Solving Operational Challenges
SDN Central speaks with SVP Soni Jiandani about ACI and our SDN strategy.
Join a Live Demonstration
See how Cisco APIC simplifies and automates network infrastructure.
Get Your ACI Starter Kit Today
Starter kits for production deployments are available now, for a limited time only.
Cisco Developer Network for ACI
Facilitate rapid systems integration and customization for network services, monitoring, management, and orchestration.
Software Defined Networking
SDN delivers speed and agility when you deploy applications and business services. Flexibility, policy, and programmability are the hallmarks of our SDN solutions. See how Cisco can handle today's most demanding networking needs. Learn more about software defined networking.
An Open Ecosystem
ACI's broad ecosystem extends the data center platform, rich services and management.Learn More
Performance, Agility, and More
Customer and partners share their motivations for choosing Cisco ACI. (3:29 min)Watch Video
Unleashing IT: A Special Edition
Early adopters explain why they are implementing Cisco ACI.Read Article
ACI: Addressing The Changing Landscape
Industry shifts are redefining IT at all levels. On-premise IT consumption models are shifting to cloud-based services. IT as a service (IaaS) is supplanted by applications as a service. Separate development and operations are moving toward integrated development and operations (DevOps). Box-centric management models are migrating to application-centric management.
Business agility requires application agility, so IT teams need to provision applications in hours instead of months. Resources need to scale up (or down) in minutes, not hours.
Traditional approaches take a siloed operational view, with no common operational model between the application, network, security, and cloud teams. A common operational model delivers application agility, simplified operations, assured performance, and scale.
The Solution: An Application-Centric Approach to Managing Your Infrastructure
Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) in the data center is a holistic architecture with centralized automation and policy-driven application profiles. ACI delivers software flexibility with the scalability of hardware performance.
Cisco ACI consists of:
- The new Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches
- A centralized policy management and Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC)
- A Cisco Application Virtual Switch (AVS) for the virtual network edge
- Software and hardware innovations
- Integrated physical and virtual infrastructure
- An open ecosystem of network, storage, management, and orchestration vendors
Key characteristics of ACI include:
- Simplified automation by an application-driven policy model
- Centralized visibility with real-time, application health monitoring
- Open software flexibility for DevOps teams and ecosystem partner integration
- Scalable performance and multi-tenancy in hardware
The future of networking with ACI is about providing a network that is deployed, monitored, and managed in a fashion that supports DevOps and rapid application change. ACI does so through the reduction of complexity and a common policy framework that can automate provisioning and managing of resources.
|Application Owners and Lines of Business||Dramatic reduction in time to service delivery (days to minutes)
On-demand scale-out and tear-down lead to more predictable application and IT spending better aligned to business activity
End-to-end application health score helps meet service level agreements (SLAs)
|Applications delivered in business time
Optimized cost structure
|Server, Storage, and Virtualization Teams||Central deployment model accelerates network and security infrastructure configuration
Helps enable an any-workload, anywhere deployment model
Higher availability, and increased customer satisfaction
|Network Team||Automated network provisioning reduces overhead and errors, accelerates deployment, and allows application owners to self-service and scale
Automated remediation reduces overhead and promotes optimal network performance for all apps 24 hours daily. Visibility across physical and virtual infrastructures shortens MTTR.
Provides real-time telemetry correlation between the virtual and physical infrastructure
|Greater productivity, accuracy, and easier scaling
Increased customer satisfaction
|Security Team||Automates security policy while allowing security teams to retain control over policies for compliance
Automated insertion of virtual security services simplifies app deployments
|Improved security with faster provisioning
|Cloud Team||ACI promotes consistency of policies and services for on-premise and cloud apps
No app dependencies on underlying infrastructure supports cloud-ready apps with minimal additional effort, making them easier to manage, deploy, and migrate
|Consistency and agility across infrastructure
Flexible deployment, easier scaling, and lower TCO
|Massively Scalable Data Center||Open programmability across all popular, common tool sets
Designed and optimized for scalability:
|Flexibility, control, and customization
Massively scalable multi-tenancy
|Service Provider and Cloud Data Centers||Large-scale multi-tenancy and application security in hardware
Advanced fabric telemetry and health scoring for apps, customers, and infrastructure
Self-service automated provisioning of apps, network services, and security
|Highly secure multi-tenancy
Proactive problem resolution
|Enterprise||Fully-deployable private-cloud solution with visibility, troubleshooting, and mobility for physical, virtual, and distributed apps
Helps ensure completion of service level agreements and performance requirements
|Apps delivered in business time|
Cisco at Networking Field Day
Follow along with Joe Onisick’s whiteboard illustration of ACI concepts. (27:59 min)Watch Video
A Leap Forward for Data Centers
ACI enters general availability: What you can expect.Read Lippis Report
TechWiseTV: ACI Momentum Accelerates
Take an inside look at the new APIC interface, ACI fabric, and OpFlex protocol. (0:43 sec)Watch Now
ACI is an innovative, highly secure architecture based upon a number of different elements, outlined below.
