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How We Migrate Hundreds of Applications to the New ACI Platform

I am in the trenches of our migration to an Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) platform, helping my team transition hundreds of applications. Cisco IT has broken down the migration process into nine steps:

  1. Complete network dependency mapping. In this exercise, the applications team validates the mapping of Java Virtual Machines (JVMs) to databases, for upstream and downstream applications.
  2. Build the ACI fabric in parallel with the existing infrastructure using Nexus 9000 Series Switches.
  3. Install seed compute into ACI fabric.
  4. Connect fabric to traditional network via uplinks.
  5. Define endpoint groups (EPGs) and network application profile.
  6. Install seed storage into ACI fabric.
  7. Move application to ACI. This move can take hours or days depending on the size and complexity of the application.
  8. Move storage and compute units.
  9. Iterate: identify next application(s) to set up and migrate.

ACI App Migration Diagram

The nearly 200 applications that I’m working on spread across multiple Cisco IT services and fall under Customer Care. They include

  • Install Base
  • Product Support
  • Case Management
  • Consulting Service Delivery
  • Service Order, Return, and Repair Management
  • Service Parts Planning and Inventory Management
  • Customer Entitlement and Access Request Management
  • Customer Service Delivery Platform

In my role as an ACI Prime, I’m responsible for steps 1, 5, 7, 8, and 9 of the migration process. I work closely with IT architects, IT managers, and my infrastructure partners to execute the remainder of the steps. The application space is complex as multiple applications are tied to a single database. Applications need to be moved in a logical grouping. The size of one application and the size of a group of applications drive the network component. I work with several application teams and infrastructure partners to coordinate the move. We work in an agile way and have a good Scrum cadence.

Over the next few months, as my team completes the ACI migration steps that I’m responsible for, I will share my experience and lessons learned with you. Stay tuned, as we are winding down the first step (Network Dependency Mapping). So I’ll be back soon with more about that.

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Inside Cisco IT: Enabling the Collaboration Culture

After too long, business is becoming more immediate and visual.

Think of it this way – a couple of thousand years ago business was often done in a market place or trading post, face to face in person. Technology meant supply lines and trade was able to extend geographically so business had to be conducted in part, with asynchronous delayed communication by post and then the telegraph. Read More »

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IoE and Big Data Part 1: Evaluating Use Cases

There’s no question that the Internet of Everything (IoE) and all of the data it generates will revolutionize core business functions. The challenge today is how to prepare your organization so it can get the most benefit from the arrival of IoE connectivity and big data. One approach is to look at the IoE opportunity in two parts: Evaluating use cases (discussed in this post) and defining the information architecture (covered in an upcoming Part 2). Read More »

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Why Videography is Important to Cisco IT

I am a videographer in Cisco IT. Often when I introduce myself, people are either intrigued or utterly confused. Cisco is full of software and hardware engineers, IT architects, IP telephony wizards, and sales account managers galore. Where does videography fit in? Read More »

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5 Tips for Building an Effective Continuous Delivery Team

Becoming part of a continuous delivery team can seem daunting. Being tasked with creating one, even more so. But it doesn’t have to be that way. Taking a step-by-step approach and having your end goal in mind can get you and your team there intact. Here are some tips that I follow as we move toward continuous delivery in a way that is sustainable for my business partners and my team, and that minimizes risk to delivery. Read More »

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