In a previous blog, I touched on automation & orchestration and the challenges but, also the benefits it can bring. In my latest blog I'm going to get more focused. I'm going to talk about a software-defined technology used to enable automation and orchestration. I'm going to talk about Cisco’s ACI (Application Centric Infrastructure).
Firstly, what is Application Centric Automation (ACI)?
ACI is a policy-based network architecture. It aims to abstract a lot of the network constructs that we know today, items like; VLANs, VRFs, IP subnets, and more.
Afterall, in themselves, the above technologies don't offer the organisation, its users, or customers value. In many cases, they often cause headaches.
But with ACI, instead of managing many different switches and constructs, in effect, you are managing one large, software-defined logical switch.
The policies are application-centric. This puts the organisation, its users and its customers at the heart of the network - the way it should be.
What are the benefits of ACI?
- Reduced time to value - with automatic fabric deployment and configuration with a single point of management.
- Improved service up time - via automation of repetitive tasks, reducing configuration errors and improving security.
- Enhanced user and customer experiences - from instant visibility into application performance combined with intelligent placement decisions.
- Continuous improvement - using management of application life cycle from development, to deployment, to decommissioning in minutes.
- Faster time-to-market - using automatic application deployment and faster provisioning based on predefined profiles
- Multi-tenancy - Allowing multiple customers to use the same VLANS and IP addresses with zero conflict.
- Capability to insert and automate firewall, load balancers and other L4-7 services
- Greater agility - with policy driven automation for cloud deployments
- Secure Infrastructure - ability to provision consistent policy across on premise and cloud workloads
Case Study: Driving up Service Levels for a Water Utility
The water utility needed a platform that could efficiently handle the day-to-day but scale to meet demand.
One that could do more, with the same headcount. And most importantly, one that could keep their 3.5m customer records safe.
Getting Started: CANCOM’s ACI Experience
Although still in its relative infancy, we have worked on several ACI projects with customers. First we understand the 'why'. In other words, what value will ACI bring to your organisation?
Once your goals are clear, we can help you quickly get started, using our ACI experience and lessons learned from previous projects.
Our tried-and-tested methodology matches technology closely with your business goals. Whilst also making sure there is an ongoing loop of innovation.