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.
Just recently I wrote about the IPv6 enabled logo program here at the Cisco Live 2014 World of Solutions (WoS). It is now time to share some of the results! In what follows I will say that I did not have enough time to exhaustively visit every single demonstration in the WoS. My time there was confined to a short window on the Tuesday morning, where I went to investigate and locate the IPv6 enabled demos myself.
Armed with my phone camera and IPv6 enabled logo stickers, I began my journey in the WoS starting with the Cisco demonstrations.
It didn’t take me more than a few steps to find the first one - Cisco Autonomic Networks. My colleague Amit Dutta was showing this technology in action and here you can see him alongside the demo which is tagged with the IPv6 enabled sticker. Check out the technology and the logo! Also leveraging the Autonomic feature set, Cisco was featuring the Autonomic Train with my colleague Toerless Eckert. Read his extensive blog that explains the demonstration in details and watch the video.
Another place in the Cisco campus where I found IPv6 in action was with the Cisco VIRL team. My colleague Joel Obstfeld was showing VIRL in action and v6 is fully supported by VIRL which was on clear show in the WoS. See Joel here alongside the VIRL demo and the IPv6 enabled sticker is on clear view.
onePK provides IPv6 capabilities and were demonstrating this. Jason Pfeifer is seen here alongside his demonstration on the Cisco stand bearing the IPv6 enabled logo.
Cisco Prime also has extensive support for IPv6. I found my colleague Gilles Clugnac demonstrating these capabilities and we identified his demonstration as being IPv6 enabled.
Then I talked to some of the Partners:
Citrix Nestcaler provides server load balancing for IPv6 and provides an IPv6 proxy function that allows Data Centre’s and hosted web server to enable a dual stack presence. I met Charles and David on the Citrix stand and they showed me v6 in operation.
APCON was showing their Network Monitoring technologies which were fully v6 enabled. Timothy Kcechowski showed me this in operation on the APCON stand and we placed the IPv6 enabled logo on their demo.
Netformix has a suite of tools that have long supported IPv6 and they were also happily showing v6 in action. This picture shows Justin Giffen and Mario Oliver alongside the Netformix platform with the IPv6 enabled logo on display.
SevOne provides Network Performance Management tools for Big Data. Jason Smith demonstrated this to me and here is his picture alongside their stand with the IPv6 enabled logo on display.
Infoblox has a fully featured IPAM/DHCP solution and it is fully capable of IPv6 support. This platform was on display on the Infoblox stand and Ken Crozier showed me IPv6 in operation.
Network Instruments provide Monitoring and Analysis tools. They were IPv6 enabled and received their sticker. Here you can see Charles Thompson on the Network Instruments stand alongside the monitor showing the IPv6 enabled logo.
I had a great time meeting old and new friends and spent many an hour in very interesting meetings trying to help move IPv6 forward inside our customer networks. I look forward to Cisco Live in Milan in early 2015 when I hope to be able to place more IPv6 enabled stickers. See you there!
Today. Tomorrow. Transformed. This was the theme of the second annual Cisco Empowered Women’s Network (CiscoEWN) forum at Cisco Live. And what a great week of transformation it was, and a great way to celebrate the 25th anniversary of Cisco Live! Sorry for the long blog post, but it was an exciting week for us!
CiscoEWN is a global community of highly motivated, professional women, as well as a forum for Cisco customers, partners and employees to network and motivate one another at Cisco Live and in virtual and live events throughout the year. Our founders and Executive Sponsors highlight our goals for CiscoEWN at Cisco Live US in San Francisco this year:
CiscoEWN sponsored several activities during the week each of which gave the opportunity for women in technology and our male allies to gather together and network, learn from and empower each other.
We kicked off the week with the CiscoEWN Forum on Sunday, a four-hour event with a packed agenda of mentoring sessions, panels, and keynotes. Here’s a recap of the afternoon:
Over 450 men and women, including Cisco employees, customers and partners, attended (up from 250 attendees last year!).
50 executive mentors shared life experiences and offered advice in an icebreaker mentoring session with attendees.
Cisco President and COO Gary Moore shared his thoughts on why diversity and inclusion is important for business.
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:
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.
It’s great to be back at another Cisco Live event, this time in the great city of San Francisco. This is the last day of the event, and if you have some time, please do stop over at the World of Solutions, where you can see Autonomic Networking in action. We have set up a live demo of the Autonomic Networking Infrastructure (ANI) at the Service Provider area! The following figure shows a summary of the functionality, and i’d like to refer you to a previous blog for a more thorough explanation.
Summarising, the ANI allows networks to grow and self-organize organically, merely by devices at the edge of the Autonomic Domain joining the Autonomic Control Plane. A new device is cabled up and powered up and will be discovered by a device at the edge of the Autonomic Domain/Network through the Channel Discovery Process. The new device offers its identity to the Network, and the Network, after successful authentication, will deliver a Domain Certificate to the New Device as a result, and this is achieved using the Adjacency Discovery Process. The New Device can then leverage this Domain Certificate to join the Autonomic Control Plane (ACP), which is essentially an IPv6 based, routed IP infrastructure that is secure/encrypted, self-organising and self-healing, and which cannot be de-configured and is not prone to mis-configurations. Read More »