Yesterday, Mike Cohen’s post Networking Containers: Policy Finally Comes of Age appeared on the Open Networking User Group blog site.  He talks about the tremendous interest among application developers to use Linux containers to develop, deploy, and operate applications.  Containers and microservices simplify complex application development into smaller, less risky software components with the benefits of portability and speed.

Like cloud and big data, containers and microservices will transform the traffic in your data center infrastructure.  As applications are disaggregated into many component services, each service now becomes an endpoint to be accessed and shared across the network.

Moving to a container-based microservices architecture will increase the number of addressable endpoints in the data center by an order of magnitude or more.  (See “The Impact of Containers and Microservices” below)

Cisco anticipated these forwarding scale and associated bandwidth requirements by releasing a new generation of Nexus 9000 switches based upon what we call Cloud Scale ASIC technology that delivers up to 12X the IPv6 routes, increased end host scale, increased end point density, and much greater network segmentation.

Finally, the blog makes the connection that tools like Docker Compose and  Kubernetes already use aspects of application policy and therefore it would be quite simple to use policy to automate the networks for these containers.

Container PolicyThe open source Project Contiv compliments application intent to enable operational intent to specify infrastructure and policies for network, storage and compute.

At Cisco, we’ve been talking about using Group Based Policy for awhile.

And Cisco ACI  supports Group Based Policy  and the same high level Application Policy Model works with all of these workload types – Bare-metal, VMware ESX, Microsoft Hyper-V, KVM, Xen, containers, and L4-L7 services.


To learn more about Cisco innovations in networking come join us at ONUG Spring May 9-11, at:

ONUG Academy

Monday May 9th 9:00AM-12:00PM

Hands On Container Networking with Contiv

Wednesday May 11th

Townhall Meeting and After Party 4:00PM-9:00PM



For More Information

Networking Containers: Policy Finally Comes of Age

Group-Based Policy: Using Intent to Manage Infrastructure

Integrate Cisco ACI with Docker Containers White Paper

Cisco ACI Policy Model spans Physical, Virtual and Container based environments

Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller Driver for OpenStack Group-Based Policy

Group-Based Policy

See “The Impact of Containers and Microservices” in “Why Network Silicon Innovation Is Critical to Next-Generation Datacenters” by Brad Casemore, Feb 2016



Harry Petty


Data Center and Cloud Marketing