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How We Migrate Hundreds of Applications to the New ACI Platform

I am in the trenches of our migration to an Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) platform, helping my team transition hundreds of applications. Cisco IT has broken down the migration process into nine steps:

  1. Complete network dependency mapping. In this exercise, the applications team validates the mapping of Java Virtual Machines (JVMs) to databases, for upstream and downstream applications.
  2. Build the ACI fabric in parallel with the existing infrastructure using Nexus 9000 Series Switches.
  3. Install seed compute into ACI fabric.
  4. Connect fabric to traditional network via uplinks.
  5. Define endpoint groups (EPGs) and network application profile.
  6. Install seed storage into ACI fabric.
  7. Move application to ACI. This move can take hours or days depending on the size and complexity of the application.
  8. Move storage and compute units.
  9. Iterate: identify next application(s) to set up and migrate.
aci-migration

ACI App Migration Diagram

The nearly 200 applications that I’m working on spread across multiple Cisco IT services and fall under Customer Care. They include

  • Install Base
  • Product Support
  • Case Management
  • Consulting Service Delivery
  • Service Order, Return, and Repair Management
  • Service Parts Planning and Inventory Management
  • Customer Entitlement and Access Request Management
  • Customer Service Delivery Platform

In my role as an ACI Prime, I’m responsible for steps 1, 5, 7, 8, and 9 of the migration process. I work closely with IT architects, IT managers, and my infrastructure partners to execute the remainder of the steps. The application space is complex as multiple applications are tied to a single database. Applications need to be moved in a logical grouping. The size of one application and the size of a group of applications drive the network component. I work with several application teams and infrastructure partners to coordinate the move. We work in an agile way and have a good Scrum cadence.

Over the next few months, as my team completes the ACI migration steps that I’m responsible for, I will share my experience and lessons learned with you. Stay tuned, as we are winding down the first step (Network Dependency Mapping). So I’ll be back soon with more about that.

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Agile Enterprise Architecture Increases IT Relevance

Five years ago, Cisco started on an enterprise architecture journey to unify business strategy with IT investments. Today, all of our planning and decision-making is based on an agile, well-defined architecture-based framework. Read More »

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Enable Automated Big Data Workloads with Cisco Tidal Enterprise Scheduler

In our previous big data blogs, a number of my Cisco associates have talked about the right infrastructure, the right sizing, the right integrated infrastructure management and the right provisioning and orchestration for your clusters. But, to gain the benefits of pervasive use of big data,  you’ll need to accelerate your big data deployments and make a seamless pivot of your “back of the data center” science experiment into the standard data center operational processes to speed delivery of the value of these new analytics workloads.

If you are using a “free” (hint: nothing’s free), or open source workload scheduler, or even a solution that can manage day-to-day batch jobs, you may run into problems right off the bat. Limitations may come in the form of dependency management, calendaring, error recovery, role-based access control and SLA management.

And really, this is just the start of your needs for full-scale, enterprise-grade workload automation for Big Data environments! As the number of your mission-critical big data workloads increases, predictable execution and performance will become essential.

Lucky for you Cisco has exactly what you need! Read More »

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How Is Cisco IT Benefiting from Application Centric Infrastructure?

Cisco IT has already started reaping the benefits of Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) from our early internal deployments. Cost savings rank high, in decreased operating expenditures through automation enabled by ACI and the sharp reduction of manual processes that introduce human errors and operational risk.   Read More »

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Cisco ACI Fabric Simplifies and Flattens Data Center Network

On July 18th, Cisco IT turned on the first deployment of Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) fabric at its engineering data center in San Jose. By using ACI fabric to simplify and flatten the data center network, we can reduce network operating costs as much as 55 percent and incident management roughly 20 percent. Take a peek at the ACI fabric inside our engineering data center:  Read More »

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