This year Cisco held Data Virtualization Day 2013 at the New York Palace in New York City. With 350 attendees from more than 130 organizations, it marked the largest event to date and showcased data virtualization is top of mind for organizations as they try to extract more value out of their data.
Data Virtualization -- Different points of view
During the event, customers, analyst and Cisco executives gathered to share best practices, discuss trends driving data virtualization and provide insight into Cisco’s go-forward strategy to expand and accelerate data virtualization offers. Some highlights included:
Customers such as Goldman Sachs, BMO and British Sky Broadcasting shared insider’s views of their implementations, also explaining the significant profitability, agility, and risk management benefits their enterprises have achieved.
Top data virtualization analysts at Forrester and R20 Consultancy discussed data virtualization adoption acceleration as well as the business and technology trends behind it.
Looking ahead, Noel Yuahanna of Forrester described global information fabrics powered by data virtualization that integrate enterprise, partner, marketplace, social and line of business information fabrics to provide connected data anytime, anywhere. Rick van der Lans, R20 Consultancy, discussed how data virtualization along with powerful networks – which will allow data to stay where it is collected – will become the dominant data integration method.
Mike Flannagan, General Manager of Cisco’s Integration Brokerage Technology Group,discussed why Cisco chose to enter the data virtualization business and noted that the big data, cloud computing and “Internet of Everything” eras were making data virtualization a must have for Cisco’s customers.
Jim Green, General Manager of Cisco’s Data Virtualization Business Unit, presented his vision for data virtualization’s next generation and that achieving massive scale was the next frontier for data virtualization technology. He also discussed Cisco’s strategy to innovate using a unique mix of data virtualization, networking, and compute assets to meet this scale challenge.
Highlights from these presentations will soon be posted to our Data Virtualization Day resources page and the Cisco data virtualization offering page. So stay tuned.
In the ACI architecture, applications drive networking behavior, not the other way around. Pre-defined application requirements and descriptions (“policy templates”) automate the provisioning of the network – virtual and physical, application services, security policies, tenant subnets and workload placement. Automating the provisioning of the complete application network reduces IT costs, reduces errors, accelerates deployment and makes the business more agile.
Application Virtual Switches are thepurpose-built, hypervisor-resident virtual network edge switches designed for the ACI fabric. They provide consistent virtual networking across multiple hypervisors to simplify network operations and provide consistency with the physical infrastructure.
AVS is robustly integrated into the ACI architecture and supports Application Network Profile (ANP) enforcement at the virtual host layer consistent with the Nexus 9000 series physical switches.
AVS is managed centrally along with rest of the ACI fabric components through the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) and provides advanced telemetry features to allow end-to-end visibility and troubleshooting capabilities across both virtual and physical devices, .
AVS enables optimal traffic steering between virtual and physical layers of the fabric to maximize performance and resource utilization. For example, if the web and app tier are located on the same host, AVS can route traffic or apply security policies between these end point groups within the hypervisor itself. On the other hand, if the database is a bare metal workload that is attached to the physical Nexus 9000, the application policy is consistently applied at the physical Nexus 9000 top of rack switches instead.
Application Centric Infrastructure with Application Virtual Switch
ACI eliminates the operational complexity of differences in managing virtualized environments vs. bare metal or legacy environments. It provides a consistent operational model across both AVS and Nexus 9000 respectively. ACI also allows for flexibility of placement of application workloads based on application requirements. Watch this short video.
If you have been following the news, I’m sure you saw that Cisco just introduced Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). Combine ACI with Cisco UCS Director and you can provision and deliver application-centric infrastructure automatically.
Over the past 11 months, I have discussed how Cisco UCS Director reduces data center complexity with unified automation and management of multi-vendor converged and integrated infrastructure systems. But the provisioning of compute, storage and network resources is just the start. IT needs to deliver infrastructure that is tailor-made for the specific applications their users need. Together with ACI, Cisco UCS Director has key capabilities to make this happen.
What ACI has done is backed off from all the network complexity in trying to build more and more intelligence directly in the fabric. Building the network to be externally automated can centralize the intelligence and control, while simplifying the design and operations of the fabric greatly (also a goal of SDN, by the way). But what’s really new about ACI is that the programmability and orchestration of the infrastructure (how it takes the orders) is now done in a business-relevant policy language/model.
In a pre-launch post, I looked at why application policies were an ideal model to build infrastructure automation around, and how application policies are better suited to mirror business objectives and requirements than traditional IT infrastructure policies. The fact is that applications are the brains of the business and best reflect the activity and dynamic requirements of the business. Application policies are inherently business-relevant. The key benefits for customers end up being vastly greater degrees of automation, process improvement and business agility. [Note: It will be left as an exercise for the reader to prove that OpenFlow, e.g., is not a business-oriented policy language.]
Disruptive technologies have become more frequent than ever before, making business agility and the ability to adapt key competitive differentiators. Every day I speak with IT executives who are asking how Cisco can help them respond to new requirements across their physical, virtual, and cloud-based environments. They feel compelled to accelerate the delivery of applications, better align IT with business activity, and reduce time to revenue. They want to know if their initiatives will have the impact and outcomes they require. Can they capture the full value of their technology investments? How can they up their game when it comes to delivering IT services that their businesses need to succeed?
Today Cisco introduced its Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) offerings to manage the health and performance of the applications that you rely upon to run your business. A simplified, flexible, and agile framework, ACI aligns the needs of the entire application lifecycle, overcoming functional silos, and bringing together your infrastructure, security, application, and cloud teams through a holistic architecture and policy-driven framework.