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ACI Delivered Operational Simplicity at Cisco Live San Diego

Much of the discussion about Cisco ACI has been about accelerating the deployment of applications across infrastructure – defined by application needs and driven by policy.  There is another powerful benefit from ACI for the datacenter network administrators of today who are stretched thin trying to debug outages or respond to concerns about poor application performance. For all of them, the latest release of ACI software, Brahmaputra or APIC 1.1(1j) and NX-OS 11.1(1j), provides exciting new enhancements for managing, monitoring, and troubleshooting data center infrastructure.

ACI’s Brahmaputra release adds significant operations support in the form of:

  • Pro-active tooling: ACI tools such as iTraceroute, iPing, health scores and atomic counters work to eliminate downtime. Users can work before issues become user detectable to identify and resolve issues. Configurations can be validated prior to deployment.
  • Re-active tooling: When issues do occur in a production datacenter, users need to have the right tools available to resolve them.

Functional Brahmaputra

For the ACI engineering and product team extensive software release notes, go to these links

APIC 1.1 and NX-OS R 11.1.

During Cisco Live San Diego, there were a number of sessions covering these new capabilities to address “what can ACI do for me today?”. The answer is directly addressed by the benefits centralized management, monitoring and troubleshooting can deliver when you view and operate the entire fabric as a single system.

If you need help dealing with the complexity of  today’s non-application centric data centers,  I recommend that you take in the following Cisco Live sessions that highlight the simplified troubleshooting and centralized operational benefits of ACI which network operations teams can benefit from immediately, improving their productivity and speeding up remediation for application problems.

BRCACI-2102 ACI Troubleshooting

BRKACI-1502 Simplify Operations with ACI

PSODCT-2455 Simplify Day 0, 1, and 2 Operations in Application Centric Data Centers

Docker and the Rise of Microservices

Over the past 18 months, we’ve been witnessing a rapid transformation in the way applications are built, packaged, shipped, deployed, and instantiated.  This change has been driven by developer demands for simplicity and a shift in focus towards an application-centric view of IT.     To find evidence of this trend, look no further than the skyrocketing popularity of Docker and the movement towards microservice based architectures for running applications.

You could think of microservices as a service oriented architecture built around independently deployable, loosely coupled software components.  By providing the infrastructure to build, ship and run these services, Docker has become one of the most important open source infrastructure projects in the world today.

Why are microservices and Docker so important?  Well, we’re witnessing a bit of a Darwinian process occur at an extremely fast pace in the cloud world today.    Tools that offer benefits in simplicity, speed, scale, and flexibility to applications developers succeed while others fall out of favor.  Docker does an amazing job at shrinking build, test, and deployment cycles and providing a means of separating the functions of infrastructure, platform, and application teams through microservices.  Some of the largest web scale companies in the world have already proven this works and now the challenge remains in bringing more generally into the enterprise environment.

This transition is extremely exciting and creates a number of opportunities for Cisco in the datacenter.  While this is far from an exhaustive list, I wanted to highlight some of the key ones we are seeing.

  1.  Deliver scalable, manageable infrastructure optimized for microservice architectures.  We can make it extremely easy for users to use our UCS, Nexus, and Application-Centric Infrastructure to build turnkey environments with the network, compute, and storage performance and scale they require.
  1. Develop application and operational intent frameworks that leverage Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI).  Cisco ACI and its application-centric policy language are a perfect fit for Docker and microservice architectures.  The policy language offers the simplicity and the separation of infrastructure requirements that developers are seeking.  Our team is also contributing to the open source community to accelerate the adoption of policy as well.
  1. Help our customers deploy Docker and microservices alongside the environments and tools they already run today.  As Cisco, it is incumbent on us to help provide the unified management tools and infrastructure to offer onramps to this new technology, allowing it to run alongside legacy environments.
  1. Carry out the organizational changes needed to take advantage of microservices.  As Docker and microservices enable greater separation between infrastructure and apps teams, Cisco can play a major role in training over 2 million Cisco-certified professionals to lead this transformation.
  1. Bringing microservices to the network gear itself.  We already allow users to run container-based services directly on our Nexus switches so they can begin to leverage some of the same approaches that are appearing in the computing environment.

So, even at a glance, the rise of Docker containers and microservices creates a tremendous set of opportunities for innovation.  We’re particularly excited about libnetwork, the new Docker network plugin framework, which will be a critical point of integration for Cisco.  Its also an incredibly reassuring and healthy sign that the Docker community is committed to being open and responsive to the needs of its users.

We have already started using this framework to connect Docker with a breadth of networking technology and offer the seamless integration our customers need.   In particular, we have created the Contiv project as an a generic network clustering plugin which integrates with Docker’s libnetwork and we’re excited to work with the community around it.
As we’ve seen over the past year, Docker and microservices more generally are well on their journey to transforming the datacenter.  We’d love to see you help us by joining in the open source development of Contiv or Docker directly or by reaching out to your account teams to learn more about Cisco solutions for containers.

