The ABCs of Cisco’s ACI

Holistic Infrastructure Management? The Future Is Here.

Josh Feinberg

Businesses are always on the lookout for ways to increase efficiency and decrease costs. Anyone who has worked in IT knows that pretty well. Wasn’t it “do more with less” that became the motto during tight times? But, on the bright side, the economic downturn did lead to a revolution in IT energy efficiency. Nowadays a revolution of a different type is taking shape – one of operational efficiency as a way to streamline the bottom line in the data center.

Have you heard of a trend called “software defined networking” (SDN for short)? If not, look into it! It’s sure to be the next big thing and has already gained a lot of momentum in the business world.

While not a totally new concept, SDN is, simply put, just as it sounds – software defined networking. Take your network, get your experts to agree on a governing policy, and let it manage your infrastructure. Simple, right?

Right now, however, your admins need to install that policy in your switches and routers, make sure that all your equipment is going to work with it, and make sure that disruptions are minimized. Not an easy task. And a bit of a daunting one when you consider that, once you get it working, your SDN might not work with future upgrades without wholesale changes.

Cisco, however has changed this with the introduction of ACI – or application-centric infrastructure. It’s essentially the same thing as SDN, just a lot more organized, compatible, and manageable. In a recent podcast, Mark Levin – a partner and development manager on Cisco’s data center architecture team – covered just what sort of gains a business could see as a result of ACI.

• 58% reduction of network provisioning
• Capex reduction of up to 25%
• Reduced management cost, and more

And that’s just the beginning. If you’d like to hear more, check out the Connect with Experts Podcast to find out how Cisco ACI can simply, optimize, and accelerate your data center. And when you’re ready, keep in mind that Connection is a Cisco Gold Partner. Our team of Cisco-certified technicians are here to help answer questions and get you started on your path to ACI.