At the recent CiscoLive event in San Francisco, Soni Jiandani, Senior Vice President of Cisco INSBU, expanded on the industry momentum for Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). She highlighted wide ranging customers and ecosystem partners that are discovering ACI’s architectural potential to drive enormous simplification of cloud and application delivery.
Now it’s possible to quantify ACI benefits in economic terms. IDC has just completed an in-depth analysis projecting ACI’s three year return in one of the largest data center environments in the world, Cisco’s own IT Elastic Infrastructure Services (CITEIS).
Cisco IT runs over 4000 applications, on both virtualized and bare-metal machines, stores 40 PB of data and inspects over 27 TB of traffic daily. CITEIS is a private cloud environment integrating ACI for policy driven network provisioning and operations for a variety of dynamic workloads.
IDC points out that Cisco IT’s decision to use its Cisco ACI technology “was not a foregone conclusion — Cisco’s IT team uses many technologies and solutions from other vendors” to meet its primary responsibilities of improving company-wide productivity, security and asset utilization while reducing the risk of business transitions over time. Now that “ACI testing and trial runs have been completed, the results yield detailed calculations of ACI’s impact on IT operations, including IT infrastructure spending, the efficiency of IT operations including application deployments, and the incidence of downtime.”
Specifically, IDC found “Automated provisioning in areas such as datacenter access (62.1% projected time savings), access control lists (53.0%), local server load balancing (55.5%), global server load balancing (72.4%), and fleet provisioning (58.0%) will be achieved through the creation and maintenance of provisioning templates.” Cumulatively, this results in a 41% savings on both Opex and Capex, using a conservative bottom-up approach. IDC also quantified (20%) downtime reduction and (45%) power and space savings. “IDC believes that the projections are well founded and that these benefits are of the type and scope that organizations can reasonably expect to attain by deploying a policy-based infrastructure solution. IDC conducted several interviews with IT managers and analyzed “Before” and “After” metrics for common provisioning tasks as well as Capex reductions due to ACI’s dynamic isolation capabilities within a shared production environment.
According to Rebecca Jacoby, SVP and CIO, Cisco, “ACI’s policy based architecture will bring the promise of infrastructure programmability to the masses. It makes every datacenter operator able to effectively create policies that can be used, reused, and deployed in a much simpler and more efficient manner — and use the staff that is currently spending all their time in running the network and the security protocols, to do much more strategic things.”