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ACI Delivers Operational Simplicity

Let’s start this blog with a hypothetical scenario. Suppose you’re the CIO and you’ve committed to your CEO and the Board of Directors that your company will execute an innovative new strategy to delight your customers directly through their mobile devices  and leverage the cloud to service them at scale.  You are 90% complete in your development and you just need to complete your final beta and production readiness testing to roll it out to production when you learn your leading competitor is going to beat you to the market with their own application next month.

Is your cloud infrastructure really as agile as you believe? Will the physical infrastructure scale with the load?  Will you be able to secure your application and data from threats?  Can you rapidly deploy a production application across servers, networks, and storage infrastructure securely?

During Cisco’s Data Center webcast Jan 13, we’ll walk through the hypothetical use case above and then see how Day 1 operations for configuration and deployment can be addressed in real life by customers and enabling vendors.

Episode 1: An Impossible Deadline

day1 (click to play)

We’ll look at Day 2 operations and learn how important application visibility across physical and virtual infrastructure is to meet the most stringent uptime requirements.

Episode 2: The Needle in the Haystack

day2

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Finally, we examine the challenges of de-commissioning applications securely while maintaining compliance.

Episode  3: Operation Clean Up

day3

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DCJoin us during the webcast as we hear from ACI customers who will share their production experiences with ACI and  how it impacts their day 1 and day 2 operations.  Hear ACI ecosystem partners who will share how they collaborate through ACI’s open policy model to simplify application delivery, security and orchestrate open clouds.

Make a note on your calendar for January 13th at 9 AM PST/ 12 EST  and see  Is your Data Center Ready for the Application Economy? (Register Here!).

The video on demand will be accessible through this same link.

 

If you are traveling to Cisco Live in Milan, Italy; please come to my session  PSODCT-2455 “Simplify Day 0, 1, and 2 Operations in Application Centric Data Centers” on Jan 29th from 1:15PM — 2:15PM to learn how operations like tenant on-boarding, creating applications containers and self-service catalogs, application monitoring and troubleshooting can all be simplified with application policy driven automation.

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Software Defined Networks with L4-L7 ADC Policy Automation

It appears only a short time ago we introduced Cisco ACI to the market, but it is already the one-year anniversary time. In this one-year period, we have seen tremendous momentum on customer adoption and partner eco-system for both the Nexus 9k hardware platform and the ACI software. To date there are more than 1,000 plus Nexus 9k hardware customers and 200 plus ACI software customers. And don’t forget the growing eco-system of partners that now stands at an impressive 34.

To commemorate this one-year anniversary of ACI and its success, we have planned a grand Data Center Webcast to be broadcast on Jan 13 at 9 AM PST. Click here to register for the webcast. Attendees of the webcast will have the opportunity to hear from our ACI ecosystem partners how their solutions integrate to help customize and extend ACI deployments. The audience will also hear from Cisco customers all over the world about the benefits they’ve discovered with our ACI architecture. Check out Cisco exec Shashi Kiran’s blog for more details on the webcast.

For the remainder of this blog I am going to focus on the ACI L4-L7 partner eco-system momentum. Since August 2014, major L4-L7 Application Delivery Controller (ADC) vendors have collaborated with our Insieme Business Unit to build, test, certify joint integrated solutions and introduce publicly downloadable device packages for customers to seamlessly deploy ACI in existing ADC deployments.

servicechainnew

What makes the ACI integration with L4-L7 ADC vendors’ devices so seamless and easy? Well, the answer lies in the flexible and open service policy management inherent in ACI. The highly open and programmable nature of Cisco APIC and the ability to selectively associate service chains with specific applications and data flows, and the flexibility of applying application delivery policies to different applications (Figure-1). This far exceeds that of a traditional network based ADC. To date F5, Citrix, A10 Networks have built FCS versions of device packages for Cisco ACI. I want to take you on a quick tour of each of these ACI joint solutions, and the benefits they uniquely bring to existing customer deployments.

The exciting L4-L7 eco-system ramp began in August 2014 when ADC market leader F5 announced the availability of its device package for ACI. Since then, our partnership has clicked into high gear. We had a very successful F5 Agility event at Copenhagen (June) and New York (early August) showcasing the Cisco ACI-F5 BIG-IP joint solution in breakout sessions, world of solutions Expo, and in keynotes Panels. Cisco also published a jointly written technical whitepaper, a solutions brief and a Design guide with F5. In the webcast planned for Jan 13, we have an exclusive partner panel session featuring F5 exec, Calvin Rowland, and Cisco Exec, Soni Jiandani. I urge you to tune in to this webcast to get the low-down on the customer traction and how customers are benefiting from the policy based automation and application centric approach of our joint solution.

