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Big Data Partner Commentary: Speed, Efficiency and Disruption through Insight

Often it is said that ‘partnering’ is part of the Cisco DNA and its true: Cisco’s Partner ecosystem for years has brought together an ecosystem of trusted partners which deliver solutions, software and services that provide needed business solutions and outcomes.

Cisco has a strong ‘bench’ of technology partners, too. These partners allow us to combine Cisco solutions with their technology platforms resulting in integrated architectures focused on specific industries or use cases. Frequently these are delivered in the form of a Cisco Validated Design (CVD) and are available freely on the Cisco Design Zone.

For Cisco Big Data and Analytics solutions, where our Cisco UCS Integrated Infrastructure for Big Data is the foundation, partners are key. We partner with industry leading Big Data firms to deliver flexible architectures and solutions which help to make your data the foundation of your digital business. Below, in alphabetical order, are new videos from some of our Big Data partners. Each is a Big Data leader in their own right and each has worked closely with Cisco to bring solution(s) to market. These are short and sweet videos – so carve out a few moments in your day and view a few:

Cloudera: Children’s Hospital of Atlanta Customer Success Story

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Cisco ACI Awarded InfoWorld Editor’s Choice

Recently, InfoWorld, a top IT publication, recognized Cisco’s powerful SDN solution, ACI, with the Editor’s Choice award based on an impressive overall review score of 9.6 out of 10. We’ve long-believed ACI is a breakthrough capability that offers greater automation and visibility, performance and scale, security, and openness, and this latest product review endorsement echoes our beliefs.

Here’s a breakdown of the InfoWorld Scorecard:


Cisco ACI shakes up SDN!

Customer adoption of ACI and the APIC continue to accelerate, and the extensive InfoWorld article by Paul Venezia provides a full report on the Cisco ACI solution to further demonstrate and legitimize ACI’s leading capabilities.

Key points from the product review include:

  • “Cisco ACI is a powerful solution that’s designed for large-scale deployments. It represents a significant step away from traditional networking in both design and scale, and a significant step forward in managing Cisco networks through an open and modern API control structure.”
  • “At a high level, this is what ACI is — it is a method of building and maintaining a networking fabric that dispenses with the concepts of traditional networking, and offers significant software control, automation, and wire-speed switching on a very large scale.”
  • “ACI even provides a way to go back in time to see where faults or problems may have begun. This operates at a surprisingly low level, to the point where it’s possible to select several objects in the fabric and show packet-level details on traffic relating to that object several hours in the past. …Further, you can export statistics if you need data over a longer period. This tool can prove extremely helpful in troubleshooting efforts.”

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Celebrating Five Years of FlexPod Success and Innovation




Five years ago, Cisco and NetApp released FlexPod, combining Cisco UCS integrated infrastructure and NetApp storage, with the goal of increasing IT responsiveness to business demands while reducing cost and risk. We started with solutions focused on virtualized infrastructure and desktop virtualization and experienced great success. We have continued to integrate new technologies and expand the solution portfolio to include cloud solutions, enterprise applications, and analytics from the data center to the edge.flexpod_server

In the last five years, FlexPod has created outstanding momentum with customers and partners. In this short period of time we have:

  • Generated shared revenues of 5.6 billion
  • Over 6300 customers in 100 plus countries
  • Collaborated on more than 100 validated application and infrastructure designs
  • Created a strong partner ecosystem with greater than 1100 partners

We would like to thank our technology partners – VMware, Citrix, SAP, Oracle, Microsoft, and Red Hat – for their collaboration and support.

We are very proud of our success but also realize that supporting the business from an IT perspective is getting more complex as users require performance and flexibility but also want a simpler approach to deploying and managing infrastructure that better optimizes costs and existing staff resources.

Together, Cisco and NetApp, with our partners, continue to expand FlexPod capabilities to address evolving business requirements. Cisco and Netapp have released new FlexPod solutions to help application run at their best. FlexPod solutions with Cisco UCS, NetApp All Flash FAS and Cisco ACI deliver incredible new levels of performance.  FlexPod with Cisco ACI for Microsoft and SAP applications offers a simple, policy-based approach to application deployments.

