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Learn, Code, and Collaborate at Cisco Live Berlin!

Cisco Live Berlin! February 15-19, 2016

Calling all developers, architects, and solution providers—Cisco Live Berlin features the DevNet Zone designed to help you navigate today’s changing application and architecture landscape.

Of particular interest will be the focus on analytics and automation software. As organizations struggle with digital disruption, attention will be drawn to how developers can lead the transformation required by helping:

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  • Access and aggregate data from everywhere and analyze it anywhere to unlock new insights and enable timely informed decisions.
  • Interconnect widely distributed systems of apps, data , and devices to streamline and automate services and processes across your organization and growing partner and vendor ecosystems
  • Develop engaging applications that can be easily integrated with your existing apps using our SDKs, including mobile solutions that enable location-aware services and push-to-talk on-prem communications.

Join us for hands-on experience and face-to-face support from our developer teams in the DevNet Zone. We have many in-depth sessions about our vast Analytics and Automation software portfolio, including:

 

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Introducing the Cisco PSIRT openVuln API

Cisco PSIRT openVuln APIIn October, we announced details about Cisco PSIRT’s new and improved security vulnerability disclosure format. Our Chief Security and Trust Officer, John Stewart, also revealed that Cisco will launch an application programming interface (API) that empowers customers to customize Cisco vulnerability information and publications. Today, we have officially launched the Cisco PSIRT openVuln API and it is available for immediate use.

The Cisco PSIRT openVuln API is a RESTful API that allows customers to obtain Cisco security vulnerability information in different machine-consumable formats. It supports industrywide security standards such as the Common Vulnerability Reporting Framework (CVRF)Open Vulnerability and Assessment Language (OVAL), Common Vulnerability and Exposure (CVE) identifiers, and the Common Vulnerability Scoring System (CVSS).

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This API allows technical staff and programmers to build tools that help them do their job more effectively. In this case, it enables them to easily keep up with security vulnerability information specific to their network. That frees up more time for them to manage their network and deploy new capabilities in their infrastructure.

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Top 3 Ways New ACI Innovations Improve Your Data Center

Yesterday, Cisco announced a new software release for ACI. If you are looking to automate IT, or build out your cloud environment, and want to do so in an open fashion that provides a lot of flexibility – then you’ll probably be interested.

Why? The new ACI release:

  1. Makes managing and securing your cloud environment easier;
  2. Provides openness, expanding customer choice; and
  3. Delivers operational flexibility

OK, so what does this actually mean?

  1. Makes managing and securing your cloud environment easier

Three of the most popular cloud management tools include Microsoft Azure Pack, OpenStack and VMware vRealize. Earlier this year, we announced Windows Azure Pack ACI integration. With this new ACI release, we integrate ACI with OpenStack and vRealize, as well. (More details are here.) So this means that if you need to, say, provision a virtual workload in vCenter, ACI automagically orchestrates things to match computing resources and networking infrastructure.  So, you can enjoy the policy based automation and all the other benefits of ACI regardless of which of these tools you use to manage your cloud environment.

This also means OpenStack users can now create and manage their own virtual networks, extending ACI policy directly into the hypervisor with a hardware-accelerated, fully distributed OpenStack networking solution – the only one available that integrates both physical and virtual environments.

To more easily and completely secure these environments, the new release provides micro-segmentation support for VMware VDS, Microsoft Hyper-V virtual switch, and bare-metal endpoints. Essentially, this means more granular enforcement of security policies.   These can be based on numerous different criteria relevant to attributes associated with the network, e.g. IP address, or the virtual machine, e.g. VM identifier, Name, etc. There are additional capabilities that can, for example, disable communication between devices within a policy group (intra EPG, for those more familiar with ACI) – useful in thwarting lateral expansion of attacks.

