In the world of Cisco ACI, there is never a shortage of excitement and action. Today, we are pleased to bring to your attention news about the latest Cisco APIC software release. If you wonder what’s hot of the press in APIC SW release 1.0(3f) for Nexus 9000 series ACI mode, there are quite a few.
The Stretched Fabric feature captures the headlines. For quite some time now customers have been asking for an ACI Fabric that can stretch across datacenters and over long distances. The new software allows for each leaf and spine, that participate in creating a fabric, to be located up to 30 KMs apart. It also removes the restriction for every leaf to be connected to all spines. Let us take a close peek at the stretched fabric feature.
Stretched ACI fabric is a single fabric. It is a partially meshed design that connects ACI leaf and spine switches distributed in multiple locations. Typically, an ACI fabric implementation is a single site where the full mesh design connects each leaf switch to each spine switch in the fabric. This yields the best throughput and convergence. In multi-site scenarios, full mesh connectivity may be not possible or may be too costly. Multiple sites, buildings, and rooms can span distances that are not serviceable by enough fiber connections, or are too costly to connect each leaf switch to each spine switch across the sites. Diagram below illustrates the stretched fabric architecture.
Transit Leaf Switch Guidelines
Transit leaf refers to the leaf switches that provide connectivity between two sites. Transit leaf switches connect to spine switches on both sites. There are no special requirements and no additional configurations required for transit leaf switches
The key benefits of stretched fabric include workload portability and VM mobility.The stretched ACI fabric behaves the same way as a regular ACI fabric, supporting full VMM integration. For example, one VMWare vCenter operates across the stretched ACI fabric sites. The ESXi hosts from both sites are managed by the same vCenter and Distributed Virtual Switch (DVS). They are stretched between the two sites.
The ACI switch and APIC software recover from various failure scenarios. Check out the failover scenario analysis for details.
Tags: ACI, APIC, Border leaf, Nexus 9000 Series Switches, stretched ACI Fabric, Transit leaf, WAN
Our 2013 IT Impact Survey highlighted the importance of collaboration between business leaders and IT as trends like BYOD, data center consolidation and Cloud applications put more pressure on the network. Why collaborate? The survey highlighted that 34% of application roll outs over the prior 12 months were delayed because of not enough budget. You would think that if applications were a priority IT would be given sufficient budget to make sure the network was ready to handle the extra traffic. Unfortunately, according to Nemertes, most organizations’ WAN budgets will remain flat or decline in 2015, meaning that adding bandwidth is often not an option for IT. So how can you do more with less?
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Tags: branch, hybrid WAN, Intelligent WAN, ISR, ISR 4000, IWAN, WAN
Network customers have always bought networks for one and only one reason: to run their applications over them. Yet for most of that time, those networks have been largely oblivious to the composition of the network traffic they carried. Traditional network tools could tell you whether your network was having a lot of errors, or whether a given link or interface was congested, but they couldn’t tell you what was congesting your network, beyond the limited granularity of a few well-known ports. Finding out that you’ve got a lot of HTTP or HTTPS is not very helpful in finding out whether you’re swamped by personal traffic that needs to be controlled, or by legitimate business traffic that requires an increase in effective bandwidth.
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Tags: bandwidth, Cisco Application Experience, InfoVista, IWAN, managed services, network, routing, vodafone, Vodafone Application Visibility and Control, WAN
At CiscoLive Cancun we are introducing a new addition to the 800 ISR family, the new 800M Series. What does the “M” stand for? The “M” stands for modular, as this is the first 800 series platform with pluggable modules that give flexibility in the field. Why do you need flexibility? The 800M is designed to operate in environments where 3G wireless is the primary mode of connectivity. For those of you with a cellphone, you are no doubt familiar with the large number of different service providers and 3G technologies. When designing the 800M we wanted to give our customers the ability to connect to any service provider in order to avoid lock-in, lower costs and improve redundancy. The modular platform enables customers to choose from serial and cellular connectivity without having to replace the chassis, which can be a challenge with fixed platforms. Read More »
Tags: Cisco 800 Series Routers, Cisco 800M Integrated Services Router, CiscoLive Milan, enterprise networks, routers, WAN
Tighter Planning Cycles for Greater Efficiency with the Evolved Services Platform
In the global geography of telecom, wide-area networks (WAN) are oceans of uncertainty. Resource-constrained and multivendor, WANs produce delays and outages in far-flung and sometimes remote areas, posing a special set of issues that are distinct from those we see in data centers and access networks.
WAN bandwidth is the most expensive bandwidth in the network and failure impacts are large. WANs bear the brunt of traffic growth with a very tricky calculus: underbuild your WAN and jeopardize your brand, but overbuild it and spend your way into oblivion.
Greater Predictability through Ever-Shortening Planning Cycles
To keep pace with these conundrums, you need sophisticated modeling and planning tools, which naturally evolved—in the case of the WAN Automation Engine (WAE)—into an ever-tightening loop of planning, building, and measuring, eventually encompassing SDN.
Longer planning cycles inevitably means over-engineering, over-building and over-hiring. With the Evolved Services Platform’s (ESP) Orchestration Engine, Cisco is shrinking these cycles, and thus reducing the uncertainties that lead to inefficiencies.
Last week I discussed the Orchestration Engine of the ESP in terms of how different components fit in individual domains. Let’s see how to use this framework to plan, engineer, and ultimately automate the WAN to make it cloud-ready.
As the Process Becomes More Automated, a Shrinking Planning Cycle Brings Huge Efficiencies.
The cycle progressively shortens, from years to months, and eventually (with automated, programmable networking) to continuous changes. As this process moves from manual to automated, the network becomes more predictable.
But Why is this Happening Now? Read More »
Tags: esp, evolved services platform, SDN, Service Provider, software defined network, WAN, wide-area networks