Cisco’s ACI to innovate the SDN market

Software-defined networks have become more important to the data centre industry as more operators seek solutions to better manage their systems. As the technology continues to mature, more businesses are showing interest in the service and what potential benefits it has to offer. However, many vendors and organizations are still attempting to innovate the offering to better meet specific needs without compromising overall performance. Cisco recently announced a product that will directly build on what SDN currently provides and respond with more advanced features to further innovate business infrastructure.

Cisco recently bought assets from Insieme Networks to create the Application Centric Infrastructure, which will put the networking company in the SDN market. According to ComputerWeekly, the new hardware will have an updated NX-OS operating system with a Nexus 9000 portfolio and the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller for centralizing management tasks. This product will help extend the Nexus 9000 family and unify physical and virtual infrastructure governance. The ACI will help adopters decrease their total cost of ownership as it only requires existing hardware rather than a new system. Cisco’s response will increase efficiency and responsiveness in deploying applications by significantly reducing the time it takes to make changes or provision the apps.

“ACI gives every administrator, whether they are focused on networking, security, storage, platforms or network services, the same view and the same single point of management for the whole IT infrastructure,” Cisco CEO John Chambers said, according to the source.

Innovating SDN capabilities
As SDN becomes more popular among enterprises, organizations will need to ensure that they choose the right solution for their particular needs. According to the Cisco Canada blog, SDN can help lessen the mounting complexity of networking and boost efficiency when using the solution. Because of numerous solutions and protocols that have entered  the market, there are still many factors that businesses must consider when using SDN, like the various requirements that are placed on the system based on the type of infrastructure it’s implemented in. For example, data centre needs will be drastically different than an enterprise, however, both can benefit from using the product effectively. Cisco’s ACI response to SDN will include next generation regulations, allowing the adopters to still gain benefits from their current hardware.

While SDN may be complex for many, Cisco’s additions may prove to be more user-friendly. According to GigaOM contributor Vess Bakalov, performance management and control systems could soon merge to offer both physical and virtual metrics on one screen, which will enable better responsiveness. Cisco’s unified initiative may expand upon this idea and make it come to life with its ACI product.

“If the industry is going to shift from simple performance monitoring to more advanced performance management, these applications must understand the resource dependencies and constraints in a virtualized network environment and be able to work in tandem with the controllers to recommend optimal utilization,” Bakalov wrote.

For SDN and Cisco’s new ACI technology, businesses may find it advantageous to invest in managed IT services to successfully implement the solutions. To find out more about these solutions, visit leading provider FlexITy today.