The technology conglomerate Cisco has announced updates to its software-defined networking (SDN) offering, Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) last Thursday. And according to its representatives, the update comes as the company intends to simplify network management for the growing number of customers adopting complex, multi-cloud strategies.

The latest release (ACI 3.0) offers improved security and simplified management for any combination of workloads in containers, virtual machines, and moree! Cisco’s SVP for Data Center Networking Ish Limkakeng, says that by automating basic IT operations with a central policy, ACI’s new multi-site management capability helps network operators easily move and manage workloads more! He adds that it’s a significant step in delivering Cisco’s vision for enabling ACI Anywhere.

Simplifying Network Management and Improving Security Across Complex Environments

Originally gaining its popularity in 2013, ACI was launched as the new Cisco Cloud Strategy that minimizes data center complexity by combining both the physical and virtual infrastructures into one single network! 

ACI allows consumers to run applications on public and private clouds by provisioning then on both infrastructures. And with the increasing number of companies interested in embracing hybrid cloud environments, Cisco announced in August that it intends to move beyond data centers. The company said it was already devising ways of bringing its ACI to public clouds such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure. 

The update comes with new features such as multi-site management that allows users to connect and manage ACI fabrics. Limkakeng explains that the new multi-site management feature helps simplify disaster recovery and makes scaling out applications much easier. He also said that as their users shift to multi-cloud strategies, they are now looking for newer Cisco systems strategy that makes processes easier!

Another great feature of the update is the integration of Kubernetes. This feature will allow customers to deploy workloads as microservices in containers, define ACI network constructs and unify them into containers. 

Enterprise Strategy Group analyst Dan Conde explains that with the new Cisco software strategy, ACI Anywhere, the company will be able to deliver scalable solutions that help consumers to succeed. He adds that the new integration with the container cluster managers makes it a modern offering for the market!

Cisco’s ACI 

Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure is the company’s take on Software Defined Networking. The tightly coupled policy-driven solution combines the Cisco Nexus 9000 family of switches as its hardware with software such as Additional Data Center Pods, Data Center Engine and more!

Generally speaking, the network ACI has is not entirely different from what has been deployed over the years. The only distinct changes were the management, policy framework and some protocols used in the fabric! Cisco’s solution made breakthroughs to data centers around the world following its initial release. 

And as the need for simplicity in networking systems grew, Cisco decided to create ACI! Since then, activities around data configuration have been more efficient, reliable and seamless! The need for each

What Makes ACI Great

Cisco’s ACI has been considered as the golden standard for data configuration. Why, you ask? Because it has several benefits that has made configuration simpler and more manageable for today’s network engineers! 

Here’s a few more reasons why Cisco’s breakthrough take on SDN is leading the game! 

  • The cloud based strategy is highly responsive and easy to configure, making a good long term solution. 
  • It can easily be configured using GUI and REST API under a single dashboard!
  • ACI can be easily positioned within a short span of time!
  • It makes creating portable structure templates much easier. 
  • It makes integrating and automating network firewalls easy!
  • It makes assigning application infrastructures within the network environment easy!
  • It makes communication between physical and virtual workloads possible!
  • It integrates virtual machine setups without needing relevant software hypervisors!

Ultimately, the enhanced level of functionality and great agility are the two main reasons why a lot of enterprise data centers love deploying Cisco’s ACI. And if you need help in introducing the cloud-based networking solution into your own global network, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!

Lumos offers a wide variety of cloud services including the ACI!