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ACI enables a world class Service Oriented IT organization

April 16, 2014 at 11:00 am PST

Private Clouds are fundamentally challenging how modern data centers are acquiring and consuming IT.  Nearly half of large enterprises polled[1] have deployed a private cloud, its reasonable to say organizations are tackling head-on the key concerns of designing, building and deploying a private cloud today. The top challenges are security of data, control and efficient delivery of applications as cloud services; need to be compliant, need for in-house expertise and added upfront costs. Added to the challenges is the network that is becoming the remaining bottleneck to business agility after everything else gets virtualized and automated. SDN is the key component[2] of any cloud computing strategy in making IT more agile and, therefore, more responsive to the needs of the business.

At our April 2 webcast,  New Applications Are Knocking: Is your Data Center OPEN for Business?, we explored insights from ACI ecosystem vendors and customers that are addressing these challenges using the Nexus 9000, cloud orchestration, and the open capabilities of ACI.

Cisco Customer Insights Panel - April 2, 2014

Cisco Customer Insights Panel -- April 2, 2014

At that event, Chuck Crane, Lead Networking and Security Architect at Acxiom, shared the accelerating pace that his team is expected to deploy infrastructure in – from weeks down to  hours with an astounding 20,000 network and security changes in their cloud infrastructure per year.

His DevOps teams are accelerating their deployment cycles from six months down to two week sprints so the IT organization must deliver new infrastructure services almost instantly.  Chuck and the other customer discussions can be found at the 40 minute mark in this video of the event.

Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI)  solves not only the technical challenges but also delivers the operational, service-level, and financial business improvements that help organizations become world class service oriented IT organizations.  ACI gives IT leaders the ability to manage even the most complex private cloud environments more easily and transparently.

The architecture provides a common programmable automation and management framework for network, application, security, and virtualization teams.   This framework makes IT more agile while reducing application deployment time.  In short, Cisco ACI enables a world class service oriented IT organization by coordinating application, network and security teams to maximize the benefits of a policy-driven data center that support open, standard controller APIs to maximize flexibility and minimize lock-in. In other words, ACI enables the IT to be more strategic in streamlining the IT resources and to act like an internal service provider, essentially “running IT as a business”.

Related:

Introducing OpFlex – A new standards-based protocol for Application Centric Infrastructure

The Promise of an Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI)

Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) Includes Strong Partner Ecosystem for Security and Network Services

The Dynamic Security Model of Cisco ACI (video)

Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI): Application Network Profiles for Security and Network Services


[1] Gartner, Private Cloud Matures, Hybrid Cloud Is Next, Analyst: Thomas J. Bittman

[2] Top 10 Technology Trends, 2013: Cloud Computing and Hybrid IT Drive Future IT Models, 6 February 2013, David W. Cearley, Donna Scott, Joe Skorupa, Thomas J. Bittman

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Cisco’s Commitment to Openness and Interoperability will be on Display at Red Hat Summit 2014

April 7, 2014 at 5:00 am PST

Change is good. After a successful run of four years in Boston, Red Hat Summit moves to San Francisco this year from April 14-17. Red Hat Summit has become one of the premier open source events for the enterprise IT industry with tracks for both developers and business executives.

Red Hat Summit 2014

 

 

 

Cisco is again a Platinum Sponsor and our presence at the event continues to grow. We have a keynote, six breakout speaking sessions and five demos.  We’ll have product and solution experts available to share our latest developments with Cisco UCS, OpenStack, virtual networking, and Big Data. Read More »

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Introducing OpFlex – A new standards-based protocol for Application Centric Infrastructure

Continuing on its tradition of contributing and committing to open source and open standards over the last 25 years, today Cisco announced “OpFlex” – a new open standards-based protocol for Application Centric Infrastructure that has been submitted into the IETF standardization process. We believe this will accelerate multi-vendor innovation in data center and cloud networks to drive operational simplicity, lower costs and increased agility.

Why is this required?

Traditional SDN models today function on the basis of an imperative control model with a centralized controller and distributed network entities that support the lowest common denominator feature set across vendors such as bridges, ports and tunnels. As the network scales, the controller becomes a bottleneck due to the need to maintain increased state, and starts to impact performance and resiliency. Likewise, because the applications, ops and infrastructure requirements need to be translated into network configuration, it impacts agility and introduces a manual learning process, requiring app developers to describe their requirements in low-level constructs.

