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The Network. Intuitive.

The Network. Intuitive.

A New Network for a New Era

Well, the cat is finally out the bag…

I’ve been biting my lips for the last several months working on campus designs with customers. That’s because internally at Cisco, all the buzz was around bringing SDN and most importantly intent driven networking to the campus in a BIG way. This is very much akin to how Cisco transformed the data center with ACI. In fact, I’ve heard verbatim from customers “why doesn’t Cisco have an ACI like solution for the campus?”.

Like a said earlier, I had to bite my lip each time I heard this comment unless we went through the mutual NDA process and even then we provided only a brief glimpse at what was coming.

I’d like to focus on ACI fabric automation and deployment when I draw a comparison to what I envision software defined access (SD-Access/SDA) will be.

In an ACI data center, I simply cable my spine/leaf switches and plug in my APIC controllers to the leaf.  I then go through a 5 minute setup process to define my credentials, TEP pool, infrastructure VLAN ID, and a couple other simple prompts on the APIC controller.

At this point, my ACI fabric is ready to go and all I need to do is register my leaf switches to the fabric , give them a name and ID and I’m off to the object/policy creation steps. Once my policy model and objects are set, it really becomes rinse and repeat. The key with this intent based networking is agility and automation at scale.

I didn’t have to give each leaf a management IP, specify VLANs, credentials, access methods, trunk ports, setup routing protocols, etc… While that’s how I’ve been doing things for over two decades, recently my eyes were open to what happens to that traditional/static model at scale. Quite frankly, it falls apart unless you got some awesome scripting folks automating box-by-box configs with tools like ansible/jinja/python.

In addition, native/embedded security is critical to detect and mitigate threats in the campus network. Detecting threats in encrypted traffic is a pretty amazing “nerd knob”.

In closing, I see a bright future for the campus network.  A future where the campus wired/wireless/WAN have embedded security functionality, deep contextual information (abstract subnet/vlan ID) of attached devices, is intent driven to allow automation at scale, and intuitive enough to deliver actionable and predictive insights.

If you’re going to Cisco Live next week, expect some major deep dive sessions on Cat9K, DNA, and more.

-shaun

#WeAreCisco #Innovation

#CiscoDNA #NetworkIntuitive

Links & References

Next Wave of UCS Innovation

Next Wave of UCS Innovation

Today was a BIG day for us at Cisco. We announced our next wave of UCS products and continue building our data center innovation superhighway. Did we announce one product? NO! We announced four major UCS products today at #UCSGRANDSLAM and it was AWESOME! I knew about this stuff for months, but had to keep quite. As you can imagine, I was at the point of imploding because I just wanted to share this info with EVERYONE. Here is a quick recap of the UCS portfolio expansion announced today.

  • UCS Mini provides the full power of Cisco Unified Computing in a smaller, all-in-one solution that is simple, easy to manage, yet expandable. Great for IoT/IoElocal processing (Fog) and ROBO customers. 

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  • UCS M-Series Modular Servers for Online Content Providers and Cloud Service Providers and for distributed applications in Industrial High Performance Computing (HPC) and Enterprise Grid. What about dedicated hosting and cloud services?

ucsm

  • Cisco UCS C3160 Rack Server is a modular, capacity-optimized solution ideal for distributed data analytics, unstructured data repositories and media streaming and transcoding. I have one customer looking at this now for vSAN. 

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  • Cisco M4 Generation UCS Rack and Blade Servers are armed with the latest processing power providing increased performance, efficiency and computing density. Intel Haswell architecture, E5 v3. 

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All that said, I’m ecstatic about today’s announcement and can’t wait to hear from our customers on the challenges that can be overcome with these latest additions to the UCS family. I think about five short years ago when naysayers said Cisco had NO PLACE IN THE SERVER MARKET. They were WRONG! We are #1 in the US and #2 worldwide in the x86 blade server market. I’m confident we’ll be the #1 server vendor worldwide in no time at all.

UCS | Powering Applications at Every Scale

As soon as the video of today’s announcement is posted, I’ll link it here. Stay tuned!