We embarked upon this episode with an agenda. Take a sample of the building momentum around Cisco ACI. The growing benefits, details and momentum behind the Application Centric Infrastructure. First announced in November 2013 and just before we start shipping.
In my estimation, we saw five areas worth highlighting from Cisco Live:
Cisco is ready to ship ACI
Partnerships and joint use-cases are resonating with customers
Strong integrations with APIC through OpFlex
Partners see strong customer demand
Partner are getting ready to ship ACI-based solutions
Great Q&A with Soni Jiandani from Network World’s John Dix: Cisco describes its SDN Vision She nails Cisco’s ACI vs. SDN messaging and any confusion you may still have with the positionoing. She also puts good context around the OpFlex protocol.
Application Awareness -- top down control based on what was important
A new, tighter coupling between software and hardware
Recognition that virtualization on the compute side had not been accompanied by requisite innovation on the network wide -- potential for wasted opportunity.
East West traffic was growing gangbusters in the data center and needed assisted.
We walk through the following components of the offering:
APIC -- Centralized cluster controller
Northbound API for standardized communication and control from Applications that need to interact with the Fabric
Southbound API for third party network services integration
Profiles -- Application Network Profiles -- the logical representation of all components of the application and its interdependencies on the application fabric
ACI Fabric -- new stateless hardware within the Nexus portfolio, 9000 series
So what was still missing?
- APIC GUI -- How would we interact?
- Migration plan -- Clarity on how to leverage within existing networks
- Southbound interface -- more details on network control
- Partner Plans -- who would support?
And that formed much of what we wanted to cover for today’s show -- filling in the blanks on the momentum…just before the big release this summer.
Shashi Kiran level on set on what has been accomplished.
Ronak Desai, Director of Software Development walked Jimmy Ray through the new APIC interface.
I got a chance to ask Mike Cohen about OpFlex and where it fits.
And finally, Jimmy Ray weighed in with his view on partner support and the growth we are seeing for the Eco-System.
This year’s Cisco Live! was tremendous, with 25,000 attendees on-site and another 200,000 attending virtually. There was a lot of excitement around all things cloud, from how the Internet of Everything will change the way we live, to the role of the Intercloud in forming a seamless fabric between the world of many clouds.
During the show, I spent time with six of our partners who offer Cisco Powered cloud and managed services. In this series of blogs, I’ll introduce you to each of them and what they shared with me about the future of cloud. Each of them had a different perspective, but all of them agreed: the cloud represents an incredible opportunity for businesses around the world.
Here are some of the highlights I’ll share in upcoming blogs:
Part 2: Chris Kemmerer, Director, Mobility Solutions, Verizon, shared that part of Verizon’s mission is to bring together the pieces needed to unlock the value of the Internet of Everything for their customers. “The Internet of Everything has deep meaning to us as everything becomes connected, whether it’s business to business, people to people, people to machines, or machines to machines. When you have all these things exchanging data, you can improve the way enterprises interact with each other, how consumers interact with enterprises, by leveraging all that connectivity.” He also shared how Verizon adds value to cloud services by layering applications on the underlying architecture.
Part 3: The importance of transparency in the high performance cloud was described by Dusten Tornow, Director of Infrastructure Products, from OneNeck IT Solutions. “When we decided to build out our cloud infrastructure, we knew that we wanted to align with enterprise vendors like Cisco because their technologies resonate with our customers as being high performance. They recognize that if they were to go out and build their own cloud, it would likely look and feel a lot like what we’ve built. Being able to be transparent with what our equipment is made out of and built upon is a huge advantage for us.”
Part 5: The value of integration to cloud services was another important topic at Cisco Live! For Chris Ludwig, SVP GTM Cloud and Hosted Solutions from NWN Corporation, applications integrated with on-premises equipment still have to work when migrated to cloud. “That was something we did a lot of research on, to make sure that all of the third party companies that we work with on-premises are going to work in the cloud. We certainly look to Cisco for guidance. It’s very helpful knowing that if they’re part of the ecosystem, we know that they are going to be a good partner.”
Part 6: Steve Harris, Senior Vice President, National Alliances at Peak 10, echoed the value of a partner ecosystem. “Today it takes an ecosystem to deliver the business outcome that clients are looking for. We’ve gone beyond the point where clients are just interested in the technology. They want the technology to provide a business outcome for them. Being able to provide that seamless solution with the Cisco ecosystem of partners is incredibly important.”
Part 7: Finally, I spoke with Andy Bird, Executive Director, Product Management and Development at eLoyalty, a TeleTech Company. He expressed his excitement about Cisco’s Intercloud Fabric. “Imagine trying to take your data from one cloud and move it to the next. It’s very difficult to do, because when you look at clouds, you end up getting hooked into them, just like if you were to buy premise gear. What Cisco has been starting to enable to happen is the idea of creating a fabric between the clouds that allows me to migrate data. When somebody gets on my platform, they have the ability to go and leverage Cisco in other places. So they have a different level of confidence.”
One of the best times I always have at Cisco Live involves getting to play ‘TV Anchor’ for the various live shows we stream. Well the Cisco TV team lets us use their equipment to do a live version of TechWiseTV each afternoon as well. Now honestly, I do plan these out…a little. But our day three show is generally a ‘hey…what do we WANT to do” kind of show. Planning for day 3 simply involved asking Jimmy Ray and Tina what they wanted. We had TWO wireless cameras this year to play with so it felt like we could do a little more. As for me (with input from the hillbilly of course), we wanted to take advantage of Wireless Stew’s presence and get him up to tell his story…so that is how we started.
Stewart Gouman’s is a fantastic fan of the show, running his wireless consultancy and very informative blog from the Great White North. He has sought us out in just a few visits over the years stopping by the studio in San Jose or catching us while at Cisco Live when we all end up in the same place. Watch the show and get his career and community advice.
I joined Cisco five years ago as a contractor. And I’ve proudly been part of the Cisco on Cisco team for the past 2 years. This was my first Cisco Live and my first time delivering a Cisco on Cisco session at an event. Read More »
#CiscoChampion Radio is a podcast series by Cisco Champions as technologists hosted by Amy Lewis (@CommsNinja). This week guest host Lauren Friedman (@Lauren) and the Cisco Champions team share a recap of Cisco Live.