OpFlex1

If we contrast that with the vision of the ACI model with the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC), ACI adopts a declarative management approach. This model abstracts applications, operations and infrastructure providing simplification and agility. By distributing complexity to the edges, it also increases better scalability, and allows for resiliency – i.e. the data forwarding can still continue to happen even if there is no controller. It further provides ease of use with self-documenting policies automatically deployed or cleaned up from devices as necessary. All of these help circumvent the issues seen in traditional SDN models.

For this declarative model to work across a multi-vendor environment, to translate and map policy definition into the infrastructure, there has hitherto been no standard protocol to do that across physical/virtual switches, routers and L4-L7 network services. This vacuum has led to the development of “OpFlex” – a new open standard recently submitted to the IETF.

Who is contributing to OpFlex?

Several industry leaders and practitioners are actively involved in the standardization process. These include Microsoft, IBM, Citrix and SunGard Availability Services, in addition to Cisco.

Read More »

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New Applications are Knocking! Is your data center OPEN for business?

Mark your calendars. On April 2nd at Interop this week we will be bringing you an exciting new webcast -- “New Applications are Knocking! Is your Data Center OPEN for business?”  

Register Here!open

Cisco will be sharing new announcements led by Soni Jiandani, SVP at Cisco.  Joining us will be leaders from leading technology companies -

  • Citrix -- Sunil Potti, Group Vice President and General Manager, NetScaler Product Group
  • F5 -- Sangeeta Anand, Sr. VP, Product Management and Marketing
  • IBM -- Inder Gopal, Vice President, Networking Development and Technical Strategy
  • Microsoft -- Mike Schutz, General Manager -- Windows Server, Management and Appliances Product Marketing
  • RedHat -- Tim Burke, Vice President, Linux and Cloud Engineering

Expecting multi-vendor innovation around next-generation software-defined networking (SDN)? Hear what Cisco and these panelists from leading technology companies have to say:

OpFlex Panel

Cisco CIO Rebecca Jacoby, who’s delivering a keynote at Interop, will also be joining to share her perspectives on technology and how Cisco IT is embracing aspects of Application Centric Infrastructure.

It’s been five months since the seminal Nov 6 announcement of Application Centric Infrastructure and the momentum keeps accelerating -

  • Nexus 9508 ships -- Nov 2013
  • 800+ Nexus 9000 customers in pipeline
  • Over 30 ACI ecosystem companies – Jan 2014
  • Miercom performance benchmark records for Nexus 9516
  • ACI training programs for partners to empower 2 million CCIE/CCNA trained network engineers – Mar 2014
  • Nexus 9516 and APIC selected as Finalists for Best of Interop – Mar 2014
  • Next?? Tune into the webcast for more..!

To put great technology solutions into real world perspective, we will also be joined by several of Cisco’s customers from different segments and deployment models, providing insights into their experiences and best practices.

Join me and the rest of the Cisco team, as we continue to redefine the power of IT. April 2nd at 1 PM PST.

Register Here!

Already Attending Interop?

If you’re already attending Interop in person, please join me and the rest of the Cisco team for this live broadcast at the Mandalay Ball Room at 12.45PM.

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Best of Interop Awards: Cisco APIC and Nexus 9516 Switch Selected as Finalists

March 17, 2014 at 1:38 pm PST

Best of Interop bannerWith Interop less than three weeks away, we were doubly excited to learn that Cisco APIC, the controller for our Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) fabric, and the Cisco Nexus 9516 switch have been selected as Best of Interop 2014 Finalists in the categories of Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Data Center Networks respectively. As you may recall, when we announced ACI and our series of Nexus 9000 switches back in October, we announced that APIC would be the software controller for the application-centric policy model, and would be available in Q2, CY 2014.

As we get closer to that general availability date, Interop is a great venue to unveil more aspects of the ACI fabric, the policy model, and key APIC features. If you aren’t going to be in Las Vegas the first week of April, now may be the time to start making plans as we gear up for some exciting ACI news and events, and  hopefully bringing home these Best of Interop awards.

This first video discusses Cisco APIC:

And this second one highlights our newest Nexus 9000 switch, the Nexus 9516:

But wait, there’s more… Read More »

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