One Platform, Many Applications
Cisco® Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI™) is a comprehensive software-defined networking (SDN) solution designed from the beginning on a foundation that supports openness, extensibility, and programmability. Today, Cisco ACI is enabling organizations to accelerate data center application deployment and reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) by automating IT tasks with its policy model that captures the business intent for applications and automates network provisioning.
Figure 1. Cisco ACI Architecture
The Cisco ACI App Center takes this concept of an open architecture to a new level by offering Cisco ecosystem partners and third-party developers an opportunity to build and share applications that run directly on the APIC and extend the benefits Cisco ACI network offers.
Cisco provides a foundation for developing, certifying, and delivering Cisco ACI applications: a big step forward in amplifying the value of SDN to customers, partners, and developers.
The Cisco team built open APIs from the beginning. Cisco ACI App Center is a prime example of our commitment and investment in our customers, partners, and developers. We know that our partners and developers and millions of network engineers have a multitude of ideas, and Cisco ACI App Center is intended as a platform for unleashing this potential for the developer community. We want to connect our customers, partners, and developers through one platform and to offer the broadest array of possibilities of what they can do with their Cisco ACI network.
Categories of Apps
The goal of the Cisco ACI App Center marketplace is foster innovation and to offer range of solutions to address your business and infrastructure automation and provisioning needs (Figure 2).
Figure 2. Categories of Apps
Examples of Cisco ACI Apps
Here are just a few examples of Cisco ACI apps:
● The Visualization Dashboard visually represents the top-N network entities based on selected criteria in the fabric: for instance, the top-20 applications based on the number of endpoints, the top-5 tenants based on the number of endpoints, or the top-20 switch interfaces by traffic volume in the past 5 minutes (Figure 3).
Figure 3. Visualization Dashboard
● The Contract Viewer helps IT administrators visualize the network policy contracts between the provider and consumer endpoint groups (EPGs) for a given tenant. The app enables the customer to quickly analyze the type and volume of network data traffic running in the fabric across EPGs (Figure 4).
Figure 4. Contract Viewer
● The ServiceNow Integration App extends a service-aware view of the data center through dynamic service maps. By integrating ServiceNow with Cisco ACI, IT organizations can perform network inventory tracking and analysis (Figure 5).
Figure 5. ServiceNow Integration App
● The Infoblox Integration App allows customer to more easily control, secure, and analyze their Cisco ACI network. It provides businesses with transparent synchronization between Cisco ACI and Infoblox secure Domain Name Service (DNS), Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) and IP address management (IPAM). The app populates Infoblox IPAM and DNS records with tenant, EPG, and other network elements from the Cisco ACI network (Figure 6).
Figure 6. Infoblox Integration App
● The Splunk App for Cisco ACI uses Cisco’s open API framework to collect APIC events, health scores, and inventory data to deliver centralized, real-time visibility for applications and Cisco ACI infrastructure across bare-metal and virtualized environments (Figure 7). The Splunk integration app enables Cisco ACI customers to:
◦ Gain real-time visibility across their Cisco ACI deployment from one central location
◦ Track the inventory of logical constructs (tenants, application profiles, EPGs, etc.) and physical constructs (spine switches, leaf switches, virtual machines, etc.) along with their health and fault monitoring information to analyze, prevent, and fix problems
◦ Set thresholds for key performance indicators (KPIs) and generate alerts when KPIs exceed threshold warning and critical limits
◦ Track faults with state transitions
◦ Correlate computing, network, and storage components by providing specific cross-vendor integration
Figure 7. Splunk App for Cisco ACI
The Cisco ACI App Center offers the following main customer benefits:
● Easily procure, install, deploy, and upgrade Cisco ACI apps from a single web portal.
● Extract the business and technology benefits from your Cisco ACI network.
● Improve your productivity and operational efficiency with a wide variety of marketplace apps.
● License custom solutions from Cisco’s truly global partner and developer community.
● Deploy interoperable solutions from Cisco ACI open ecosystem partners for Layer 4 through Layer 7 services.
For More Information
For additional information, see:
● Cisco ACI App Center portal: http://aciappcenter.cisco.com
● Cisco ACI App Center development portal: http://developer.cisco.com/site/aci
● Cisco ACI App Center support: email@example.com
● Cisco ACI YouTube channel: subscribe here