Enterprise IT today spends a huge amount of resources maintaining the network. These resources could otherwise be used to drive innovation. When IT infrastructure is too rigid or complex to keep up with new business demands, you end up with a bottleneck, and business suffers. To alleviate these problems, the Cisco Nexus data center provides an industry-leading, rich ecosystem of automation solutions, with the foundation being Cisco NX-OS, the industry’s most extensible, open, and programmable network operating system for data centers.

With that in mind, we are pleased to announce a new automation solution partnership between Cisco NX-OS and SaltStack, which provides unique, event-driven automation to solve complex data center network security and configuration management challenges.


How Cisco NX-OS and SaltStack together benefits our customers

Specifically, Cisco NX-OS provides an open abstraction layer that allows SaltStack minions to be hosted on Nexus switches within the guestshell, or as part of an off-box solution, leveraging the Salt Proxy Minion. Customers can manage the entire Nexus portfolio through a common interface, enabling end-to-end automation. By providing a common simplified solution, IT teams can focus on innovating and optimizing network up-times, minimizing downtime and increasing end user satisfaction.


“SaltStack exists to help enterprise IT organizations manage and secure every component of their digital business infrastructure. We do this by delivering solutions to address the most pressing challenges in IT operations, network operations, and security operations. We are seeing substantial demand from our customers to apply SaltStack intelligent, event-driven automation to complex software-defined networks. To this end, we are thrilled to be working closely with Cisco to create a unique offering specifically designed to automate the control of network infrastructure that is growing exponentially year over year.”

–  Marc Chenn, SaltStack CEO


“Cisco is working closely with customers to optimize IT infrastructure uptime and simplify operations through intent-based network fabric automation. Support for SaltStack event-driven automation with Cisco NX-OS provides customers an option to manage large-scale Nexus fabrics in a programmatic way, from defining configurations to monitoring and remediating issues.”

Thomas Scheibe – VP, Cisco Data Center


Case study video: How IBM Cloud uses SaltStack and Cisco for network automation at massive scale

SaltStack event-driven automation for the Cisco NX-OS network operating system is now available from the SaltStack Enterprise platform. This intelligent IT automation solution includes parallel execution of system commands to deliver unprecedented speed and scale when managing network infrastructure.

“Cisco and SaltStack have delivered unique and unified command and control of any component of the software-defined data center to give enterprise organizations such as IBM Cloud the ability to abstract the management and security of their production networks at massive scale.”

–  Thomas Hatch, SaltStack CTO


Demo: See how Cisco NX-OS and SaltStack automate switch upgrades

 Resources and documentation: 

  1. SaltStack blog post
  2. IBM Cloud case study video
  3. Execution Module
  4. State Module
  5. Documentation
  6. Off-box container for Salt Master and NX-OS apps
  7. On-box container for Salt Minion on Nexus 9000


Emmeline Wong

Product Marketing Specialist

Data Center Marketing