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CCIE : ITD and RISE in CCIE Data Center

ITD and RISE are now part of CCIE Data Center:

Intelligent Traffic Director (ITD) is a hardware based multi-terabit layer 4 load-balancing, traffic steering and services insertion solution on the Nexus 5k/6k/7k/9k series of switches.

Domain Written Exam (%) Lab Exam (%)  
1.0 Cisco Data Center L2/L3 Technologies 24% 27% Show Details
2.0 Cisco Data Center Network Services 12% 13% Hide Details
2.1 Design, Implement and Troubleshoot Service Insertion and Redirection

  • 2.1.a Design, Implement and Troubleshoot Service Insertion and Redirection for example LB, vPATH, ITD, RISE

2.2 Design, Implement and Troubleshoot network services

  • 2.2.a Design, Implement and Troubleshoot network services for example policy drivenL4-L7 services
3.0 Data Center Storage Networking and Compute 23% 26% Show Details
4.0 Data Center Automation and Orchestration 13% 14% Show Details
5.0 Data Center Fabric Infrastructure 18% 14% Show Details
6.0 Evolving Technologies 10% N/A Show Details


To learn about RISE (Remote Integrated Services Engine), please see:

To learn about ITD (Intelligent Traffic Director), please see:


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Simple. Fast. Open. Cisco ACI shakes up SDN.

sfo v3

If you come to Cisco’s corporate headquarters, chances are good that (especially if you’re traveling internationally) you will fly into SFO, which is the airport code for San Francisco International Airport. This point has virtually nothing to do with the rest of what you’re about to read…other than the fact that those same 3 letters – SFO – are representative of 3 key takeaways from an outstanding Infoworld product review on Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). When you think about ACI, think about SFO:

Simple. Fast. Open.

I won’t spend much space on this, as I’d much rather you go and read Paul Venezia’s comprehensive and detailed look at ACI. But I do want to highlight a few brief comments on how ACI is Simple, Fast and Open.


“Implementing ACI is surprisingly simple, even in the case of large-scale buildouts.”


“Assuming the cabling is complete, the entire process of standing up an ACI fabric might take only a few minutes from start to finish.”


“Not only is ACI an extremely open architecture…”

“Cisco is actively supporting a community gathering around ACI, and the community is already reaping the rewards of Cisco’s open stance.”

“This is only one example of ACI’s openness and easy scriptability. The upshot is it will be straightforward to integrate ACI into custom automation and management solutions, such as centralized admin tools and self-service portals.”

“This should be made abundantly clear: This isn’t an API bolted onto the supplied administration tools, or running alongside the solution. The API is the administration tool.”

Simple. Fast. Open.

Whether you’re traveling to Northern California or not, if you’re considering a better way to do networking, think about SFO and ACI.

Photo courtesy of

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Server Load balancing with NAT, using Nexus switches: ITD

Server load balancer (SLB) has become very common in network deployments, as the data & video traffic are expanding at rapid rate. There are various modes of SLB deployments today. Application load balancing with network address translation (NAT) has become a necessity for various benefits.

Cisco Intelligent Traffic Director (ITD) is a hardware based multi-terabit layer 4 load-balancing and traffic steering solution on the Nexus 5k/6k/7k/9k series of switches.

With our latest NX-OS Software 7.2(1)D1(1) (also known as Gibraltar MR), ITD supports SLB NAT on Nexus 7k series of switches.

In SLB-NAT deployment, client can send traffic to a virtual IP address, and need not know about the IP of the underlying servers. NAT provides additional security in hiding the real server IP from the outside world. In the case of Virtualized server environments, this NAT capability provides increased flexibility in moving the real servers across the different server pools with out being noticed by the their clients. With respect health monitoring and traffic reassignment, SLB NAT helps applications to work seamlessly without client being aware of any IP change.

ITD won the Best of Interop 2015 in Data Center Category.


ITD provides :

  1. Zero latency load-balancing.
  2. CAPEX savings : No service module or external L3/L4 load-balancer needed. Every Nexus port can be used as load-balancer.
  3. IP-stickiness
  4. Resilient (like resilient ECMP), Consistent hash
  5. Bi-directional flow-coherency. Traffic from A–>B and B–>A goes to same node.
  6. Monitoring the health of servers/appliances.
  7. Handles unlimited number of flows.

Documentation, slides, videos:

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Connect on twitter: @samar4

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Bring the Industrial Revolution to your Oracle Workloads (Learn More by Stopping at Booth 801 at OOW 2015)

When I think of how technology has changed in the data center, I am always reminded of the history of the industrial revolution.  Wikipedia begins its definition and description of the industrial revolution in these words: “The Industrial Revolution was the transition to new manufacturing processes in the period from about 1760 to sometime between 1820 and 1840. This transition included going from hand production methods to machines … and the rise of the factory system.”* Wikipedia goes onto say: “The Industrial Revolution marks a major turning point in history; almost every aspect of daily life was influenced in some way”*

The industrial revolution reminds me of a strong metaphor between the productivity benefits of abstracting all attributes of UCS Servers in software (UCS Manager, UCS Central, UCS Director) and the assembly line of the industrial revolution.  This historical analogy helps illustrate and underscore how much customers can benefit from a switch to Cisco UCS servers.   The historical parallel between these two changes in producing goods (industrial revolution) and the provisioning and deploying servers (UCS Manager/ UCS Central/UCS Director) (producing server images in software) is striking on many levels.


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A New Type of Networking: Cisco Powered Cloud Partnerships

It’s time to face the facts. Unlike fashion trends, which come and go at a rate nearly impossible to keep up with, cloud computing is sticking around—for good.

Cloud is no longer considered a possible solution for your infrastructure needs; it’s a necessity. More companies are transitioning to a cloud platform for improved cash flow, higher efficiency, and an environment that supports growing business demands. You’ll just need to keep up.

Consider your workloads functioning similar to the Internet. Just as data is made accessible between systems, your workloads would move seamlessly and securely between clouds, giving you the flexibility to work from anywhere and the capability to expand your data center. Utilizing our large network of partners, we are able to make this a reality. We call it Intercloud—a globally connected network of clouds.

Making decisions around—and the actual transition to—the cloud can be intimidating, to say the least. We certainly don’t expect you to have to take it on alone. Cisco Powered partners are industry-leading cloud providers that, together, create a team of professional, trusted companies who can help you from initial planning stages, through implementation, and onward with continued management. Our unique partnerships make opportunities readily available to you that are tailored to your specific needs.

Read more about our partnerships, the Intercloud, and other Cisco cloud services in our newly released edition of Unleashing IT. You’ll find proof of the solidity of cloud, and why it’s putting companies much like yours at an advantage.

Here are just a couple of stories featured in this edition: Read More »

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