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How Cisco ACI Stands out from other Network Virtualization Solutions – Part 2

[Note: This is part 2 in a three part series of blogs discussing how Cisco ACI stands alone in the market. Part 1 | Part 3]

In part 1 we talked about how Cisco ACI simplifies diagnosis and enables DevOps Model compared to competing network virtualization solutions.

In this blog we’ll explore two additional critical scenarios that affect network IT teams. We’ll look at it from ACI perspective and compare that to other network virtualization solutions.

1) ACI Provides Proactive SLA Assurance

IT organizations are pressed to track and provide SLA especially for productivity and critical business applications. The challenge is typically around how to actively monitor SLA for specific app and how fast to go about improving SLA in case it drops below certain level?

In this scenario, IT wants the ability to monitor health score for a customer facing app and to be able to correlate performance degradation across the network to locate the problem. With ACI, you get real-time healthscore dashboard as well as built-in intelligence in the fabric to load balance application traffic as congestion occurs to meet SLA requirements. Also, the integration of L4-7 devices with APIC allows fault correlation across loadbalancers and firewalls to locate the problem.

In comparison to competing network virtualization solutions, they are unable to natively demonstrate real-time view of traffic/ application pattern, or automatically load balance traffic in case of congestion or link failure as well as limited integration with underlay to locate cause of problem.

See Joe Onisick explaining this here

2) ACI Designed For High Application Performance

In the new era of applications that require the highest performance from networks, we’ve seen leaf spine architectures becoming more common to optimize traffic patterns and minimize number of hops that packets traverse the network. So it is important the architecture is able to support both physical and virtual applications without complicated configurations or additional Layer 3 gateways that may impact performance.

In this scenario, users are experiencing application performance problem related to data residing on bare-metal DB server. Let’s look at how ACI architecture will handle this? First, the ACI fabric is automatically discovered and configured thus minimizing amount of time required to bring up switches and configure them. Second, every leaf switch which can be top-of-rack is a Layer 3 gateway for both physical and virtual workloads. Third, all are managed from a central location, APIC. Lastly, every packet is two hops away maximum from its destination within the data center and delivery of small packets won’t suffer in the presence of large packets.

This is unlike what customers may find in competing network virtualization solutions that require additional Layer 3 gateways. The result is likely to have impact on application performance, increased latency, and additional cost.

See Joe Onisick detailing this here

Tags: ACIapplication networking servicesdata centerproductsSDNtechnologyvirtualization

Criteria for SDN/NFV Vendor Selection – Heads Up on Cisco Live

Cisco Live US 2015 is just around the corner, and will start in San Diego on June 7th, running through Thursday 11th June.  I’m surprised and honoured to be one of the folks wearing a “Cisco Live Speaker” shirt, and I’m looking forward to sharing some of what I’ve been working on over the past year or two.

I’ll be basing a lot of my presentation off of as yet unpublished, independent market research, into the challenges of SDN and NFV adoption, some of which are illustrated in the diagram below.  The final copy of this brand new market research report landed on my desk just last weekend – May 23rd 2015.  Hot off the press, it was funded by Cisco but conducted completely independently by a leading market research company.  The intent of this report is to guide our SDN and NFV professional services strategy. Some of the insights, however, are too useful not to share with you!  Covering a global audience, with separate questionnaires for service provider and enterprise businesses, we had set out to increase our understanding of the latest challenges of adoption of SDN and NFV as appopriate in (enterprise) businesses, including public sector, and service provider markets.

Some of the Topics in my Cisco Live Presentation

Questions I Will Discuss In My Cisco Live Presentation

 

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Deliver Infrastructure at the Speed of Need

Smart devices give us access to information and services at the speed of need. But they have conditioned us to expect anything and everything faster — and that includes IT services. This expectation for speed coupled with modern technology is driving IT innovation.  Yet, in most organizations, delivery of consistent infrastructure to application or business teams is just not fast enough.  Cisco ONE Enterprise Cloud Suite contains infrastructure automation that changes that by letting you deliver IT services within minutes.

A component of the Cisco ONE Enterprise Cloud Suite, Cisco UCS Director was introduced over two years ago and has proven to deliver consistent infrastructure instances across Cisco and multi-vendor compute, network, storage and virtualization components within minutes.  Customers frequently comment on the following outcomes:

  • Efficiency: operational efficiencies that are a result of consistent infrastructure delivery virtually eliminating rework or expensive troubleshooting delays experienced from human configuration errors
  • Staffing: ability to delegate junior IT staff to infrastructure duties, which frees up experienced staff to focus on more strategic projects
  • Innovation: IT’s ability to manage more infrastructure with the same staffing levels opens up opportunities for the business to allocate resources towards implementing new products and solutions

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Announcing #SelfieBINGO fun for Cisco Live! #CLUS

SelfieBingo SampleOne of the things I love about Cisco Live is seeing old friends and meeting new ones. Especially fun is meeting people I’ve known on Twitter!  To help increase this fun, I’m announcing SelfieBINGO! Hopefully, this will strengthen our community (offline and on) and give people a great reason to make new friends.

Between now and June 3rd I’ll be collecting twitter handles, names, and hints on where people will be. Then I’ll print up a few bingo cards, and anyone who wants to can join in on the fun!  Details below on how to be part of SelfieBINGO and then how to play!

Want to be on a Bingo Card? – Do This First:

3 options: Leave a comment on this blog, ping me on Twitter (@Lauren, #SelfieBingo), or fill out this sekret form with:

  1. Your Twitter handle
  2. Your real name (first & last)
  3. (Optionally) a hint on where you’ll be.

At Cisco Live:

Pick up a #SelfieBINGO card at the social meetup on Sunday, at the Community party Monday night, and in the Social Media hub or in the Data Center booth throughout the week.  And yes, I’ll update this / tweet excessively with more details.

How to play: Read More »

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ITD: Winner of the Best of Interop 2015

When the Best of Interop 2015 award winners were announced at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center in Las Vegas, the ITD team members couldn’t control their emotions. This team is well known to work in a startup-mode — comes up with new ideas, builds a prototype, demonstrates it to the executives and SEs, goes into execution mode, and delivers a world class solution.

As the leader of this team, I was asked by several media representatives for an interview. Here is an interview by Information Week news desk (watch full-screen for HD):

ITD (Intelligent Traffic Director) is now shipping on Nexus 9k/7k/5k series of switches.

Here is an informative blog on ITD.

 

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