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.
Application Centric Infrastructure Special Edition
It has been just a few short weeks since the Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) began shipping, building upon the availability of the Nexus 9000 series and laying the foundation for Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). The feedback from early adopters has been quite positive. As of August 13th, 2014 we had over 580 Nexus 9000/ACI customers and over 60 have bought the APIC within just two weeks. We are highly encouraged by the momentum and are looking to build upon this over the course of our next fiscal year.
Recently, IT leaders have been talking about how software-defined networking (SDN) will usher new levels of business agility into their IT organizations, and it’s clear based on our early results that ACI not only delivers on these expectations but takes a leadership stance in delivering the industry’s best SDN solution.It is therefore a great time for us to take a look at these early adopters, explore and share their motivations for choosing the ACI approach. Customers are genuinely excited with the open architecture and the flexibility and cost savings they get with a true systems approach and it is pertinent to understand their business challenges, architectural expectations and benefits they hope to receive over time.
To create a forum for these stories, we’ve produced a special edition of Unleashing IT-- a publication I’m very excited to share with you as it sheds light on what I truly believe is a transformative innovation.
As spring turns to summer, just 6 months from when Cisco announced its vision of Application Centric Infrastructure, the momentum has started to pick up on all fronts – solution availability, technology integration with partners, channel awareness and most importantly strong customer traction. It is worthwhile to look at the trajectory thus far –
Nexus 9000 shipping with strong customer traction, awards and records
70+ active ACI trials with customers and channel partners
ACI ecosystem – 33 ecosystem partners leveraging the open approach and the policy model
1000+ customers in pipeline
175+ customers across major SPs, Enterprise and Commercial with several production deployments
With the APIC ready to ship this summer and become generally available, it is very exciting to see the positive feedback coming in especially from customers and partners that are deploying the Nexus 9000 as also those participating in the ACI trials with the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC).
Hear directly from our major partners in this short video montage
Today we continued the momentum with new “ACI-ready” Nexus 9300 Top of Rack switches (9336PQ and 9396TX) both of which can ease into traditional 3-Tier deployments or ACI deployments moving forward. A new line card was also made available for the Nexus 9500 to function as an ACI ready spine. In addition, there were several other innovations across the Nexus portfolio, including a new Nexus 6004X switch, VXLAN support made available across the entire portfolio as well as enhanced programmability and SDN/automation capabilities on the Nexus 7000 series switches.
Continuing on its tradition of contributing and committing to open source and open standards over the last 25 years, today Cisco announced “OpFlex” – a new open standards-based protocol for Application Centric Infrastructure that has been submitted into the IETF standardization process. We believe this will accelerate multi-vendor innovation in data center and cloud networks to drive operational simplicity, lower costs and increased agility.
Why is this required?
Traditional SDN models today function on the basis of an imperative control model with a centralized controller and distributed network entities that support the lowest common denominator feature set across vendors such as bridges, ports and tunnels. As the network scales, the controller becomes a bottleneck due to the need to maintain increased state, and starts to impact performance and resiliency. Likewise, because the applications, ops and infrastructure requirements need to be translated into network configuration, it impacts agility and introduces a manual learning process, requiring app developers to describe their requirements in low-level constructs.
If we contrast that with the vision of the ACI model with the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC), ACI adopts a declarative management approach. This model abstracts applications, operations and infrastructure providing simplification and agility. By distributing complexity to the edges, it also increases better scalability, and allows for resiliency – i.e. the data forwarding can still continue to happen even if there is no controller. It further provides ease of use with self-documenting policies automatically deployed or cleaned up from devices as necessary. All of these help circumvent the issues seen in traditional SDN models.
For this declarative model to work across a multi-vendor environment, to translate and map policy definition into the infrastructure, there has hitherto been no standard protocol to do that across physical/virtual switches, routers and L4-L7 network services. This vacuum has led to the development of “OpFlex” – a new open standard recently submitted to the IETF.
Who is contributing to OpFlex?
Several industry leaders and practitioners are actively involved in the standardization process. These include Microsoft, IBM, Citrix and SunGard Availability Services, in addition to Cisco.
Cisco will be sharing new announcements led by Soni Jiandani, SVP at Cisco. Joining us will be leaders from leading technology companies -
Citrix -- Sunil Potti, Group Vice President and General Manager, NetScaler Product Group
F5 -- Sangeeta Anand, Sr. VP, Product Management and Marketing
IBM -- Inder Gopal, Vice President, Networking Development and Technical Strategy
Microsoft -- Mike Schutz, General Manager -- Windows Server, Management and Appliances Product Marketing
RedHat -- Tim Burke, Vice President, Linux and Cloud Engineering
Expecting multi-vendor innovation around next-generation software-defined networking (SDN)? Hear what Cisco and these panelists from leading technology companies have to say:
Cisco CIO Rebecca Jacoby, who’s delivering a keynote at Interop, will also be joining to share her perspectives on technology and how Cisco IT is embracing aspects of Application Centric Infrastructure.
Miercom performance benchmark records for Nexus 9516
ACI training programs for partners to empower 2 million CCIE/CCNA trained network engineers – Mar 2014
Nexus 9516 and APIC selected as Finalists for Best of Interop – Mar 2014
Next?? Tune into the webcast for more..!
To put great technology solutions into real world perspective, we will also be joined by several of Cisco’s customers from different segments and deployment models, providing insights into their experiences and best practices.
Join me and the rest of the Cisco team, as we continue to redefine the power of IT. April 2nd at 1 PM PST.