Wednesday, 19 February 2020

Cut the Hybrid Cloud Cord with Cisco’s Cloud Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) cloud first, cloud only solution

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Desire to have a true multicloud environment without running your Cisco Network Fabric in a Hybrid Model?  In September 2019 Cisco Launched it Cloud ACI cloud first, cloud only for customers designing, delivering and running their application environment completely in the cloud.

Why cloud first/cloud only?


You must have heard cloud native and cloud born to describe types of applications, services and even entire businesses and companies. It is all about gaining competitive advantage while utilizing what an elastic cloud infrastructure has to offer in terms of speed, agility and efficiencies. In a similar vein, the concept behind a cloud first approach is when any new IT project, refresh or replacement is designed and developed it is done so in a cloud service providers platform vs. on-premises.  When a company chooses a philosophy of cloud only, it means that all of its IT is run in a cloud service providers platform or multiple cloud service providers.  This is a change from traditional Hybrid model and works for some company’s but not others.

Our Journey to Cloud First/Cloud Only – What is Cisco’s Cloud ACI?

Cisco Cloud ACI is a comprehensive solution for simplified operations, automated network connectivity, consistent policy management, and visibility for multiple on-premises data centers and public clouds or multicloud environments.  The solution captures business and user intents and translates them into native policy constructs for applications deployed across various cloud environments. It uses a holistic approach to enable application availability and segmentation for bare-metal, virtualized, containerized, or microservices-based applications deployed across multiple cloud domains.  The common policy and operating model drastically reduce the cost and complexity in managing multicloud deployments. It provides a single management console to configure, monitor, and operate multiple disjoint environments spread across multiple clouds. It provides a controller that is natively constructed in the cloud service providers platform, the Cisco Cloud Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC).  At the time of writing, Cloud ACI was available on AWS and Microsoft Azure with plans for Google Cloud.

AWS and Azure

Cloud ACI provides a common policy abstraction and consumes AWS and Microsoft Azure public APIs to deliver policy consistency and segmentation. As such, Cloud ACI is not confined to bare-metal instances in AWS or Microsoft Azure and does not require deployment of agents in cloud workloads to achieve segmentation.

With Cisco Cloud ACI, customers can carry all their network and security policies across data centers, colocations, and clouds. Cisco ACI automates cross-domain service chaining of application traffic across physical and virtual L4-L7 devices to scale, and seamlessly integrates bare-metal servers, virtual machines, and containers under a single policy framework.

In addition, Cloud ACI on AWS will be integrated with the AWS Ingress Routing solution, AWS Transit Gateway and with AWS Outposts.

As the industry’s most deployed, open SDN platform, Cisco delivers advanced capabilities on AWS and Microsoft Azure that simplify multicloud deployments.

Endless possibilities with Cloud First, Cloud Only

With cloud first/only, we are helping you to shatter the traditional constraints of on-prem vs cloud comparison as in one or the other and we provide this unprecedented choice for any devops, cloudops or netops teams to choose from. allowing you to seamlessly use the all familiar IaaS cloud service provider dashboards and platforms. When you choose a philosophy of cloud only, it means that all of your IT is run in your cloud service providers platform or with multiple cloud service providers, without on-premises workloads.  This is a change from traditional Hybrid model and works for some company’s but not others. This also means that when business requirements or dynamics change and when you need to bring some workloads to on-prem into your data center, you can do so by extending your Cloud ACI cloud first security, policy and management constructs into on-prem ACI fabric environment from single pane of glass

Cisco’s Cloud ACI Cloud First solution

The Cloud First uncouples the solution from the on-premises data center and allows you to securely connect and segment workloads not only in the public cloud, but also across public clouds.  Thus, the solution is no longer locked into the traditional Hybrid model that requires a controller on-premises and in the cloud service provider platform offering our industry leading Cisco Cloud ACI multicloud networking to customers that are moving to a cloud first or a cloud only approach.

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Benefits of Cisco Cloud ACI Cloud First/Only

◉ Ultimate flexibility for your needs regardless of your cloud strategy initiation point e.g. on-prem to cloud or cloud to on-prem

◉ Seamlessly bridge the connectivity, security and services gap between your on-prem and cloud environments

◉ Constant Elasticity – As your workload move from cloud to cloud for efficiencies your policies follow giving you true multicloud capabilities.

◉ Reach that elusive Business Continuity and Disaster Recover in the cloud.

If you are considering move to a cloud first or cloud only approach, or if you have already implemented one, think about how you will manage the fabric and all your policies between clouds.  Download this Solution Overview of Cloud ACI to get a better understanding of our vision of the cloud.

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