[Note: If you like hearing these customer perspectives, register today for our upcoming live ACI webcast: “Is Your Data Center Ready for the Application Economy”, January 13, 2015, 9 AM PT, Noon ET, featuring more ACI customers and several key ACI technology partners.]

Happy New Year to everyone! I thought this would be a great opportunity now that everyone is back into the swing of work to highlight a couple of customer presentations from last month at the Gartner Data Center Conference in Las Vegas. Cisco hosted a 30 minute session on our Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) and we invited two customers, Acxiom and Symantec, to present their use cases and experience in deploying ACI so far.

These Gartner conferences attract primarily CIO and high-level IT executives, and it’s no secret that they prefer hearing from industry peers rather than vendor product pitches. Kamal Kharrat from Acxiom and Vince Spina from Symantec both do a great job talking about real benefits from their deployment and the reasons they chose ACI as a primary platform for their SDN strategy.


Gartner ACI Session

Kamal KharratAcxiom Highlights: Kamal talks about some of the benefits they have realized, including the increased business agility in terms of application deployments and updates in a more dynamic world, coupled with OpEx savings from IT task automation in the data center. This IT automation also includes error reduction over manual processes and configurations, as well as enhanced security across the environment.

Kamal goes on to talk about some of the ROI they have seen already, such as reducing application configuration steps from 149 to 7 with ACI process automation. When he talks about why they specifically chose ACI over other SDN or IT process automation solutions, he points to the greater visibility of the physical network with ACI, as well as the integration of L4-7 application services and security, rather than just network automation.

Vince Spina
Vince Spina

Symantec Highlights: Vince talked about how they are implementing ACI in their next generation data center as they bring many of their IT services in-house from a managed provider. The goal of their SDN/Automation strategy was to simplify operations and continue to run with minimal overhead while increasing business agility. They were looking to automate service delivery while accelerating application roll-outs, and this included a holistic management of physical and virtual devices.

Vince summarized why they chose ACI by describing the secure multi-tenancy it provides, better visibility and correlation between physical and virtual networks, as well as reduced OpEx. Vince also talked about their experience with the Nexus 9000 switches they are running ACI across, which he says are “powerful, flexible and cost-competitive” (with or without ACI).


Gary Kinghorn

Sr Solution Marketing Manager

Network Virtualization and SDN