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Unleashing IT magazine Profiles Early adopters of Cisco ACI

 

Application Centric Infrastructure Special Edition

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.

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Why IT Leaders Stand to Benefit from the Natural Process of Network Programmability

The programming of network resources is not just a trend, but also a way to future-proof IT and business needs.

This blog series examines how infrastructure programmability is providing a faster time to competitive advantage and highlights the differences between programmable infrastructure and traditional infrastructure, and what programmability means for your entire IT infrastructure.

To read the first post in this series that defines infrastructure programmability, click here.  To read the third post in this series that discusses how IT leaders can embrace this change, click here.

By the end of this year, the number of mobile connected devices will exceed the number of people on earth, and U.S. businesses alone will spend more than $13 billion on cloud computing and managed hosting services. In addition, the growing convergence of mobile, cloud and the network is demanding that organizations implement the right combination of strategies, processes, and infrastructure.

As the industry is changing faster than we can imagine, we are shaping the future with a new model for IT. Today’s infrastructure must be simple, smart, and secure.

A piecemeal approach to leveraging new technology—in the midst of a fast-paced market—could leave businesses disaggregated and left on the sidelines by faster competitors.

Unleash Fast IT, an operating model that delivers simplification and orchestration through automated, agile, and programmable infrastructures. The concept of Fast IT embodies IT being agile enough to operate at the speed of business. This means that in order for your organization to be successful in an increasingly complex world you must have an infrastructure that runs at a speed and scale never before seen.

There are three core principles for Fast IT: simplicity, intelligence and security. In some ways, this model is markedly different from the current IT model, which can be highly complex and closed.

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What is Infrastructure Programmability?

The programming of network resources is not just a trend, but also a way to future-proof IT and business needs.

This blog series examines how infrastructure programmability is providing a faster time to competitive advantage and highlights the differences between programmable infrastructure and traditional infrastructure, and what programmability means for your entire IT infrastructure.

To read the second post in this series that discusses benefits of network programmability, click here. To read the third post in this series that discusses how IT leaders can embrace this change, click here.

The proliferation of devices and applications has increased the complexity of traditional IT infrastructure. The complexity arises from manually managing the infrastructure box-by-box that is slow and error-prone.  The adoption of cloud computing has compounded the problem with on-premises and off-premises resources. As a result, IT leaders have to allocate critical resources to maintain and troubleshoot these systems. In a recent whitepaper, Zeus Kerravala indicated that 83% of IT budget is used to simply maintain the current operating environment. This leaves precious few resources to invest in business-enabling innovation.

At the same time, business leaders are demanding their IT infrastructure to provide them with a faster time to competitive advantage. Quick time to market is paramount in a world where a new competitive advantage might only last a few months or even weeks. And, as if these challenges are not enough, new cyber-attacks not only threaten innovation but can also threaten the organization itself.

Infrastructure programmability is providing a faster time to competitive advantage.

Infrastructure programmability is providing a faster time to competitive advantage.

Programmability to the rescue

Infrastructure programmability provides the ability to control and change the functions of IT infrastructure. Let’s take a closer look.

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Best Ways to Shift to A Virtual Data Center : Join Now The Conversation

March 10, 2014 at 9:37 am PST

ZKIn his paper  “A Data Center Fabric  is Critical to the Next Generation of Data Center ” published on January 2014,  Zeus Kerravala (@Zeeman)  wrote  ” The data center has gone through many major evolutionary changes over the past several decades, and each change has been defined by major shifts in architectures…in 2011, another major shift began: the shift to a virtual data center.  This has been the primary driver in enabling customers to transition to the cloud and ultimately IT as a service…Next-generation data centers will see a greater coupling of hardware and software to bring together both physical and virtual infrastructure. The result will be a fluid, dynamic “fabric” capable of moving IT resources where the business needs them.”

End of January at Cisco Live Europe, Cisco introduced new solutions “Data Center and Cloud Networking Accelerations Continues” expanding the portfolio of data center fabric solutions designed to create this virtual data center.

On March 11, a  panel of experts shared  the best ways to achieve this shift . You can  access here to the recording

  Data Center Network Evolution. Why Now
Join a panel  of experts
for a special 45 mn conversation 

During this webcast, our guests examined  solutions to address the need  for elimination, integration and consolidation. Eliminating IT silos will allow your resources to be ready when and where they’re needed, and can be achieved by implementing a data center fabric. With the capability of being quickly and easily built—and rebuilt—as necessary, data center fabrics provide an overarching, unified infrastructure to securely house your data and allow for benefits such as:

  •       Consolidation and simplification of the network, compute, storage, and application resources
  •       Faster delivery of services
  •       Enhanced utilization of resources
  •       More productive IT staff and employees
  •       Lower operating expenses

So to be ready to shift into high gear and accelerate , register now to discover the optimal way for a smooth transition.

Resources

A Data Center Fabric is critical to a next-generation Data Center  by Zeus Karravala
“Data Center and Cloud Networking Accelerations Continues  ” A blog from Shashi Kiran
“And the Momentum Continue- New Nexus Data Center Innovations  ”  A blog from  Berna Devrim

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Designing the Next Generation Branch for Business Impact

register for webinarsThere is no denying the changing role of IT. The traditional govern and build approach is too slow for the new world of cloud and mobile computing.  IT departments, who once carefully metered out which services they would offer and how they would be delivered, are now being led by a completely new set of drivers.

The model has been upended: employees and customers now decide by proxy what they want and it falls upon IT to scramble and deliver it instantly.  These days the face of the technologist is your average high school student, retail shopper, hotel guest, hospital patient, and even branch office employee.   This “consumerization of IT” has transformed these beings into powerful, roaming, high-octane data seekers assuming connectivity at all times. In essence, they expect access to any application on any device from anywhere with a high quality experience. Read More »

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