ACI anywhere!

Cisco Blog >Executive Platform

Executive Platform

– August 21, 2017 – 9 Comments

Evolving beyond multi-pod and multi-site deployment models, ACI will soon be available within public cloud environments, including Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform and Microsoft Azure

At Cisco, we are proud that over 4,000 customers have chosen Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), the industry’s #1 Software Defined Networking (SDN) solution, to increase operational efficiencies, deliver network automation, and improve security for their on-premises data centers and private clouds. But we’re not stopping there.

In our mission to deliver ACI anywhere, today I’m excited to announce our plans to extend ACI into the public cloud domain. Key attributes of the ACI solution, such as unified security policy, single-pane-of-glass management, and visibility, will soon be available in Amazon Web Services (AWS), Google Cloud Platform, and Microsoft Azure.

As a result, customers will have the flexibility to run applications across their own private clouds, as well as public clouds of their choice, while maintaining consistent network policies across their entire multicloud domain.

Cloud providers like Amazon, Google and Microsoft have helped enterprises accelerate application development by simplifying operations and making resources available on-demand. While this has allowed rapid innovation and business transformation, most enterprises look for the combination of public cloud and on-premises infrastructure based on their specific applications, as well as business models. This is challenging IT teams to think differently about how to design and manage their unique multicloud environments where application mobility, consistent policy, and rapid provisioning across multiple private and public clouds is of paramount importance.

Our goal with ACI from the early days has been to offer our customers choice in how and where they run applications. Today, ACI supports multiple hypervisors, bare metal servers, and Linux containers on premise. At the same time, we have co-engineered and validated with over 65 Data Center ecosystem partners who have integrated their products and solutions with ACI – making it the most open, flexible and widely deployed SDN solution in the industry.

As our customers look to expand the execution venue of their applications across the multicloud domain, we are extending the same benefits within AWS, Google and Microsoft cloud environments.

Initially, we are focusing on three main approaches in how we will bring this to market:

  1. Extending ACI policy and workflows into public cloud: In this model, policies configured through APIC (our SDN controller) will leverage the native APIs offered by a public cloud provider to uniformly orchestrate changes within both the private and public cloud environments. This approach offers consistent policy and automation using an established ACI interface without compromising performance or access to a rich array of cloud-native public cloud services. An example of this would be mapping Cisco ACI policies to constructs in Amazon Web Services, such as virtual private clouds and security groups.
  2. Integration of public cloud software with ACI to enable hybrid cloud: With this approach, Cisco ACI (on-premises) will integrate with software designed by cloud providers, such as Microsoft, to orchestrate a consistent hybrid cloud experience that balances flexibility and control, while delivering hardware driven performance.
  3. Collaboration in Open Source: Cisco is engaging with public cloud providers to support open source management tools. By running the same open source software with a set of community-defined APIs on premises and in the public cloud, we can offer a seamless application environment in a truly open manner. Working with cloud providers like Google on Kubernetes, an open source project for managing cloud-native applications, is an excellent example of such an effort that is already supported with the most current software release for Cisco ACI 3.0.

We’re incredibly excited to help our customers in their cloud journeys by extending ACI into public cloud environments without compromising security, automation, or control they are used to in their on-premises environments.

Any workload. Any hypervisor. And any cloud. Simply put, ACI Anywhere. Stay tuned.



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  1. John

    August 29, 2017 at 4:50 pm

    That’s a good move by Cisco! We at Fusion Broadband integrated our SD-WAN offering with Azure/AWS/Customer Datacentre etc. years ago and it was a good move for us. Allows us to provide the ultimate flexibility to our multi-site SMB & Enterprise customers.

  2. Excited

    August 23, 2017 at 6:34 pm

    Great. Waiting for next updates…

  3. Concerned Networker

    August 23, 2017 at 1:16 pm

    While the initial comments all look good, it seems everyone needs a bit of reality. I would love to see this actually work, but let’s analyze this article: 1. “..over 4000 customers have chosen Cisco ACI” – yet my account team canNOT provide one reference customer in production. 2. “…excited to announce our plans to extend ACI into the public cloud domain” – no commitment on date. This looks, sounds, and feels like a response market announcements. High on hype, low on value. 3. “Today, ACI supports multiple hypervisors, bare metal servers, and Linux containers on premise” – that’s a generous statement if you have the right hardware. How is Cisco going to decouple the requirements they’ve presented to our DC in a cloud environment? Look, I’m all for this being real, but let’s hold the fist bumping until something more solid than this vaporous marketing article comes to light.

  • Tom

    August 26, 2017 at 4:08 am

    1. You either have the most incompetent account team at cisco, or this is a straight up lie… there are dozens of publicly available examples and reference customers. 3. how is that generous ? it supports it, end of story How do we decouple the requirements ? Use the same application profiling templates on premise and in the cloud ? I get it, ACI isn’t the simplest technology, but most of the comments around the internet, only come from lack of understanding…just like this one.

  • Anonymous

    August 21, 2017 at 3:09 pm

    This is exciting, looking forward to more updates

  • Suhail Syed

    August 21, 2017 at 9:22 am

    Nice, a fit response to VMWare finally

    • Anonymous

      August 21, 2017 at 3:14 pm

      Or copy

      • Moez

        August 22, 2017 at 9:17 am

        And VMware supports all those clouds?

      • Duc Le

        August 22, 2017 at 10:46 am

        Even VMW now is not clear how to run on public cloud, the preview only demo basically on AWS but not clearly how it will run. For ACI, it is clear and can run on MultiCloud. Great feature.