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The Promise of an Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI)

October 21, 2013 at 4:00 am PST

At Cisco live! Orlando in June, Cisco unveiled its vision for an Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), a next-generation, secure data center fabric design. At the time, we were only able to unveil key conceptual aspects of ACI, but as we lead up to more detailed product announcements later this fall, we want to bring a little more clarity to the ACI vision, what it will mean for customers, and set the context for those announcements.

[Join our ACI Announcement Webcast on November 6, 7:30 AM PT/10:30 ET/15:30 GMT. Register here.]

ACI is designed around an application policy model, allowing the entire data center infrastructure to better align itself with application delivery requirements and the business policies of the organization. The entire objective of ACI is to allow the data center to respond dynamically to the changing needs of applications, rather than having applications conform to constraints imposed by the infrastructure. These policies automatically adapt the infrastructure (network, security, application, compute, and storage) to the needs of the business to drive shorter application deployment cycles.

ACI Diagram

ACI offers a highly optimized, application-aware fabric ideal for both physical and virtual workloads. Innovation in ASIC, hardware, software and orchestration results in greater scale, agility, visibility, optimization and flexibility.

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Nexus 3100 at Interop

On September 30th at Interop New York  we announced the Cisco Nexus 3100 top-of-rack flexible switches. The show floor was buzzing with the news and the Techwise TV video below with Senior Product Manager, Jag Tamvada and self proclaimed Chief Networking Geek Jimmy Ray Purser discuss details of the switches.

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Despite budget constraints, spending on cyber security set to increase according to Cisco study of government IT decision makers

While the shutdown challenges in the federal government over the past week have been top-of-mind, a recent Cisco survey has discovered that when operations resume, overall budget constraints are seen as the greatest challenge to government IT infrastructure, even ranking ahead of cyber attacks. This information was gathered through a third-party survey, the Cisco Connected Government Study, which was conducted last month by Clarus Research.

400 government IT decision makers (federal, state and local) were included, and the results show that reducing costs and increasing security continue to be top priorities for government IT decision makers. In the face of budget challenges, a majority (59%) of government IT decision makers said they are still likely to increase investment in cyber security over the next year, followed by cloud computing (45%) and networking (42%), according to a new Cisco Connected Government survey.

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Cisco Domain Ten: The Compendium

October 9, 2013 at 2:10 pm PST

It’s hard to believe but it’s ten months since I first blogged on  Cisco Domain TenSM,  which is Cisco Service’s framework to guide you on your path to data center and cloud transformation. I’ve now covered all ten domains of this concise and powerful model.  I’ll now collect all articles -- including my most Cisco Domain Ten article around the breadth of SDN adoption challenges -- into this one article as a useful summary.  So forgive the brevity and please do dive into the links/URLs for more information if indeed you missed these articles first time. And if you’ve read every article and watched our VoDs, please do let me know what you thought of the series -- oh, and thanks!

Going back, now, I started in December 2012, with our launch of Cisco Domain Ten, where I set the focus for my series of articles as cloud transformation.  Let me summarize each article with (and for those that know me you’ll know this is a struggle :-) ) just one sentence with the key message from each blog/domain.

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Partner Voices: Why Agile Tools and Processes Are Critical to IT Operations

September 30, 2013 at 9:00 am PST

This is the latest in a series of posts featuring partner success stories where partners share how they’re helping customers achieve their goals by using Cisco technology. This week we’re featuring Colin McNamara, Nexus IS Director of Cloud Practice and Chief Cloud Architect. 

Software Defined Networking (SDN) is gaining serious steam in our industry. Early adopters have been in production for a couple years now, and the first wave of “enterprise” SDN applications are making their way into the market.

One of the key benefits of SDN applications is that they provide a consistent view of the complete, end-to-end network topology (versus a per hop view commonly found in legacy routing protocols). This enables enterprises to implement a consistent policy across multiple hardware platforms and pass control of the network to the applications themselves. SDN also facilitates slicing (network partitioning), enhanced Network Access Control and multi-tenant data center networking – capabilities that are driving adoption and motivating vendors like Cisco and others to evolve their product lines to support this new technology.

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