We embarked upon this episode with an agenda. Take a sample of the building momentum around Cisco ACI. The growing benefits, details and momentum behind the Application Centric Infrastructure. First announced in November 2013 and just before we start shipping.
In my estimation, we saw five areas worth highlighting from Cisco Live:
- Cisco is ready to ship ACI
- Partnerships and joint use-cases are resonating with customers
- Strong integrations with APIC through OpFlex
- Partners see strong customer demand
- Partner are getting ready to ship ACI-based solutions
Great Q&A with Soni Jiandani from Network World’s John Dix: Cisco describes its SDN Vision She nails Cisco’s ACI vs. SDN messaging and any confusion you may still have with the positionoing. She also puts good context around the OpFlex protocol.
Our show is a great sneak peak for this summer’s blockbuster release of ACI Fabric Mode and the APIC Controller. If you need to catch up. Be sure and review the launch details we covered for ACI in November 2013: TWTV136: Inside the Application Centric Infrastructure
The key elements for ACI in that episode were:
- Application Awareness -- top down control based on what was important
- A new, tighter coupling between software and hardware
- Recognition that virtualization on the compute side had not been accompanied by requisite innovation on the network wide -- potential for wasted opportunity.
- East West traffic was growing gangbusters in the data center and needed assisted.
We walk through the following components of the offering:
- APIC -- Centralized cluster controller
- Northbound API for standardized communication and control from Applications that need to interact with the Fabric
- Southbound API for third party network services integration
- Profiles -- Application Network Profiles -- the logical representation of all components of the application and its interdependencies on the application fabric
- ACI Fabric -- new stateless hardware within the Nexus portfolio, 9000 series
So what was still missing?
- APIC GUI -- How would we interact?
- Migration plan -- Clarity on how to leverage within existing networks
- Southbound interface -- more details on network control
- Partner Plans -- who would support?
And that formed much of what we wanted to cover for today’s show -- filling in the blanks on the momentum…just before the big release this summer.
Ronak Desai, Director of Software Development walked Jimmy Ray through the new APIC interface.
I got a chance to ask Mike Cohen about OpFlex and where it fits.
And finally, Jimmy Ray weighed in with his view on partner support and the growth we are seeing for the Eco-System.
Please to enjoy!