Class is in session
Class is in session

As I start to explore more and more information about Software-Defined Networking and Programmability in the Nexus portfolio, I’ve been fortunate that there have been a lot of people helping me learn along the way.  I thought I’d share some of these as it gave me a bit more insight into some of the more holistic perspectives that I’ve been trying to get my head wrapped around lately.

I’m still starting off at a rather high level, though I’m spending more and more time getting deeper into the tech. Every once in a while, though, I need to look up and make sure that I’m swimming in the right direction. It’s really easy to get mired in the details and forget the bigger picture.

One of the things that was brought to my attention was this webinar on the Data Center Network Evolution, which is held in conjunction with a research report done by ZK Research.

First, the webinar looks at the way that data centers are evolving to handle some of the unanticipated needs of modern deployments. After all, when networking infrastructure was originally installed, it was highly unlikely that conversations about “Cloud,” (yes, I said it, how could I not?) “virtualization,” “network programmability,” and “automation” were part of the design sessions.

Well, perhaps they were, but somehow I think it was quite rare.

The webinar breaks this down into three simple concepts:

  1. Why is the data center network under pressure
  2. What is the industry seeing from a third party perspective
  3. What have other customer experience?

The guest speaker is Zeus Kerravala, Founder and Principle Analyst at ZK Research, and he covers the industry angle. Zeus provides a perspective on IT as a Service, which shows how data center architecture can support evolving applications, pooling of IT resources, and deployment of new IT service models.

If you want a quick teaser trailer, you can watch a short clip from the webcast:

The second thing that I thought was rather interesting was how people are actually using Nexus gear in real-world solutions. Zeus’s company put together a really well-done report on this, and I was particularly interested to see how The Apollo Group and NTT DATA were using Cisco kit to solve some of those pesky problems of growth and cover all the bases – yes, even storage – and make some serious gains in operational power and flexibility.

In fact, there’s a bit of information at a Cisco landing site on the Data Center Network that I wasn’t even aware about with a few whitepapers. If you’re pressed for time, but still want to get a good depth and breadth of knowledge at about the 6500-foot level, there are a few good starting points there on ACI, Nexus Unified Fabric, and best practices.

I’m still working my way through this new world, but I know that times are changing fast, and I – like data centers in general – need to be prepared for this innovation and growth. With luck, you may find this useful as well.


J Metz

Sr. Product Manager

Data Center Group