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Cisco Extends On-Premises 'ACI Anywhere' SDN Offering to AWS Cloud

Cisco Systems followed up on its ACI Anywhere initiative announced last January that seeks to extend its software-defined networking (SDN) technology called Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) beyond the datacenter -- in this case to the AWS cloud.

To do that, the company this week unveiled Cisco Cloud ACI for AWS, which follows on the ACI Anywhere initiative the company previously announced in order to broaden ACI's reach to the AWS and Microsoft Azure clouds. At the time, Cisco said its ACI Anywhere datacenter networking initiative provided flexible deployment options, along with the ability to deploy apps based on business needs criteria rather than technology limitations.

"It delivers operational simplicity, application agility and protection in the datacenter -- all delivered in a uniquely open approach that integrates with all hypervisors and container frameworks on which applications are deployed," the company said in announcing the initiative in January. "With ACI Anywhere, that journey extends ACI to any workload, any location, any cloud. Virtual ACI already supports bare metal clouds and remote edge locations. And now with the new Cloud ACI capabilities, Cisco extends automation, management, and security to AWS and Microsoft Azure by fully integrating with their Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) environments."

The new offering builds on that functionality for the AWS cloud, with the company stating it "automates management of end-to-end connectivity and enforcement of consistent network security policies for applications running in on-prem data centers and AWS public cloud regions," in an announcement this week.

Its entry on the AWS Marketplace says the Cisco Cloud ACI solution is based on the newly introduced Cisco Cloud Application Policy Infrastructure Controller, which the company said runs natively in AWS public cloud to provide automated connectivity, policy translation, day-two operations and better visibility of workloads in the public cloud.

Cisco Cloud ACI on AWS
[Click on image for larger view.] Cisco Cloud ACI on AWS (source: Cisco Systems)

For hardware, it leverages the Cisco Cloud Services Router(CSR) 1000V as the cloud router to connect on-premises and AWS Cloud environments. The Cisco Cloud Application Policy Infrastructure Controller also provides automation functionality for the entire lifecycle of the Cisco CSR 1000V router, underlay and overlay connectivity, which Cisco said fosters easier management and operations.

Cisco listed specific benefits of the solution as:

  • Automated and secure hybrid connectivity through unified management.
  • Enable consistent security posture, governance, and compliance through a common policy abstraction.
  • Enable elasticity for resources across on-premises data center and public cloud.
  • Facilitate workload migration across hybrid environments.
  • Enable business continuity and disaster recovery.

"ESG Research validates that companies are increasingly adopting a hybrid cloud approach to deliver the best service for their customers," Cisco quoted analyst Bob Laliberte at Enterprise Strategy Group as saying. "In fact, many are adopting a Multi-cloud policy. However, these distributed compute environments create significant management complexity. Cisco ACI Anywhere, and more specifically, Cloud ACI for AWS, [helps] consolidate and simplify management across the on-premises datacenter and the popular AWS cloud environment, something that we expect will be well received by all market segments."

About the Author

David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

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