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Rebuttal to VMware Comments on ACI and SDN Architectures

January 21, 2014 at 11:27 am PST

In a January 13, 2014 NetworkWorld article, VMware executive, Steve Mullaney, compared VMware NSX to Cisco ACI and other SDN architectures. Cisco’s Frank D’Agostino replied to those assertions in the comments section of the article. Frank’s points are abbreviated and summarized here:

1. VMware pricing model is fundamentally flawed, which is raising OpEx costs, and affecting network design decisions and scale.

VMware is charging customers per-port, per-VM, and increases the cost of networking by 2x or more, while providing lower functionality, increasing operations expense, and forcing you to adopt a different network architecture. ACI delivers more functionality with zero VM tax.

For VMware, our customers consistently report pricing starting at $50 or more per VM per month. In competitive engagements, pricing rapidly declines to $15 per VM per month, then lower depending on the negotiation. Customers do not like the per port pricing, the same as they do not like per VM pricing. All of those models get expensive and alter your designs and scale considerations.

2. Claims that ACI is a proprietary platform or policy model belies the fact that many aspects of VMware’s architecture require vendor lock-in, on top of the premium pricing model.

VMware claims that ACI is proprietary. Yet customers have to get their OVS from VMware not the open switch download, under open source license. Currently, VMware is the only hypervisor platform that locks customers into a proprietary controller -- RedHat, KVM, and Hyper-V all provide open access. ACI contributions are showing up in OpenStack, IETF drafts, and through VXLAN extensions, and is providing the most open implementation in the industry -- API’s, data model, and integration with 3rd party controllers. Federating NSX with 3rd party controllers, such as HP, is different that providing open, bi-directional programmability.

3. Openness is really measured by the breadth of infrastructures, OS platforms, orchestration models, etc., that are supported by the policy model, and ACI is rapidly outdistancing NSX in this area.

ACI supports any hypervisor, any encapsulation (VXLAN, NVGRE, VLAN, and even STT), any physical platform, storage, physical compute, layer 4 through 7, WAN, with full flexibility of any workload anywhere, with full policy, performance, and visibility in hardware. ACI supports Open vSwitch and allows a 3rd party controller to program ACI hardware components.  Investment protection is built in supporting existing platforms, and within the Nexus 9000 products enabling you to run enhanced NXOS and ACI mode with a software upgrade.

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Data Driven Platforms for IoT, SDN, and Cloud

More and more enterprises are managing distributed infrastructures and applications that need to share data. This data sharing can be viewed as data flows that connect (and flow through) multiple applications. Applications are partly managed on-premise, and partly in (multiple) off-premise clouds.

1With the advent of the Internet of Things (IoT) the need to share data between applications, sensors, infrastructure and people (specifically on the edge) will only increase. This raises fundamental questions on how we develop scalable distributed systems: How to manage the flow of events (data flows)? How to facilitate a frictionless integration of new components into the distributed systems and the various data flows in a scalable manner? What primitives do we need, to support the variety of protocols? Read More »

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Going to Cisco Live Milan? Two keynotes to check out!

heads-lloyd

Tuesday of CiscoLive Milan (#CLEUR for the Twitter among you) the keynotes will be wall to wall Rob with Rob Lloyd at 9:30 followed by Rob Soderbery at 11:15.  These should be pretty interesting and give you a good foundation to where Cisco is headed overall and specifically in our core networking.

Opening Keynote with Rob Lloyd,President of Development and Sales, Cisco

Tuesday, Jan 28, 9:30 – 10:45AM

Hear from Rob Lloyd on how Cisco and the ecosystem of Cisco’s partners are uniquely positioned to connect the unconnected with an open standard and an integrated architecture from the cloud to end devices. Rob will share his vision of the Internet of Everything and examine the industry trends and technologies that are making that vision a reality.

  Read More »

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Cisco is bringing together networking and programming

January 16, 2014 at 11:03 am PST

Well Cisco has done it.

I have worked in IT since 1995 and never learned programming. Sure, I can do a little HTML, and years ago, I learned just enough Perl to configure MRTG, but I have never written a program. The good old CLI has kept me very busy and brought home the bacon.

With the announcements on NX-OS APIs, Application Centric infrastructure APIs, python scripting support, SDN, and open source projects OpenStack, OpenDaylight, and Puppet, I cannot hold back anymore.

Therefore, I have opened an account at codecademy.com. I will start with Python and Java. I see many late nights in my future.

I have thought about learning code, but I could never think of an app I wanted to write. Now Cisco is bringing together networking and programming. Cisco is not only making APIs available, Cisco is contributing code to the open source community. In fact, Cisco has created a Data Center repository, a Nexus 9000 community, and a general Cisco Systems repository on GitHub.

DevNet

Cisco has recently overhauled the developer program and its content. The new DevNet website is filled with developer information on products such as AVC, Collaboration, UCS, CTI, Energywise, FlexPod, UCS Microsoft Manager, Jabber, onePK, XNC, Telepresence.

Cisco is bringing the networking and programing worlds together and this stubborn old networker is finally onboard.

Happy Coding!

NewAssistantNetworkEngineerBill Carter is a Senior Network Engineer with more than 18 years of experience. He works for Sentinel Technologies and specializes in next-generation data center, campus and WAN network services.  

Follow Bill on Twitter  @billyc5022 and read his blog  http://billyc5022.blogspot.com/
Bill is a Cisco Champion -- Check here to learn more about the Cisco Champion program .

 

Bill’s New Assistant Network Engineer

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What’s on Cisco’s Technology Radar? Predictions for 2014 and Beyond

Will an ‘Internet of Everything’ shorten your commute in the morning? Are we at the beginning or the end of the SDN hype cycle? What exactly is ‘context aware’ computing? How will large format HDTV technology transform the way global teams work together? 

Just before the holidays, I had the pleasure of posing these and other questions to a distinguished panel of Cisco engineers, innovators and business leaders.

Susie Wee, VP and CTO, Networked Experiences, Lauren Cooney, Senior Director, Software Strategy , CTO and Architecture Office, David Ward, CTO of Engineering and Chief Architect and Maciej Kranz, VP of the Corporate Technology Group led a discussion inspired by the work of Cisco’s Technology Radar team.

Cisco’s Tech Radar brings together a network of 80+ scouts  to identify emerging technology trends and forecast their impact on business, governments, and everyday society through a five, ten and twenty-five years time frame. The findings inform Cisco’s engineering and corporate development strategy.

During the course of 90 minutes, our panel dissected as many of those trends as they could, from augmented collaboration to WebRTC; mega data centers to SDN; security and privacy to the Internet of Everything.  You can view some highlights of the discussion in the video below, or – if your New Year isn’t too busy yet – you can watch the entire Technology Radar 2014 program here.

Join the conversation #CiscoTechRadar

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