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Cisco and Red Hat at the Center of IT Transformation

summit_logo_170The open hybrid-cloud and big data are at the center of the IT transformation that will enable every business, country, and city to become a digital and technology organization. Cisco and Red Hat share a common vision for the future of IT. That’s why Cisco is going big at the Red Hat Summit, which kicks off June 23rd in Boston. It’s going to be a great week of conversations with IT professionals who are harnessing open source innovation across their businesses and organizations to deliver new models of IT.

I’m especially looking forward to the opening general session with Red Hat CEO, Jim Whitehurst and Satinder Sethi Cisco VP of Data Center and Cloud Solutions. I’m sure these two industry luminaries will have keen insights into the market transitions and IT innovations that put the data center at the heart of digital transformation.

Of course, the Cisco team will be busy with an action packed agenda of sessions and demos. Plan to make the Cisco booth your hub in the Red Hat Summit Partner Pavilion. Our mini-theater will feature non-stop tech talks that span OpenStack, Group Based Policy, Big Data and Developer Programs. Every visitor to the Cisco booth will leave with an ultra-cool Cisco hat.

Read More »

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ITD and RISE: New innovations at Cisco Live San Diego

ITD (Intelligent Traffic Director) and RISE (Remote Integrated Services Engine) have been helping Cisco partners and customers save massively on CAPEX and OPEX, while providing unprecedented scalability, high availability and ease and deployment. We had several events at Cisco Live San Diego 2015:

  • ITD and RISE Whisper suite meetings for Nexus 9k/7k/5k. For further discussions, please email to
  • A large number of people came to ITD Booth in the World of Solutions, to watch a demo.
  • Breakout sessions :
  • New innovation demo at the Hub:
    • ITD and Analytics Driven Green Networking : First prize winner in Hackathon 2015
  • ITD won the Best of Interop, 2015 in Data Center category. Read blog.
  • Nexus 7702 announcement : Nexus 7702 has a sweet spot in being a “services chassis” with RISE and ITD.
  • Nexus 5k/6k : RISE and ITD are now shipping: NX-OS 7.1.1N1(1)
  • Nexus 9k : ITD is now shipping: NX-OS 7.0(3)I1(2)

We hosted 1:1 customer meetings in whisper suites, during Cisco Live 2015 in San Diego. We had BU Executives, Product Managers, and Engineering Managers on  site to meet with customers. It was a unique opportunity for customers to engage directly with the Business Unit. For further discussions, please send email to

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Learn how new Cisco SAN Solutions maximize scale and performance

Chances are that your storage area network (SAN) is already feeling the pressure from an avalanche of data.   All that data can add real value to your business, but only if you can access it and use it instantly, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  To make this happen, IT managers need to be able to implement a single storage solution that can scale massively and cost-effectively, without causing performance, reliability, or security issues.

Discover how you can meet these challenges:  Attend the Webinar on June 23rd 8:00 PST. REGISTER NOW

To address the high demand for storage in today’s IT environments, driven by proliferation of data from next-gen applications, customers are implementing innovative and affordable solutions to scale their datacenter.   In one of India’s largest states (Madhya Pradesh), 6000 government entities across 53 departments need to grow their storage capacity, requiring thousands of network connections ultimately deliver traffic to the ‘Madhya Pradesh data center SAN’.   Today, the data center SAN houses 120 TB of storage. Based on projected growth, soon it will need to support 500 TB. The Madhya Pradesh data center SAN is also operationally complex.  Read the full case study to learn, What difficulty they faced ?, How did they overcome the challenges ? and What results they achieved?

Business Challenge:

  • Increase SAN performance
  • Support QoS and other advanced characteristics across a massive SAN and multiple vendor operating systems
  • Simplify everything—management, scaling up, and eventual cloud services deployment


“We had expected to use 120 TB of storage capacity in three years and we used it in one year,” Rajesh Banbah, IT Head for Madhya Pradesh “Now with the Cisco MDS, we can evaluate storage needs every six months and scale in baby steps with pay-as-we-grow simplicity.” ( Read full case study here )

Business Results

  • Obtained full line-rate 16 Gbps performance
  • Increased redundancy for 24-hour availability
  • Simplified SAN management through built-in switch intelligence

Do you want to take advantage of Cisco SAN Solutions?  Take a guided tour of the innovative new Cisco MDS 9396S high-density fabric switch, which delivers enterprise-class features, pay-as-you-grow scale options, and plug-and-play installation at a remarkably attractive price. Also learn about expanded 16G FICON and open system support on the Cisco MDS 9000 family.  Find out how Cisco is extending 40G storage capabilities to the Cisco Nexus 7000 platforms, and see how we have enhanced SAN monitoring.

Learn how these innovations will enable you to:

  • Enjoy industry-leading performance and resiliency with unmatched port density
  • Future-proof your storage connectivity for any unforeseen future needs
  • Deploy a truly converged Ethernet storage infrastructure
  • Speed up deployment, increase operational efficiency, and avoid outages

 See you all on June 23rd 8:00 PST. You can also get your questions answered in real time during the webcast by our team of experts.  REGISTER NOW !

Tony Antony
Sr Marketing Manager

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