Cisco is introducing a range of innovations as part of a new ‘Data Centre Anywhere’ plan that includes the expansion of its Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) into AWS and Microsoft Azure clouds.
These latest moves build upon the ‘ACI Anywhere’ vision that Cisco first revealed a year ago. Because today’s data centre is no longer fixed but instead exists wherever data is created, processed and used, Cisco’s new architecture extends the data centre to everywhere data lives and everywhere applications are deployed.
The company’s announcements at the recent Cisco Live event in Barcelona focused on:
- Expanding ACI into AWS and Microsoft Azure clouds
- Extending the HyperFlex systems into branch offices and remote locations for edge computing
- Improvements to Cloud Center to manage applications and cloud environments
- The availability of a single enterprise agreement to buy technology across the company’s data centre platforms.
Of those developments, the ACI move may well prove to be the most significant. ACI is Cisco’s intent-based networking solution for the data centre. It adopts an open approach that integrates with all hypervisors and container frameworks on which applications are deployed. With ACI Anywhere, that journey extends ACI to any workload, location or cloud. Virtual ACI already supports bare metal clouds and remote edge locations. With new Cloud ACI capabilities, Cisco extends automation, management and security to AWS and Microsoft Azure by fully integrating with their Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) environments.
The customer benefits of ACI Anywhere include the ability to:
- Consistently extend management simplicity to all locations from a single point, whilst enabling users to utilise consistent policies for any workload within any location, on-premises or in the cloud
- Maximise operational flexibility as customers adopt multi-cloud infrastructures and to enable them to work within familiar interfaces. For example, ACI Anywhere offers integration with the AWS API natively to retain the functionality that users may already be familiar with.
Roland Acra, senior vice president and general manager of the Data Centre Business Group at Cisco, explained the rationale behind these latest developments, saying: “Enterprises should be able to deploy applications based on the needs of their business, not the limitations of their technology.
“Customers want to deploy applications and manage data across a range of diverse platforms, from on-premises to cloud-based. That is why we are taking the ‘centre’ out of the data centre. Today, Cisco is helping our customers expand their reach into every cloud, every data centre, and every branch.”
Virtual ACI and Cloud ACI will be available in the second quarter of 2019.
European Product Manager