Will Cisco’s App-Aware ACI Revolutionize the Data Center?

Application-centric is the technology of the week. After F5 announced its software-defined application services, Cisco followed up by announcing its Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI).

ACI couples innovations in software, hardware, systems and ASICS with an application-aware network policy model built around open APIs that reduce application deployment from months to minutes. Cisco calls ACI the first data center and cloud solution to offer full visibility and integrated management of both physical and virtual networked IT resources -- all built around the needs of applications.

EUApplications have become the lifeblood of our economy. They are how business is done; how partners and suppliers interact; how employees connect; how consumers share, learn and buy,EU Cisco CEO John Chambers wrote in a blog post. EUEvery business is becoming an applications business. Every industry is becoming an application-centric industry, and the business model shift is only accelerating. We all truly live in an application economy now.EU

Breaking Down Silos

As billions of new valuable connections form to create an Internet of Everything that most of us will experience through applications, Cisco said, the focus on rapid and consistent application deployment becomes even greater. The role of the network, as the unifying technology connecting users, applications and data centers, becomes critical.

But hereEUs the problem: The complexity and inflexibility of IT is slowing business down. IT professionals work in separate inefficient silos because current technology doesn't support a shared architectural model, and there is no way to gain a single view of all the technology components that impact application performance. As a result, the IT components are difficult to configure, complex to troubleshoot, and cumbersome to change. That, Cisco said, has to change -- complexity must give way to speed and agility.

CIOs want to break down these silos and unify all the component parts of IT -- networking, storage, compute,...

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