  1. Provides openness, expanding customer choice

Piggybacking off some comments above, it’s worth noting that since ACI’s inception, one of its differentiators has been the ability to integrate physical servers as well as virtual machines, and to apply policy consistently across them. Well, now there’s a new kid on the block, as the industry observes an increasingly popular trend to use containers as another way of operating applications.   As part of this announcement, we are extending ACI support to include Docker containers, in addition to VM’s and bare metal servers. This is done by using Project Contiv, which is an open source project that has a Docker network plugin allowing, among other things, automatic configuration of Docker hosts to integrate with ACI. Check out details on this video and/or this white paper. Network Computing commented here, that:

“Given all the hubbub in the industry over Docker, ACI’s new Docker container support is noteworthy.”

Another way this new release is driving openness and providing more choice for customers is around L4-7 services. ACI now supports service insertion and chaining for any service device.  So, customers can leverage their existing model of deploying and operating their L4-L7 device, while automating the network connectivity. This is in addition to, not instead of, the device package model, which provides for more comprehensive ‘soup to nuts’ automation. Speaking of which, as part of this announcement, several new partners also joined the ACI Ecosystem. This video provides some insight into how some of them automate your applications.

  1. Delivers operational flexibility

The new release has a number of tools that create more flexible operating environments. A quick rundown includes the multi-site app, which enables policy-driven automation across multiple datacenters, providing enhanced application mobility and disaster recovery. In short, this means you can run ACI in 2 different data centers, and extend the policy across them. Other tools provide the ability to do configuration rollback, as well as NX-OS Style CLI. This is for the CLI junkie that wants to run the entire ACI fabric as a single switch. There are some other cool nuggets in here as well, like a heat map that provides real-time visibility into system health.

Clayton Weise, Director of Cloud Services at KeyInfo, summed it up best when he said:

“ACI is the direction we’re going to go because it gives us the best flexibility.” (Read the entire Network World story here.)

In summary, this new release adds capabilities that will help you more effectively manage and secure your cloud environment, as well as leverage the benefits of both openness and operational flexibility.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Introducing Cloud Scale Solutions

If you’ve been to an industry event over the past five years and heard a service provider speak, it’s pretty apparent that our industry can no longer continue with business as usual. Cost and agility are critical business needs driving major industry transformation. But, things are a bit different this time around, since they are being accelerated by digitization.

Based on the Cisco Global Cloud Index, digitization is forecasted to increase total data center traffic by 300% between 2014 and 2019. During that time, traffic patterns are also expected to change —- increasing processing closer to the network edge by 37% and driving traffic between data centers by 31%. As cloud-based traffic scales, there will be a need for a transformed network and IT architecture and operational model. The new measuring stick for service delivery in the era of digitization is focused on operational efficiency, optimized utilization, and service agility.

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At Cisco, we’ve been working with many large web-scale providers to develop innovative solutions to this problem. And today, we’re proud to announce cloud-scale networking for service providers, which will bring the IT operational model to the wide-area network.

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Getting Started in Cisco’s DevNet

Mark Watney is “The Martian”, in case you haven’t heard. In the movie, he’s a Botanist stranded on Mars. But in the book, he’s first a mechanical engineer, and a botanist as his second skillset. It’s hard to if he’s an engineer-botanist or a botanist-engineer, but he’s a pretty cool guy. Think McGuyver with better one-liners. Cool enough for Matt Damon to play his character in the movie.

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It’s great when we IT folks have more than one specialty as well. The Martian (Watney) picked Mechanical Engineering and Botany – a great combo when you happen to get stranded on Mars. It seems like Networkers are never just networkers any more as well. It always seems to include some route/switch, but then… voice? Security? Data center? Development?

Which brings me to Cisco DevNet, the topic of today’s post. The name even sounds a Watney-esque: DevNet – sounds like Developer-Networker. But it’s really the single best resource to network with others and find resources about software development related to Cisco products. That includes the complete spectrum of people – from networkers who just cracked a book to start learning Python to people who make their living developing software.

Personally, I find Cisco’s DevNet to be pretty useful, and I have loved the DevNet Zone at Cisco Live. But I wondered how to get you excited DevNet. And the best way I think is for you to try a few features. So my goal today is to introduce you to a few features, and give you a few links as places to launch.

You can pick my suggestions or try your own. I’d love to hear what you tried, and how it worked – If you do, post it here, or tweet me your favorite, @WendellOdom, and put a #CiscoChampion in the tweet if you think of it! Read More »

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