IT organizations are constantly looking for ways to streamline operations, take advantage of new capabilities, and adopt technologies that can reduce IT lead-time thus improving service to the business. Many  enterprises are adopting hybrid cloud and virtualization capabilities as a part of overall data center transformation. Increase utilization, Reduce costs, Automate  the data center.  These are all strategic activities that  companies are embarking on to remain competitive in their Industry. Software Defined Networking (SDN) provides core capabilities that enhance hybrid cloud and virtualization solutions.

A good SDN converges the management of network and application services into a centralized, consolidated solution that automates provisioning and configuration of the entire network. It is not enough to just centralize management but leave the complextites of a legacy network in place.  The language of the network must be transformed to enable centralized IT policies that deliver a modern infrastructure that can deploy new applications and services in a matter of minutes verses days or weeks that were previously required. Simplicity and faster time to value; reduced operating expenses; easy scalability; and enhanced security. The benefits are real and Cisco’s SDN solution,  Application Centeric Infrastructure ,provides them.   Cisco customers are seeing application deployment time reduced by over 85% and boosting the efficiency of network operations staff by over 75%.

Cisco Software Defined Networking is delivered through Cisco Nexus 9000 switches and Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). Cisco ACI uses a unique application-based policy model to blend the mapping of hardware and software capabilities for software defined networking. The policy based approach of Cisco ACI offers unique automation and agility of the network that doesn’t only apply to Virtual Machines but to all network attached devices in the DataCenter. Cisco ACI is open and programmable allowing you to leverage APIs and a global partner ecosystem. It enhances security and analytics through policy enforcement, enhanced security with a whitelist model, and micro-segmentation. And it provides workload mobility at scale, allowing you to deploy, scale, and migrate applications seamlessly across multiple hybrid data centers.

To help customers take advantage of the business and IT benefits of ACI, Cisco has partnered with IBM Global Technology Services. IBM has built a full lifecycle service on top of Cisco ACI.  This service assists customers in realizing the complete benefits of ACI including software based programmability, automated control of networks, network function virtualization, and network virtualization to give businesses the much-needed IT agility and support for hybrid cloud and IT-as-a-service deployments.

IBM provides complete lifecycle services for SDN including: high-level architecture, selection and procurement of components, installation and integration, and solution deployment and testing, and training. To learn about how IBM helps customers transform their data center networks using Cisco ACI, watch the video located under “Optimize your network” here. To learn more about the Cisco and IBM alliance, you can visit the IBM alliance page here.


Jeff Gatz

Manager, Sales Development

Global Enterprise - Business Development