By now, given all the launch and blogging activity activity over the past week or so, I am sure your understanding of and interest in Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) will have grown.   Many of you will be asking “how do I get started as quickly as possible?”, and “how can I free up some time and resources to investigate?”  You understand the “what” – now, as I blogged recently on SDN, it’s time to understand more about the “why” and take action on the “how”.   How then do you get off that start line as quickly as possible?

Get Set To Go With ACI
Get Set To Go With ACI

As with many things in life, it helps if you get help from someone who has “been there” and “done that”.  And that’s where Cisco Services comes in, as Scott Clark, the VP for our Data Center Services team, introduced  last week.  So let’s talk about why Cisco Services should be your partner in this application centric world, and what services can help you.

The Cisco Services team been working with Insieme since their inception, right through to their acquisition into Cisco.  So we have experts in our team who are already well versed in Application Centric Infrastructure, who have been engaged during the ACI development and who already know the core deployment intellectual property inside out

Not only this – if you have followed my blogs around our Cisco Domain TenSM framework for data center transformation, you will recognize that the introduction of ACI will call upon our skills and experiences in multiple domains – not only networking, but applications, operations management, and orchestration.  We already have consultants who are experienced in networking DevOps and software development, and also in operations management (where of course ACI will introduce the need for operations challenges).

To finalize the case for Cisco Services as your partner of choice to improve your application agility, Cisco Services have been leading all ACI early adopter/beta programs – so our consultants have “been there” and “done that” already with this transformational new technology.

Adding to our already extensive portfolio of data center and Cisco ONE services, we’ve also released a range of specific service offers to enable you to investigate and quickly start deploying the Cisco 9000 switches, which form the basis of ACI implementations.

To get you started with the new Cisco Nexus 9000 switches, we have a few options to help you get off that start line quickly.

The Cisco Quick Start Service for Nexus 9000 provides initial consulting support to quickly get a Cisco Nexus 9000 device up and running in your lab environment.  If you need to ramp up quickly to production deployment, the Cisco Accelerated Deployment Services for Nexus 9000 support rapid transition to an application-centric architecture. And in the rush to ACI, don’t forget about the organizational and process implications of introducing a cross disciplinary approach such as ACI.  Therefore don’t forget about our Cisco Data Center Services for Operations Enablement, which help prepare your operational processes and organizational alignment for ACI  (my blogs here and here on the Operations “domain” of the Cisco Domain Ten model may help you understand more in this area).

It goes without saying that our award-winning Cisco Technical Services are also available for the Cisco Nexus 9000, with Cisco Product Support is available globally 24 hours daily for Cisco software and hardware products associated with the Cisco Nexus 9000. Enhanced Cisco-delivered support also includes Cisco SMARTnet or Cisco Smart Net Total Care.

Finally and fundamentally, also very relevant are the Cisco Services to Secure Data Center Infrastructure, namely the Cisco Data Center Security Design Assessment Service helps you understand your security infrastructure design and how it aligns with your security policy; and the Cisco Data Center Security ASA Migration Service helps you migrate your third-party or Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) platform, including configurations and firewall rules, to a virtualized environment.

So if you do decide that you want to accelerate your success with ACI, please do contact your Cisco account team  or email as-aci-support@cisco.com and ask about the services I’ve described above!


Stephen Speirs

SP Product Management

Cisco Customer Experience (CX)