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
In my previous 3-part blog series I discussed the challenges in the Enterprise WAN and relevancy of SDN in overcoming these challenges and how Cisco ONE Enterprise Networks Architecture addresses these WAN challenges. In this blog post I will discuss how Cisco ONE (Open Network Environment) and ONE Enterprise Networks Architecture fit together. In a following blog, I will discuss how Cisco ONE Enterprise Networks Architecture provides six significant benefits to enterprises through programmability. ONE + ONE = 6 is the new math for Enterprise programmability!
Cisco ONE (Open Network Environment)
Cisco ONE is a comprehensive, Cisco wide solution (not just data center) approach to making networks more open, programmable, and application-aware. There are numerous blogs, and videos about Cisco ONE that can be found here. As a brief summary, Cisco ONE comprises of 3 pillars that provide a programmable approach to both physical and virtual infrastructure: Read More »
Tags: architecture, Cisco ONE, Cisco ONE Enterprise Networks Architecture, enterprise networks, open APIs, Open Networking, programmability, SDN, SDN controller
In my last two blogs I discussed the challenges Enterprises are facing for their WAN, the differences between Enterprise needs in their LAN and WAN, and how the traditional ONF model for SDN isn’t practical for the Enterprise WAN. Let’s now look at how the new Cisco ONE Enterprise Architecture can address this.
Cisco ONE Enterprise Network Architecture
The new Cisco ONE Enterprise Networks Architecture based on Cisco Open Network Environment (ONE) was introduced at InterOp Las Vegas during Rob Soderbery’s keynote, with a deeper dive in a blog by Inbar Lasser-Raab (shown in Figure 2). Briefly, the 3 layers are similar to SDN Architecture but are also vastly different in the following ways:
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Tags: Cisco ONE, Cisco ONE Architecture, Cisco ONE Enterprise Networks Architecture, enterprise networks, programmability, SDN, WAN Programmability
Network programmability means democracy, means freedom, freedom to program across all layers and entities, software or hardware – depending on your needs. Is SDN required to have network programmability? Not at all. Does the SDN architecture leverage network programmability? Yes, of course. So, why do many people equate network programmability and SDN? Read More »
Tags: API, Cisco ONE, Cisco ONE Architecture, onePK, OpenFlow, programmability, SDN, SDN architecture
June is summer weather in the San Francisco Bay Area, but quite different from the June I was used to in Boston. A common misconception around Mark Twain and his relationship with San Francisco summer is that he never said “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.” But he did say: “Cold! If the thermometer had been an inch longer we’d all have frozen to death.”
June is always exciting here and in Europe. NBA playoffs are on and the Giro d’Italia just ended with the Italian Vincenzo Nibali winning it emphatically. The San Antonio Spurs have been so good but King James brought the Heat back from a certain death in Game 6. Game 7 decides it all!
Equally exciting is the buzz in networking circles, especially in the Bay Area, around Software Defined Networking (SDN) and how it is potentially commoditizing networking infrastructure. However, just as we cleared up that misconception about Mark Twain, I’d like to clear up some points around WAN challenges with cloud migration and how SDN might be applied to overcome these challenges.
In this blog post I will discuss the challenges in the Enterprise WAN and relevancy of SDN in overcoming these challenges. In part 2, I’ll cover how the Cisco ONE Enterprise Networks Architecture addresses these WAN challenges. Read More »
Tags: Challenges to cloud migration, Cisco ONE, Cisco ONE Enterprise Networks Architecture, enterprise networks, open APIs, Open Networking, programmability, SDN, SDN controller