This summer, I started teaching Leadership and character building to my 8-year-old son. To get some structure to the plan, I bought a good book which was organized into value based chapters and exercises. I would read one chapter with him everyday and complete the exercises at the end of the chapter. I had no idea that this seemingly simple routine would turn out to be a leadership refresher and eye opener for me. When I thought of character, values like honesty, integrity, humility etc flashed through the mind. Finding “Best effort” and “Empathy” in the list of good character traits was attention grabbing if not surprising.

Organizations too have a character just like individuals. Creating products that exhibit “Best effort” and “empathy” with customer should be in the DNA of value driven organizations. At Cisco, this is evident in the APIC-EM manageability product suite. APIC-EM is Cisco’s Software Defined Networking (SDN) controller for enterprise networks. It delivers an elastic platform for policy-based automation that simplifies and abstracts the network.APICEM provides SDN approach for WAN in IWAN application, new device onboarding through PnP application, and network visibility through Path Trace application.

APIC-EM’s Application Visibility and Control (AVC) with static QoS policy and dynamic QoS policy manifests philosophy of “Best effort” and “Empathy”. Older generation of networking QoS solution required tons of configurations by the customer. Policy creation with IP address, port, device ID, minimum and maximum data rates, flow based priority setting, dozens of rules and their order of precedence, and the list goes on. Most recent QoS solution with APIC-EM goes deeper into customer’s heart and captures his intent expressed through intuitive interface with minimum number of steps. The system then translates business intent into elaborate network level configurations as required by network devices. Business intent is captured by identifying business relevant applications through a drag and drop interface. The interface then identifies a scope for the policy. System takes care of translating the intent into classification and marking at queue level. It also allows cloning of business intents and application of same business intent over both wired and wireless network. Keeping up with the promise of “empathy” APIC-EM does not penalize users for human errors. It allows users to completely rollback on previous decisions or even abort a transaction in the middle. Policy provisioning solution also includes Dynamic creation of a policy when triggered by an external call server like Lync . APIC-EM exposes northbound APIs for enabling dynamic policy creation and tear down. EZQoS demo can be found here:


Henry Ford said, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses”. Imagine people expressing there intent of faster horses through an intuitive interface and having a car appear on their doorstep the very next moment!!



Sadaf Fardeen

Engineering Manager, Software Development

CSG PI Services