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#CiscoACI #CiscoChat- Cisco SDN in the Data Center

Digital transformation is changing the world as technology continues to play a central role in today’s business strategy. By helping to reach more customers, offer differentiated services, and grow the business, the relevance of IT is stronger than ever. Customers want to deploy services fast, at scale, at the lowest cost possible.


Cisco’s SDN strategy and portfolio enable policy-driven infrastructure built around ACI and the programmable fabric and network. Cisco offers freedom of choice to IT teams looking to add automation capabilities to their network infrastructure by leveraging their programmability capabilities to accelerate application deployment and management, automate network operations and create a more responsive IT model.

Cisco Application Centric Infrastucture delivers an agile, open, and secure solution for deploying applications across any physical, virtualization or cloud technology being used for data center infrastructure. Cisco ACI provides consistent policy and for multi-hypervisor, container and bare metal server workloads. It is a true SDN solution with built-in secure multi-tenancy. So much so, that our next #CiscoChat on Thursday, December 3rd at 10:00 a.m. PST will bring together a team of experts to discuss the extent of Cisco ACI challenges and the solutions leaders can use to address them.

In the article “The New Need for Speed in the Datacenter Network”, IDC confirms that “Today’s datacenter networks must better adapt to and accommodate business-critical application workloads. Datacenters will have to increasingly adapt to virtualized workloads and to the ongoing enterprise transition to private and hybrid clouds”.

In this #CiscoACI #CiscoChat led by Cisco Data Center, @CiscoDC, with co-hosts, Mike Cohen, (@mscohen), Principle Engineer at Cisco Systems and, Zeus Kerravala, (@zkerravala), Principle of ZK Research, will assess how Cisco ACI can help businesses stay competitive with an agile and programmable network and through a Fast, Open and Secure approach. You don’t want to miss this #CiscoChat on #CiscoACI Thursday, December 3rd at 10:00 a.m. PST as we reveal our latest innovations.

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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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Cisco Live Cancun Delivers Great Conversations on Service Provider Innovations

Guest Blog by Igor Dayen, SP Product and Solutions Marketing

Cancun is a paradise for many and thus it is known to draw crowds. Another reason for Cancun’s popularity is the addition of the Cisco Live Conference right in the center of this resort town. This event allows Cisco customers, executives, experts, and partners to share insights on new Service Provider technologies and their potential to transform the way we work, learn, and play. This year we had a successful conference showcasing service provider product and solution demonstrations as well as technical training. The demonstrations in the service provider booth and the breakout sessions that were presented to the attendees were very well aligned.


Cisco Live is Cisco’s premier education and training destination for IT professionals worldwide. With that spirit, Cisco Live Cancun proves to be Read More »

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Validating Cisco Network Function Virtualization Infrastructure (NFVI) – Part 2

Guest Blog by Ram Haridasa,  Sr. Marketing Manager

Lightreading commissioned the European Advanced Networking Test Center team evaluation of Cisco’s NFVI solution in September 2015. The first part of the resulting report, which provides an overview of Cisco’s NFVI and an in-depth, multi-page performance evaluation of Cisco’s virtual switch technology, has been published — see Validating Cisco’s NFV Infrastructure Pt. 1 and Cisco’s vSwitch Makes the Grade.

Validating Cisco NFVI Part 2_Image 1_04NOV2015

The second part of the report is now available Read More »

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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.

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