Let’s talk about Cisco Process Orchestrator. We recently released version 3.0 — and there are a lot of exciting features that have been introduced with this new release of our IT Process Automation (ITPA) / Run Book Automation (RBA) software.
Cisco Process Orchestrator is the foundational engine on which Cisco has built a number of data center-, application-, and network-focused automation solutions. These include our cloud management solution (Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud), which embeds this orchestration engine for cloud service automation and helps organizations deploy private, public, or hybrid clouds; an SAP-focused solution resold by SAP (SAP IT Process Automation by Cisco), which lowers TCO of your SAP applications and databases by integrating events and alert management data with incident response information; and a network troubleshooting and triage solution, which helps customers manage repetitive tasks and aids remediation of common issues with network operations.
In this post, I’m going to feature a few of the major highlights of the new version 3.0 release:
- A new service-oriented methodology for service encapsulation: design workflows that match to the service ordered by the business units
- Flexible automation packs and solution accelerators: build, version, re-purpose content to drive solutions
- Service automation integrated with Cisco Prime Service Catalog: optimizing the end-to-end service delivery process
Building ITPA and RBA workflows has never been easier. With Cisco Process Orchestrator‘s service-oriented orchestration you can move away from traditional static, script-based run-book automation and IT process-level automation. We have built a modeling platform where automation aligns with the highest-level services and allows you to model IT service the way that a high-level service is delivered.
A shift from static workflow design to dynamic, service-oriented design
In this “top down” approach, designing the services and their desired state is the initial step in automation design. The next step is defining the process actions for these services and then implementing the specific process workflows that traverse traditional IT boundaries to act on and automate the necessary elements to deliver the service.
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Tags: Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud, Cisco Network Operations Automation Service, Cisco Unified Management, cloud, Cloud Management, data center, intelligent automation, network automation, process automation, run book automation, SAP IT Process Automation, Service Orchestration, unified management
There’s been a lot of news and momentum surrounding VXLAN technology in the last several months, and there is no doubt that VXLAN is becoming a more strategic and pervasive technology across cloud networks as a result. When we rolled out VXLAN about two years ago with the first commercial implementation as part of our Nexus 1000V virtual switch, VXLAN was solely a virtual networking construct and had real constraints in how it could be extended to physical networks and devices. It was also restricted to overlay networks using our Nexus 1000V switch (or other virtual switches supporting the VXLAN overlay protocol).
Now, however, VXLAN is being supported broadly across Cisco networking platforms and devices, across multiple Cisco fabric architectures, and we are even seeing broader support from other vendor ecosystems and non-Cisco switching platforms. Cisco is continuing to expand its support for VXLAN onto the new Nexus 5600 Series switches, as well as Nexus 7700 Series using the F3 line card.
For those of you not fully up to speed on VXLAN, VXLAN stands for Virtual eXtensible Local Area Network, and started out as vastly more scalable Layer 2 LAN and tenant isolation construct for data center and cloud networks. Where cloud networks were running out of only 4000+ VLAN IDs to segment application networks, VXLAN gave them over 16 Million logical network segments.
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Tags: ACI, application centric infrastructure, Application Virtual Switch, AVS, Nexus 1000v, Nexus 3000, Nexus 5600, Nexus 7700, Nexus 9000, virtual switch, VXLAN
At Cisco Live! Milan, I talked with people from all types of organizations from around the world and hearing their excitement at how they envision the cloud is going to change the way they do business. Their stories are incredible and inspiring. They range from a small startup hoping to expand their business without having to create their own IT department all the way to global companies looking for ways to deliver new services faster in a more secure and cost-effective manner.
No matter the size of their organization, they are all looking for similar things. Assured performance is top-of-list for most. Faster to time market is another important factor. Many are turning to the cloud for a competitive edge that lets them take advantage of continuous innovation without having to reinvest in a completely new data center. And most are looking forward to the cost savings of not having to manage their own IT infrastructure. However, what’s often not talked about is that behind every cloud service is a network that is responsible for the performance of your data and applications. And the truth is, not all cloud services are created equal.
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Tags: Cisco Powered, cloud, cloud providers, partners
The Cisco Prime Network Services Controller team is pleased to announce the availability of 3.2 release. This release incorporates a number of new features and functionalities to build virtual data centers (VDCs) with various network topologies. Follow this link to download the software and documentation.
Designed for multi-tenant cloud deployments, Cisco Prime Network Services Controller offers scalable, and automation-centric management for virtualized data center and cloud environments. The Cisco Prime Network Services Controller is a virtual appliance that provides centralized device and policy management of virtual networking services. It provides a unified northbound API (XML payload over HTTPS) to allow the creation of dynamic data center that includes switching, routing, fire-walling and load-balancing functions.
Cisco Prime Network Services Controller is built on an information-model architecture in which each managed device is represented by its subcomponents (or objects), which are parametrically defined. It also uses Services profiles for model-based configuration of virtual devices policies. A service profile is a collection of device policies and configuration templates that can be predefined and applied on demand at the time of virtual appliance instantiation or later. Cisco Prime Network Services Controller enables
- Flexible and simple mechanism to managing virtualized infrastructure using Cisco VSG, Cisco ASA 1000V, Cisco CSR 1000V virtual services as well as Citrix’s NetScaler virtual load balancers (NetScaler VPX and NetScaler 1000V)
- Cisco InterCloud for virtual machine (VM) workload management and migration between the enterprise data center (private cloud) and public clouds
- Cisco VSG, Cisco ASA 1000V, Cisco CSR 1000V, NetScaler VPX and NetScaler 1000V services in Dynamic Fabric Automation (DFA) solution
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Tags: ASA 1000V, cisco intercloud, Citrix NetScaler 1000V, Citrix NetScaler VPX, CSR 1000V, DCNM, DFA, Nexus 1000v, prime network services controller, vsg
Cisco announced last week that its rapidly expanding ACI ecosystem now includes the A10 Networks aCloud Services Architecture based on the Thunder ADC Application Delivery Controllers, as well as the Catbird IDS/IPS virtual security solutions. These new ACI ecosystem vendors are announcing support for the ACI policy model and integration with the Application Infrastructure Policy Controller (APIC) which will accelerate and automate deployment and provisioning of these services into application networks. This should also resolve any speculation that the ACI ecosystem would not be including technology vendors that compete with Cisco’s other lines of business, as Cisco expands the solution alternatives for customers.
Each of the solutions will rely on two primary capabilities of the APIC and ACI to provide a policy-based automation framework and policy-based service insertion technology. A policy-based automation framework enables resources to be dynamically provisioned and configured according to application requirements. As a result, core services such as firewalls, application delivery controllers (ADC) and Layer 4 through 7 switches can be consumed by applications and made ready to use in a single automated step.
A policy-based service insertion solution automates the step of routing network traffic to the correct services based on application policies. The automated addition, removal, and reordering of services allows applications to quickly change the resources that they require without the need to rewire and reconfigure the network or relocate the services. For example, if the business decision is made to use a web application firewall found in a modern ADC as a cost-effective way of achieving PCI compliance, administrators would simply need to redefine the policy for the services that should be used for the related applications. The Cisco APIC can dynamically distribute new policies to the infrastructure and service nodes in minutes, without requiring the network be manually changed.
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Tags: A10 Networks, ACI, APIC, application centric infrastructure, Catbird, FISMA, HIPAA, pci-dss