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A New ESG White Paper: Accelerating Transformation with an Application-centric Approach

At CiscoLive San Francisco held last week, Soni Jiandani, Senior Vice President of Cisco INSBU, highlighted our continued industry momentum for Application Centric Infrastructure.  She discussed customer deployments, new ecosystem partners and the enormous simplification of cloud and application delivery.

So it’s timely to review both ACI’s architectural approach and get a first look at the actual business value that large customers expect from adopting ACI.   This two part blog introduces:

ESGwide

  • A new Enterprise Strategy Group (ESG) white paper that explains the principles of ACI’s application-centric approach and how it helps data center teams keep pace with business agility, risk management and the need for resource efficiency.
  • An economic analysis from IDC showing the three year return on using ACI in one of the largest data center environments in the world, Cisco’s own IT Elastic Services.

In the first paper, Enterprise Strategy Group shows how the rise of mobile, social, and e-commerce applications are driving a fundamental IT transformation. Web 2.0, Big Data, and collaboration applications are built using a modular approach, leveraging Dev Ops and Cloud Ops models and consumed on traditional and mobile devices. These applications are far more dynamic than ever before.  Therefore, the supporting underlying IT infrastructure (compute, network, and storage), has to be more flexible and adaptable to their specific needs.

The paper explains how Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) architecture provides a common programmable infrastructure policy model for enterprise network, application, security, and virtualization teams. Policy based provisioning of applications makes IT more agile in both application deployment and optimized operations.  It offers full visibility and integrated management of both physical and virtual networked IT resources, supporting an “application anywhere” model with complete freedom of application movement and placement.  In addition, through open OpFlex protocol, ACI’s policy-based approach can now be extended to a growing vendor ecosystem, allowing customers to protect their existing data center investments.

In the paper, Bob Laliberte, Senior Analyst at ESG, addresses the following topics:

  • How applications are driving IT transformation
  • How infrastructure obstacles inhibit responsiveness to the business
  • A new approach in which there is a much tighter link between the applications and the underlying networking infrastructure
  • How Cisco ACI complements and accelerates the IT transformation in the networking space

Download the ESG paper here.  And stay tuned for the IDC business value analysis.

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Wrapping up Cisco Live 2014

Wow! It’s been a big, big week. This was my first Cisco Live and it did not disappoint. With more than 25,000 attendees on site, I have never been involved in such a huge customer event. I am always excited to interact with our customers and partners, and there were so many folks to talk to at this event it was almost overwhelming! Still, we whittled it down to a few folks that can give you an idea of why they make the investment to attend Cisco Live. Take a look at this video to see what some of our partners had to say.

Again, what an event! Here’s a quick wrap up of the last two days of Cisco Live 2014. Read More »

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Control Without Compromise Through Superior Data Center Protection

The news of high-profile targeted data center attacks has dominated security news recently. But data center attacks are even more prevalent than those headlines suggest. In fact, a survey conducted last summer by Network World suggests that 67 percent of data center administrators experienced downtime due to malware and related attacks in the previous 12 months.

A key challenge is that many of today’s security solutions are simply not designed for the data center, with limitations in both provisioning and performance. The situation will likely get worse before it gets better as data center traffic grows exponentially and data centers migrate from physical, to virtual, to next-generation environments like Software-Defined Networks (SDN) and Application Centric Infrastructures (ACI).

Read More »

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In the Driver’s Seat with Cisco Unified Data Center

I’ve been in this industry for more than three decades, and so I’ve experienced every data center technology breakthrough and market transformation in that time.  We drove a market disruption ourselves with the introduction of Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) in 2009, and after just five years, we have more than 33,000 customer-proven results.

Now, we’re doing it again, but this time it’s different.
We are in the midst of the next major inflection point, driven by a new wave of applications.  With the swipe of a finger, users can download an endless array of useful apps to their smart phones, tablets, and even wearable gadgets.  We bring our personal devices with us to work, expecting the IT department to deliver the same access and ease of use on the business side.

This consumerization of IT puts end users in the driver’s seat.  Scrambling to meet growing consumer and employee expectations, organizations in both the public and private sectors have demands of their own when it comes to next-generation data center capabilities and improved outcomes.  Applications need holistic compute solutions, not just plain old servers.  The explosive growth of mobility, social media, collaboration, the Internet of Everything (IoE), and big data means their applications need to scale up and out.

Now applications must be serviced by compute solutions that can integrate performance needs, handle large data sets, and scale as needed while reducing operational complexity and OpEx budgets.  The requirements of these complex business applications are defining the infrastructure—not the other way around—because now more than ever, application performance translates into business results.  This requires fresh innovation in designing an integrated infrastructure that is highly responsive to business and IT needs, while keeping data center budgets from spinning out of control.

At Cisco Live, I’ll show you how we’re driving a market disruption once again, this time with our breakthroughs in compute solutions that we didn’t think were possible just a few years ago.  Technology leaders agree that Cisco UCS and Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) deliver solutions that put IT managers back in the driver’s seat, able to meet user demands, where applications are no longer constrained by the data center infrastructure.

I look forward to seeing you in San Francisco.

 

 

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Cisco’s Data Center and Cloud Management Software at Cisco Live San Francisco #CLUS

We’re excited to showcase new innovations in our data center infrastructure automation and cloud management software at Cisco Live San Francisco this week!

CL14-CoSp-Exhib-250x250-GGB

This past Friday, Cisco announced the new Cisco UCS Director version 5.0 – including Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) support and integration with the Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC). Cisco customers, prospective customers, and partners in the data center market won’t want to miss these two Cisco Live breakout sessions that will showcase this major new release on Thursday:

Cisco UCS Director 5.0
PSODCT-1004
Thursday, May 22
8:30 to 9:30am

Management and Automation of Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) with Cisco UCS Director
BRKACI-2410
Thursday, May 22
12:30 to 2:00pm

In addition, we’ll be featuring live demos of UCS Director 5.0 all week in the Cisco Live World of Solutions expo. Here are some of the Cisco UCS Director + ACI demos you don’t want to miss:

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