ONS summit 2014 starts Monday March 3, and for me it is my first time here. It hardly feels that way. For us in Cisco ACI (Application Centric Infrastructure) team, it is busy last few days as we are putting final touches to showcase our exciting ACI solutions, demos and presentations to customers at this premier SDN event. Early in 2014, Cisco ACI expert Mike Cohen has made insightful predictions on what awaits SDN in 2014 – Read his Blog
Mike zeroes in on key Data Center use cases for SDN, starting with Application Deployment Acceleration securely and at scale. No one can disagree with this. L4-L7 services chaining for physical and virtual devices is another killer use-case Mike enlightens the reader with, and at the ONS Solutions Expo this year, we are showing exciting demos to illustrate service automation using dynamic L4-L7 service chaining. Do not miss out our demos at Cisco Booth 302. We are also showing demos focused on Open Stack integration with ACI, another area of growing interest.
I strongly recommend you to attend Mike’s Theater presentation titled, “Role of Policy in SDN” on March 5, 12.40 PM. Learn all the benefits and value-props that a declarative policy based ACI approach brings to network operations that is today crippled by imperative management, lack of scalability and flexibility. You will be excited to discover how our Cisco ACI team is working with Open Stack, Open Daylight initiatives and driving an open eco-system. Mike will also touch on how ACI helps bring visibility across both physical and virtual infrastructures, and how today’s SDN network overlay problems can be overcome. Shashi Kiran posted a fantastic blog on SDN overlays in ACI deployments, last week, and it makes compelling read in the context of Mike’s session.
We wish you a great ONS summit this year and look forward to seeing you at Cisco Booth 302
Tags: ACI, Cisco ACI, Cisco APIC, L4-L7 service chaining, Open Daylight, Open Stack, SDN
If you are an open source fan, in particular GitHub, I have good news for you.
Yes, we now have a Cisco Nexus 9000 community on GitHub. While many of the initial contributions were created by Cisco employees, ANYONE is allowed and in fact encouraged to participate and share code. Pull requests are monitored and reviewed by a group of administrators to maintain a level of quality and protect users consuming code as well.
Our GitHub presence comprises two sections:
1. Cisco NX-OS Standalone Mode: Focuses on the Nexus 9000 series of switches running enhanced Nexus OS. These products include NX-API, Puppet, Chef, and scripting capabilities using Python and other shell scripts.
2. Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) Mode: Focuses on the Cisco APIC controller and Cisco ACI Object Model. This includes Python, Puppet, and Chef code samples. Additionally, it includes Tenant creation examples, Application profiles which are XML-based configurations that model applications, and southbound device automation scripts, which can be used to integrate 3rd party L4-7 devices.
If you are wondering how you take advantage of this offering, first and foremost I can assure you these code samples can speed up your learning curve with Cisco ACI and Nexus 9000 programmability aspects. Refer my Cisco ACI blog on Cisco Nexus 9000 programmability details.
Tags: Cisco ACI, Cisco APIC, github, Nexus 9000, NX-OS
Last week was a memorable one for me in more ways than one. First, the unveiling of Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) specifics by John Chambers and his Executive Management team via a public webcast on Nov 6. The announcement was a big success and received broad endorsement and support from a big eco-system of Partners, customers, Press and Analysts.
Second, personally it is special to me, as I became part of the ACI Marketing team two weeks ago, to join life in fast lane. In this blog I want to share my excitement with you, and focus on nuances of ACI that do not overlap with blogs already posted by Shashi Kiran and Harry Petty.
The excitement started with an ACI boot-camp, I attended last week. In 2 days, I got a good overview on the architectural advantages of Cisco ACI and the Datacenter pain-points it addresses. By now, many of you would have learnt that ACI is all about Datacenter agility and automation. Sounds easy, but you may be wondering how to attain this goal. I will give examples from my career as a software engineer in the 90’s, when I worked for Sun Microsystems. Those days, I wrote code for 2 –tier and three-tier enterprise software applications that required global deployment and access by users on the company-wide WAN.
My problem started as I went from the Application Development phase to Test/QA phase. I had to run from pillar to post coordinating my application deployment needs with security, network and database/storage admins to identify the best rollout strategy. There was no collaboration between Dev and Ops teams. The alpha and beta test phases required testing on multiple subnets, across geographies, via multiple protocols like to establish proper SLA/functioning of the application. If my application had to open say, a firewall port to allow a particular traffic type (non http) it was next to impossible to get security ops to agree. Opening non-http ports were considered a security risk. In addition, tight coupling of network constructs like subnets, VLAN, security, network services, IP addresses etc with one another, further impacted the network flexibility and application deployment process. (Refer to Figure-1 below for details)
With ACI architecture, tight coupling between network constructs can be eliminated. Figure-1 above, illustrates this approach via Abstraction.
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Tags: Cisco ACI, Nexus 9000, programmability, SDN, VXLAN