtualization deployments are expanding rapidly and customers deploying more applications placed higher demands on storage environments. EVRY’s requirements include 16-Gbps Fibre Channel connectivity without oversubscription, high reliability storage environment and the system had to support switching for 12 petabytes of storage on more than 100 storage arrays. Of course it had to be easy to manage as they have a very small team.
EVRY chose Cisco MDS 9710 Multilayer Director switches for their SAN core. The new systems were delivered and supported by Cisco storage partner EMC.
Read More »
Tags: Customer Adoption Series, DCNM, EVRY MDS case Study, MDS 9710
The explosion of network connections among people, process, data, and things, now called the Internet of Everything (IoE), is the driver behind much of the disruption and change we see in all industries. It is making innovation more accessible and affordable, while presenting enormous opportunities.
At the same time, IT organizations are contending with significant challenges. Operational costs are rising as budgets fall. Pervasive mobility and an explosion in connected devices are intensifying complexity. Business users are bypassing IT to access cloud-based services while new security threats arise daily. These conditions can stand in the way of greater innovation and agility, and prevent companies from capturing the opportunities in the IoE economy.
Fast IT addresses the following core areas across IT:
- Simplifying the infrastructure across silos and driving automation to reduce operational costs
- Using strategically automated policy to build agility and intelligence to fuel growth and respond to changing conditions
- Connecting the right people to the right information and process at the right time
- Evolving security to defend against attacks before and while they happen, and to run analysis after they end
Read the full article Fast IT: Sourcing Disruptive Innovation to learn more. Full study findings can be found here.
Tags: data center, FastIT, Future of IT, innovation, Internet of Everything
Last week we announced the UCS M-series Modular Servers. The launch represented culmination of an exciting journey for us that started two years ago.
In mid 2012 just as UCS B-series blade servers were taking off in a big way, we noticed a group of our customers using our core technology very differently than customers in our primary market, enterprise IT. In our primary market customers loved UCS’s stateless computing model, virtualization benefits and the converged offerings with our partners EMC and NetApp. In this other category, customers did not consider those same benefits nearly as important. However UCS Manager’s powerful policy engine got them really excited. UCS Manager gave them a programmatic interface to manage thousands of nodes across dozens of sites globally.
Curious, I started to visit some of these customers. During one such visit, I was walking thru the aisles of their data center and I noticed something I had not ever seen at any of our enterprise IT customers data center. This customer had all UCS chassis single homed to a single Fabric Interconnect, I stopped in my tracks -- really? Isn’t that kind of dangerous? What happens if there’s a failure? Or you have to upgrade? The customer explained to me how a combination of their application architecture and their application instance placement strategy made sure that outages at the rack level could be handled without service disruption. Wow! so we had engineered all kinds of resiliency, dual ported adapters, dual IOMs, dual chassis controllers, clustered Fabric Interconnects … lots and lots of hard engineering work to make our product robust and resilient, and this customer had thrown it all away with one toss… that really hurt. Read More »
Tags: Cisco UCS Manager, Cloud Computing, data center, UCS, UCS m-series, UCSGrandSlam