We embarked upon this episode with an agenda. Take a sample of the building momentum around Cisco ACI. The growing benefits, details and momentum behind the Application Centric Infrastructure. First announced in November 2013 and just before we start shipping.
In my estimation, we saw five areas worth highlighting from Cisco Live:
Cisco is ready to ship ACI
Partnerships and joint use-cases are resonating with customers
Strong integrations with APIC through OpFlex
Partners see strong customer demand
Partner are getting ready to ship ACI-based solutions
Great Q&A with Soni Jiandani from Network World’s John Dix: Cisco describes its SDN Vision She nails Cisco’s ACI vs. SDN messaging and any confusion you may still have with the positionoing. She also puts good context around the OpFlex protocol.
Application Awareness -- top down control based on what was important
A new, tighter coupling between software and hardware
Recognition that virtualization on the compute side had not been accompanied by requisite innovation on the network wide -- potential for wasted opportunity.
East West traffic was growing gangbusters in the data center and needed assisted.
We walk through the following components of the offering:
APIC -- Centralized cluster controller
Northbound API for standardized communication and control from Applications that need to interact with the Fabric
Southbound API for third party network services integration
Profiles -- Application Network Profiles -- the logical representation of all components of the application and its interdependencies on the application fabric
ACI Fabric -- new stateless hardware within the Nexus portfolio, 9000 series
So what was still missing?
- APIC GUI -- How would we interact?
- Migration plan -- Clarity on how to leverage within existing networks
- Southbound interface -- more details on network control
- Partner Plans -- who would support?
And that formed much of what we wanted to cover for today’s show -- filling in the blanks on the momentum…just before the big release this summer.
Shashi Kiran level on set on what has been accomplished.
Ronak Desai, Director of Software Development walked Jimmy Ray through the new APIC interface.
I got a chance to ask Mike Cohen about OpFlex and where it fits.
And finally, Jimmy Ray weighed in with his view on partner support and the growth we are seeing for the Eco-System.
Simplicity has always been a pain point for video collaboration systems. The new DX and MX systems leverage the same interfaces and are available at price points that make video more accessible for any size company. Combined with Intelligent Proximity that allows control of endpoints, seamless handoff of calls from one device to another, the ability to better interact with your online meetings – collaboration now becomes a real part of how we interact with devices and our work day.
One of the best times I always have at Cisco Live involves getting to play ‘TV Anchor’ for the various live shows we stream. Well the Cisco TV team lets us use their equipment to do a live version of TechWiseTV each afternoon as well. Now honestly, I do plan these out…a little. But our day three show is generally a ‘hey…what do we WANT to do” kind of show. Planning for day 3 simply involved asking Jimmy Ray and Tina what they wanted. We had TWO wireless cameras this year to play with so it felt like we could do a little more. As for me (with input from the hillbilly of course), we wanted to take advantage of Wireless Stew’s presence and get him up to tell his story…so that is how we started.
Stewart Gouman’s is a fantastic fan of the show, running his wireless consultancy and very informative blog from the Great White North. He has sought us out in just a few visits over the years stopping by the studio in San Jose or catching us while at Cisco Live when we all end up in the same place. Watch the show and get his career and community advice.
Are you still being ‘defensive’ with your mobility strategy? Truly embracing mobility is not about offering Wi-Fi or a comfy chair. Getting offensive with mobility involves the planned intersection of technology and business strategy allowing you to outthink and outpace your competition.
(If you haven’t heard about Cisco IT’s eStore, be sure to check out my recent write-up about eStore. You can also read the case study here, and read more from Adel du Toit who blogged about Cisco IT’s initiative here last June.)
We are thrilled to see Cisco IT being recognized for it’s internal Cisco Prime Service Catalog deployment. It’s a great testament to the innovative partnership between our product engineering teams and our internal IT organization.
That’s not all … This week at Interop Las Vegas, adjacent to the InformationWeek Elite 100 awards ceremony, was the announcement of the newCisco Mobile Workplace Solution – where Cisco Prime Service Catalog serves as the unified IT storefront for mobility services (you can read a great overview of the new solution from Jonathan’s blog post here). We showcased a live demo of the award-winning Cisco IT internal implementation of the Cisco Prime Service Catalog: the Cisco IT eStore.
As enterprise IT organizations adopt and implement their mobility strategies, they are learning just how much their end users expect and need in today’s increasingly mobile environment. For example, they need a simple, easy-to-use, and automated solution for ordering all of the mobility and other workplace services an IT organization may offer – rather than having separate portals for requesting smartphones, tablets, mobile apps, desktop software, laptops, or BYOD services. A unified service catalog and single access point for all IT services increases workforce productivity, with a better employee experience and improved satisfaction with IT.
As Jonathan describes in the blog post linked above, organizations typically begin from a device-focused approach. IT often focuses on corporate-liable devices or employee owned devices, providing an easy way to onboard these devices and access basic services. Then, organizations progress to the application-focused phase, where the enterprise leverages mobile applications to provide productivity and empower employees.
The third and final step in the enterprise mobility journey is experience-focused. After having fulfilled the initial device-focused and app-focused stages, organizations are becoming experience-focused and prioritizing service automation to improve the employee experience and provide an easy-to-use, automated self-service experience.