Combine hardware, software, and ASIC innovations into an integrated systems approach to take advantage of standard Ethernet and IP protocols.
The extensible, object-oriented OS offers comprehensive programmability.
Application-level health scores, counters, and policies for both physical and virtual applications simplify troubleshooting and provide visibility.
Centralized Management, Automation, and Orchestration
A common management framework for network, application, security, and virtualization teams makes IT more agile.
ACI automates all fabric management tasks, including image management, configuration, and stitching of other networking infrastructure services such as firewalls and load balancers.
Mixed Workload and Migration Optimization for Any Application, Anywhere, Anytime
Facilitate provisioning of applications while promoting performance and visibility correlation between logical and physical networks.
Normalize physical and virtual server transport between different hypervisors and bare metal servers to ease migration from virtual to physical, or virtual to virtual.
Highly Secure Multi-Tenant Environment
Advance proper isolation and SLAs for different tenants while providing a consistent security policy across physical and virtual applications.
Data center teams define security and networking policies using a common policy language abstraction. This helps security teams to provide robust policy definitions independent of the network topology.
Extensibility and Openness
ACI supports an open ecosystem embracing open APIs, open source, and open standards. This provides the broadest choice in data center management and infrastructure.
ACI supports embracing open APIs, open source, and open standards. This provides the broadest choice in data center management and infrastructure.
A well-documented set of northbound and southbound APIs, available through the Cisco Developer Network, support rapid system integration and flexibility for:
- Layer 4-7 services
- Virtual network infrastructure
- Orchestration services
Investment Protection – People and Infrastructure
Take advantage of existing IT teams' skillsets and infrastructure to lower overall TCO.
Innovative 40 Gb bi-directional optics allow for the reuse of current 10 Gb cabling to reduce costly fiber upgrades.
Customers can run Cisco Nexus 9000 switches in a standalone deployment or migrate to full ACI fabric mode with a software upgrade. This approach, combined with open interfaces to support existing infrastructure, provides investment protection across the entire portfolio.
ACI can enable agile deployment of applications across enterprises and service provider organizations. Its fabric foundation is built for telemetry, efficiency, scale, and application awareness, leading to lower TCO. The next-generation data center will be built upon ACI principles that are designed for current and future applications.
Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches bring new, industry-leading performance, power, port density, and open programmability innovations. Products include:
- Cisco Nexus 9516
- Cisco Nexus 9508
- Cisco Nexus 9504
- Cisco Nexus 9396PX
- Cisco Nexus 9396TX
- Cisco Nexus 9336PQ
- Cisco Nexus 93128TX
Cisco Application Virtual Switch (AVS) provides a consistent virtual switch infrastructure between ACI fabrics and the Cisco Nexus 1000V virtual switch for existing data center fabrics.
Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) programmatically automates network provisioning and control based on application requirements and policies.
Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure Security for data centers solves many complexities in customer environments. ACI Security treats firewalls as a pool of resources and intelligently stitches them according to application network policies. ACI Security offers full acceleration dynamically in hardware and directly integrates into ACI.
Delivered by Cisco and our Cisco Certified Partners, service engagements result in measurable business gains for our customers with benefits such as 15-20% faster acceleration to revenue; 30% lower infrastructure costs; 50% faster disaster recovery; and 90% reduction in deployment time.
Cisco Services for ACI
Cisco Data Center Strategy and Analysis Service for Cisco ACI: Helps you develop a technology strategy for adopting Cisco ACI based on business and technology needs.
Cisco Data Center Assessment Service for Cisco ACI: Provides operations readiness, migration strategy, and process for future migrations.
Cisco Data Center Validation Service for Cisco ACI: Pilots the Cisco ACI solution with a simulator so you understand its capabilities and gain experience to reduce deployment risk.
Cisco Data Center Design Service for Cisco ACI: Helps you design a data center environment based on Cisco ACI, including infrastructure, fabric POD planning, and design with application policy templates.
Cisco Solution Support for Cisco ACI: Offers a “one-stop shop” to reduce duration and effects of disruptions by adding solution-level perspective along with SMARTnet® product support to your device-level service contracts.
Cisco Services for Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches
Cisco Data Center Quick Start Service for Cisco Nexus 9000: Provides consulting services that include technical advice and assistance to help deploy Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches.
Cisco Data Center Accelerated Deployment Service for Cisco Nexus 9000: Delivers planning, design, and implementation expertise to bring your project into production.
Cisco Migration Service for Cisco Nexus 9000: Helps you migrate from Cisco Catalyst® 6000 Series Switches to Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches.
Cisco Product Support: Is available globally 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for Cisco software and hardware products and technologies associated with Cisco Nexus 9000. Enhanced support options delivered by Cisco also include Solution Support for ACI, Cisco SMARTnet Service or Cisco Smart Net Total Care*.
For more information on Cisco Services, contact your Cisco Sales representative or email email@example.com.
*Cisco products only