The Citrix and Cisco strategic partnership dates back to early 2010 with a strategic alliance on the UCS-Citrix Desktop Virtualization front. Since then, our alliance has expanded to other technology areas, and in August we introduced the ACI-Citrix NetScaler joint solution to market with the availability of the Citrix device package for Cisco ACI. Citrix and Cisco ACI engineering teams are also actively working in IETF and ODL standards efforts to create thought leadership around NSH and the OpFlex protocols. I can vouch that it will be a rewarding experience for you to listen to Steve Shah of Citrix at the Jan 13 webcast, and get insights on how customers are benefiting from our joint solution featuring open policy model and a programmable infrastructure. Check out the solutions brief and whitepaper from our joint website to gather more details.

A10 Networks is the new kid on the ACI eco-system block. ACI’s SDN paradigm is a natural fit for A10 Networks’s vision and strategy to expose L4-L7 networking features programmatically. As a first step, A10 Networks has successfully certified their device package for ACI and is now available for download. The A10 device package is open source, and can be easily enhanced by customers to create custom value with near ubiquitous programmability. Exciting near term joint engagements include potentially collaborating on an OpFlex and NSH standards effort as well as some advanced ADC features such as WAF, SSL offload, GSLB, and device partitions among others. I do not want to steal all of the webcast’s thunder, so tune in on Jan 13 to get a 360 degree view from A10 CTO Raj Jalan.

As I am writing this blog there is more exciting news. Yes, Radware is also testing their ACI device package with the Insieme Business Unit now. Stay tuned to hear more outcomes on this engagement. The L4-L7 ACI eco-system momentum is truly on a fast track. In closing, I want to re-iterate, do not forget to register for Cisco’s ACI webcast set for Jan 13.

Related Links

http://blogs.cisco.com/datacenter/citrix-netscaler-device-package-for-cisco-aci-goes-fcs

http://blogs.cisco.com/datacenter/f5-device-package-for-cisco-apic-goes-fcs

http://blogs.cisco.com/datacenter/aci_webcast

 

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ACI and Nexus 9000 Win 2014 infoTECH Spotlight Data Center Excellence Awards

[Note: For more perspective on the growing momentum for Cisco ACI and Nexus 9000, register today for our upcoming live ACI webcast: “Is Your Data Center Ready for the Application Economy”, January 13, 2015, 9 AM PT, Noon ET, featuring more ACI customers and several key ACI technology partners.]

TMCnet LogoMomentum continues to build for Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) and Nexus 9000 Series Switches as we close out 2014 and head into the New Year. Cisco and TMC have announced that Cisco has been awarded to InfoTech Spotlight Data Center Excellence Awards for Cisco ACI and the Nexus 9000 series switch.

TMC, a global, integrated media company helping clients build communities in print, in person and online, announced the winners of the 2014 Data Center Excellence Awards last month, as presented by infoTECH Spotlight. For more than 20 years, TMC has been honoring technology companies with awards in various categories. These awards are regarded as some of the most prestigious and respected honors in the communications and technology sector worldwide. Winners represent prominent players in the market who consistently demonstrate the advancement of technologies. Each recipient is a verifiable leader in the marketplace.

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New Data Center Webcast – Cisco ACI and Nexus 9000 Production Customers Discuss Game Changing Business Outcomes; Ecosystem Partners Drive Multi-Vendor Collaboration

Business requirements define Applications. Applications run on IT infrastructure. If the IT infrastructure is more responsive to the needs of applications, then, it almost certainly guarantees better business outcomes. That is the premise of Cisco’s next Data Center webcast to be broadcast on January 13th at 9 AM PST/ 12 EST – Is your Data Center Ready for the Application Economy? (Click Link to Register!)

Today, more than ever as the pace of change accelerates and disruption is the name of the game, CIOs and IT infrastructure leaders from all over the world are taking a closer look at how data center infrastructure can be better tailored to fit the needs of applications. Can the pace of change become an opportunity?

Eight global customers in production (including Cisco IT) from countries like Brazil, Qatar, Sweden, United Kingdom and the United States that have deployed the Nexus 9000 and APIC come together to answer this question in our webcast focused on Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). This will be followed by an ACI Ecosystem partner panel coming together to discuss the benefits of multi-vendor collaboration.

SDN, ACI, Nexus

Nexus 9000 and ACI customers

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SDN and NFV Use Cases in EPN

My last post reviewed some of the building blocks of SDN (Software Defined Networking) and positioned the protocols and APIs (Application Programming Interface) into categories so that the multitude of technologies associated with SDN can be positioned in a coherent framework. This month I’d like to start looking at some use cases where some of these things are used to deliver benefit in a service provider network.

I will review a consumer oriented offering and next month, one targeted at enterprise services.

As always, it is important to define the business outcome we are trying to affect when making a change to the network infrastructure. This case will consider an operator Read More »

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