Open Your Data Center for Business
Discover how to unlock new application possibilities.
Transform Your Data Center
See how ACI radically simplifies and accelerates application deployment. (4:50 min)
Accelerate Application Development
Cisco Nexus 9000 Switches provide the foundation for Application Centric Infrastructure.
Cisco Developer Network for ACI
Facilitate rapid systems integration and customization for network services, monitoring, management, and orchestration.
An Open Ecosystem
ACI's broad ecosystem extends the data center platform, rich services and managementLearn More
Best of Interop 2014 Winner
Miercom recognizes Cisco as a leader in port density, performance, and power-efficiency. (3:33 min)See Why
Support for Open Networking
ACI delivers on the Cisco Open Network Environment (Cisco ONE) strategy.Get Details
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) 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|
Program and Automate Network Demands
Promote flexible control of network infrastructure with Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches.Read White Paper
Build Large Multitenant Networks
Support VXLAN functions with hardware-based performance with Nexus 9000 Series Switches.Read White Paper
Zero-Cost Fiber Migration
Reuse 10 Gb cabling for 40 Gb device connectivity with Cisco QSFP BiDi technology.Read White Paper
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 the Cisco Open Network Environment (ONE) strategy, 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.
TechWiseTV: Inside the ACI
Join Cisco experts for a technical discussion into ACI.Watch Now
Nexus 9500 Modular Chassis Design
New Cisco switches yield impressive performance even in the most demanding data centers.Watch Now
Cisco ACI Webcast
Our new ACI products optimize your data center for cloud, mobile, and big data.View Now
Cisco Nexus 9000 Series Switches bring new, industry-leading performance, power, port density, and open programmability innovations. Products include:
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
Read more about Cisco Services for Application Centric Infrastructure.
Cisco Business Strategy capabilities develop the business case and master plan for Application Centric Infrastructure.
Cisco Readiness Planning capabilities transform data centers to an Application Centric Infrastructure.
Cisco Quick Start Service for Nexus 9000 provides consulting for deployment.
Cisco Accelerated Deployment Services for Nexus 9000 support rapid transition to an application-centric architecture.
Cisco Data Center Services for Operations Enablement prepare your environment for ACI while addressing all stages of the operations lifecycle.
Cisco Product Support is available globally 24 hours daily for Cisco software and hardware products associated with the Cisco Nexus 9000. Enhanced Cisco-delivered support also includes Cisco SMARTnet or Cisco Smart Net Total Care*.
Cisco Services to Secure Data Center Infrastructure
Cisco Data Center Security Design Assessment Service helps you understand your security infrastructure design and how it aligns with your security policy.
Cisco Data Center Security ASA Migration Service helps you migrate your third-party or Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) platform, including configurations and firewall rules, to a virtualized environment.
For more information on Cisco Services, contact your Cisco Sales representative or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
*Cisco products only