It’s that time of year again. Next week in San Francisco, an estimated 22,000 customers and partners will convene for our annual Cisco Live user conference in the U.S. It’s also when we make big announcements … and this year is no different. The event hasn’t even started and we just made our first major announcement this morning.

In today’s press release, we announced that Cisco is delivering on our vision for Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) – including the release of the new Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) later this summer. In that same time frame, we’ll be releasing version 5.0 of Cisco UCS Director – including APIC integration and support for ACI.

Cisco UCS Director is unique in the industry because it offers the ability to automate the provisioning of both virtual and physical data center infrastructure resources – including compute, network, and storage – from a single management console. Building upon other recent releases, this major new release of UCS Director provides richer automation, greater extensibility, and broader device support. Some of the new capabilities in UCS Director version 5.0 include:

  • Support for APIC and the Nexus 9000 Series to provide automated deployment of application-ready infrastructure across both traditional and ACI-based data center networking from a single user interface.
  • Enhancements to the core platform including a new software development kit and open APIs that allow third party hardware and software vendors to integrate directly with UCS Director.
  • Expanded support for Cisco’s complete UCS and Nexus product portfolio; third-party compute, storage, and virtualization vendors’ products; and integrated infrastructure systems including NetApp FlexPod, VCE Vblock Systems, and EMC VSPEX.
  • Rapid customer deployment and even faster time-to-value with over 800 pre-built tasks in the updated UCS Director task library.

You can learn more about what’s new in UCS Director 5.0 in this “at-a-glance” overview:

Automated Deployment of Application-Ready Infrastructure

In today’s data center environments, speed and operational efficiency are even more important than ever before. The increasing pace of the business is driving the need for more agile and accelerated application development processes, and in turn the applications teams are placing greater pressure on IT infrastructure teams.  The mantra in many organizations is “automate everything” to eliminate the time-consuming, manual, and repetitive tasks of day-to-day IT infrastructure operations – and deliver fast IT.keep calm and automate everything

Of course, this is easier said than done. Provisioning a virtual machine may only take a few few minutes – but it’s about much more than just VM provisioning. In many cases, the rest of the infrastructure required to support a multi-tier application is deployed manually; the end-to-end process to deliver the specified infrastructure for the web server, app server, and database server may take several days or several weeks.  And it’s complicated by the silos and complex hand-offs between the server, network, storage, security, and application development teams.

With ACI and UCS Director, Cisco provides end-to-end automation for the deployment of application-ready infrastructure. APIC defines policy-based application network profiles and provides a single point of control for ACI fabric. UCS Director creates and provisions programmable application infrastructure containers – encapsulating the VM as well as physical server and storage requirements, along with the the networking requirements and Layer 4-7 network services (e.g. load balancers, firewalls).  By leveraging the application network profiles from APIC and service profiles from Cisco UCS Manager, and through integration with the hypervisor and storage element managers, UCS Director can ensure that all application infrastructure elements are in synch.

Together, APIC and UCS Director enable the automated deployment of the end-to-end infrastructure required to meet the needs of a specific multi-tier application (e.g. for performance, scale, security, environment isolation) – delivering application-ready infrastructure within minutes.  UCS Director can also provide similar application infrastructure provisioning for non-ACI fabric.  This enables infrastructure automation for both traditional data center networking fabric and ACI fabric from a single management interface, providing additional investment protection and a migration path over time for our customers.  It can also be used in conjunction with Cisco Prime Service Catalog (a key component of Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud) to enable the configuration of application blueprints and ordering of complete application stacks.

The support for ACI is one of the highlights of the new UCS Director version 5.0, and you can learn more about it in this technical demonstration or in the following solution brief:


Customers around the world – from the U.S., to Chile, to Germany, to Australia and Japan – are realizing the benefits and value of Cisco UCS Director.  Whether for Vblock or FlexPod, for UCS or multi-vendor heterogeneous environments, for ACI or traditional networking fabric, UCS Director provides a unified infrastructure automation solution for your data center.

So if you’re one of the 22,000 going to Cisco Live in San Francisco, make sure you check out what’s new in version 5.0.  We’ll be showing live demos at Cisco’s Data Center booth in the World of Solutions expo, many of our technology partners are also showcasing their integration with UCS Director at the expo, and there are several breakout sessions featuring UCS Director during the conference – including sessions on the management and automation of ACI with UCS Director.

If you won’t be at the event, you can get more information at cisco.com/go/ucsdirector.