I have been working with ACI quite a bit as it is introduced in a class I am teaching for CBT Nuggets – 200-155 DCICT – Introducing Cisco Data Center Networking Technologies (DCICT).
In order to fully understand the Application-Centric Infrastructure from Cisco Systems, we need to understand how the IT industry is changing as far as the Data Center is concerned. We really have reached a point where enterprises are overhauling their designs and implementing true Private Clouds.
Why is this happening? It is being driven by many factors. Here are just some:
- Application lifecycles are being broken up into much smaller windows
- Applications are becoming less rigidly structured
- Applications are being implemented through virtualization and hypervisors
- Applications are being implemented through containers and microservices
- Data flows in the data center are moving from North to South flows to East to West flows, as application components communicate with other application components across the virtualized workloads on different server hosts
- Network equipment must become more flexible to keep up with the fast pace of change, and also the required integration between new systems and legacy equipment
Automation and orchestration are more of a goal than ever given the above factors. This is one of the areas where ACI shines. It allows us to integrate many components, and automate processes like never before. It also directly addresses security, as traditional firewall configurations would be almost impossible to keep up with given the rate of change and scope of changes necessitated by the new Data Center technologies.
I hope this post has peaked your interest. I will be back with more great introductory material for you on ACI before we delve deep into this exciting concept.