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New FortiGate Connector for Cisco ACI Delivers App-Centric Security Automation For Data Center Agility

Cisco’s open ACI eco-system is gaining rapid momentum in Data Centers with more than 45 leading partners developing joint solutions addressing L4-L7 network and security service use-cases along with application stack automation. Just a few weeks ago we announced a major milestone in our journey, Cisco’s 1000th ACI customer.

Some of our customers have deployed the ACI-Fortinet joint solution. In this blog, I want to talk about the integration of Fortinet FortiGate Firewall with Cisco APIC. The integration of Cisco APIC and the Fortinet FortiGate solution provides customers several benefits:

  • Consistency and transparency for workload security deployment across physical and virtual application environment.
  • Single-pane-of-glass management from Cisco APIC with full visibility on security policy enforcement
  • Predefined security policies are deployed on command and automated through complete application deployment lifecycle

Let me take you on a quick tour of some of the customer success stories.

Qbranch Case Study: Orchestrating FortiGate Security with Cisco ACI

European service provider Qbranch, part of Axians, and networking leader Cisco discuss the real-world challenges with manually provisioning firewalls and security policies, and how orchestration of Fortinet’s SDN Security framework with Cisco’s Application-Centric Infrastructure (ACI) can reduce costs and enable better service delivery in multi-tenant environments. Watch Video and Case study for details of the implementation.

Hosting Provider Zitcom Accelerates Time to Market with Cisco ACI and Fortinet

Zitcom, a premier partner-driven hosting company based out of Denmark is one of the early adopters of Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). Watch Thomas Raabo, Network Operations Manager of Zitcom, share details about how Cisco ACI made Apps deployment easier, fostered collaboration between apps and network teams, and brought an overall agile application deployment environment.

There are several other customer stories featuring ACI-Fortinet solution, but I’d run out of time and space to list them all. For your easy reference visit for more customer videos.

Let’s look in detail at the key capabilities of Fortinet-Cisco ACI solution and the benefits it brings to Data Center customers. Fortinet’s FortiGate firewall solution integrated into Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) delivers application-centric security automation in modern data centers. The solution provides automated and predefined policy-based security provisioning for next-generation firewall services. It enables location independent security services insertion anywhere in the network fabric through a single-pane-of-glass management. Cisco ACI – FortiGate solution architecture is shown below:



The joint FortiGate Integration with Cisco APIC has two major components:

  • FortiGate device package for Cisco APIC
  • FortiGate physical or virtual appliances

Now let us segue to the Fortinet Device package integration with Cisco APIC. The Device package integrates with Cisco APIC through open APIs and provides per-app, per-tenant L4-L7 policy configuration and dynamic service chaining and insertion. In addition, the integrated solution also allows exchange of intelligent telemetry information between Fortinet and APIC for application and tenant visibility.

The Fortinet Device Package for Cisco ACI comprises a device Model and a device Script. The Device Model defines the functions provided by FortiGate such as firewall inspection including IP reputation, web filtering, anti-virus, DNS filtering, SSH inspection, IPS, and DDoS etc., The Device Script provides the adapter functions required for FortiGate to communicate with APIC.

I am pleased to inform that we are also having a detailed Webinar, Oct 23, on the ACI-Fortinet joint solution topic, presented by subject matter experts from Cisco and Fortinet. Register Here.

Additional Resources

Video Interviews

Solutions Brief

Press Release

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Partner Voices: The Power of 3: Cisco, EMC, and VCE

There’s nothing like the energy of more than 25,000 people in San Francisco talking technology over the course of three days, like VMWorld 2015. And now that I’ve had a couple of weeks to let the dust settle and reflect back, it’s the successful relationships with our partners that remains top of mind and defines Cisco’s success.

For me, the focus on our partnerships with EMC and VCE once again demonstrated that both customers and partners are excited about not only our past successes, but more importantly, where we are going and the work we’ll be doing together in the future.

Fifteen years and more than 70,000 mutual customers later, EMC and Cisco remain global technology leaders because of our commitment to customers, leading technology, and support. And if traffic in the Cisco booth at VMworld is any indication, it’s very clear there’s still a buzz.

Add VCE to the mix, whose Vblock with Cisco ACI continues to help customers, and the result is a ‘Power of 3” providing leading Storage (EMC), Networking (Cisco) and Converged Infrastructure (VCE) solutions.

Power of Three

Sarah Phillips (EMC) Mark Murphy (Cisco) Susan Haas (VCE)

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