Cisco Blogs


Cisco Blog > Data Center

How and Why We Created “Software Defined Networking for Dummies”

SDN for DummiesLast week we launched our new book, Software Defined Networking for Dummies, which I wrote the vast majority of and was responsible for producing. And the response to date has been far more enthusiastic than even I anticipated. The feedback from the Cisco field has been great, and there is strong demand for reprints across all regions and localization in a number of languages. [Printed copies can now be ordered from the Cisco Collateral Store at nominal cost here.]

Naturally, we’ve also gotten a number of questions, such as “Does this mean we think SDN is for Dummies?”, “Do we think our customers are Dummies?”, “Why did Cisco decide to leverage the Dummies brand for this topic?”, etc. In order to clear some of this up, the social media team asked me to write a bit of the backstory of the creation of the book, why we decided to do it, and why it’s proving to be such a popular asset.

It all started when I was looking to fill a large gap in Cisco product marketing, particularly around SDN and our Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). SDN has certainly proven to be a revolutionary break from traditional networking architectures and is really changing the way organizations think about their IT processes and how they design data centers. With all this change, it’s been hard for a lot of people to get their heads around what this new technology trend is really all about. When Cisco introduced ACI as a very sophisticated and comprehensive SDN solution, there’s no doubt it took people a lot of time to understand ACI, how it was similar to SDN, and where it was introducing new innovative concepts.  Read More »

Tags: , , ,

Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire Embrane

With agility and automation as persistent drivers for IT teams, the need to simplify application deployment and build the cloud is crucial for the data center.

Today, Cisco is pleased to announce its intent to acquire Embrane, a provider of a lifecycle management platform for application-centric network services.

As we continue to drive virtualization and automation, the unique skillset and talent of the Embrane team will allow us to move more quickly to meet customer demands. Together with Cisco’s engineering expertise, the Embrane team will help to expand our strategy of offering freedom of choice to our customers through the Nexus product portfolio and enhance the capabilities of Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI).

With this acquisition, we continue our commitment to open standards through programmable APIs and multi-vendor environments. More importantly, we remain committed to the rich ecosystem of partners and customers in production through the automation of network services, cloud and system management orchestration and automation stacks.

The Embrane team will be joining the Insieme Business Unit. We expect the acquisition to be complete before the end of the current quarter.  Financial terms are not disclosed.

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

How Cisco IT Adopts New Technologies in the Data Center

I’d like to give you an inside look at our Allen Data Center and go over how Cisco IT is adopting new technologies and capabilities while at the same time running the business. I’ll answer your top of mind questions and cover topics such as: Read More »

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

Cisco Adds Check Point Next-Gen Security Gateway to Growing List of Strategic ACI Partners

Cisco is announcing another important strategic partner to its list of ACI-compliant vendors with the addition of the Check Point Next Generation Security Gateway to the ecosystem. A couple months ago I wrote about the inherent security architecture in ACI (Security for an Application Centric World), and now the Check Point solutions fit right into that framework as an alternative to Cisco security solutions. Essentially, this means that the ACI controller, APIC, can now configure the application network to include the insertion and provisioning of Check Point virtual and physical security gateways as it does other Layer 4-7 application services and security appliances. The availability of the Check Point solutions will offer customers greater choice and flexibility while underscoring the open, multi-vendor approach of ACI.

[Note: Check Point will be participating in our upcoming ACI Webcast event: “Is Your Data Center Ready for the Application Economy”, January 13, 2015, 9 AM PT, Noon ET, featuring ACI customers and several other key ACI technology partners. Register here.]

In scalable, multitenant cloud environments with flexible resource placement, almost every workload must be secured from every other workload, with detailed security policies enabled between workloads in an application network: a concept called micro-segmentation. This level of security policy detail can become tedious to manage on an application-by-application basis. It also can potentially restrict workload mobility and the ways that applications can be deployed in the cloud.

Cisco ACI policies abstract the network, devices, and services into a hierarchical, logical object model. In this model, administrators specify the Layer 4 through Layer 7 services (firewalls, load balancers, etc.) that are applied, the kind of traffic to which they are applied, and the traffic that is permitted. These services can be chained together and are presented to application developers as a single object with simple input and output. Connection of application-tier objects and server objects creates an application network profile (ANP). When this ANP is applied to the network, the devices are told to configure themselves to support it. Tier objects can be groups of hundreds of servers, or just one device; the same policies are applied to all the objects in a single configuration step (see below).

Check Point Integration

The Application Profile Defines Security and Application Policies for Application Networks, and Cisco APIC Manages and Provisions Security Resources in the Fabric, Such as a Check Point Firewall, with the Right Policies for Each Application, at the Right Location

The integration with Check Point Next Generation Security Gateway provides automated security provisioning and a full range of security protections and threat-prevention capabilities in a highly dynamic and agile Cisco ACI environment. Check Point Security Gateways can be deployed as physical or virtual solutions and address today’s ever-changing threat landscape with a modular and dynamic security architecture.

Read More »

Tags: , , , , , ,

#CiscoChampion Radio S2|Ep 1. Cisco ACI

CiscoChampion2015200PX#CiscoChampion Radio is a series by Cisco Champions as technologists. We’re kicking off Season 2 with Cisco Senior Architect Azeem Suleman, who is talking about Cisco ACI. Lauren Friedman (@lauren) moderates and Scott Morris and Jason Benedicic are this week’s Cisco Champion guest hosts.

Listen to the Podcast.

Learn about the Cisco Champions Program HERE.
See a list of all #CiscoChampion Radio podcasts HERE.

Cisco SME
Azeem Suleman, Cisco Senior Architect

Cisco Champions
Scott Morris, (@ScottMorrisCCIE), Senior Instructor
Jason Benedic, (@jabenedicic), Technical Architect

Highlights
ACI Overview
Benefits of ACI
Use case examples
Why ACI is different (from an SDN perspective)
Best practices for implementing ACI
ACI Contracts
ACI “WOW” factors Read More »

Tags: , , , ,