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Cisco's 'ACI Anywhere' Software-Defined Networking Reaches AWS Cloud

Networking kingpin Cisco Systems announced a new solution that extends its software-defined networking (SDN) technology from on-premises datacenters to the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud platform.

Called Cisco Cloud ACI for AWS, the solution is part of an ACI Anywhere initiative the company announced in January with the aim of extending the reach of its SDN-based Application Centric Infrastructure to public cloud platforms such as AWS and Microsoft Azure. Cisco said at the time that 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.

The new offering builds on that functionality for the 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.

According to its entry on the AWS Marketplace, 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)

On the hardware side, 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.

Specific benefits listed by Cisco include:

  • 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 the 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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