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Cisco, Zenoss Jointly Develop NFV Solutions

By Paula Bernier June 09, 2017

Cisco and Zenoss are jointly developing network functions virtualization solutions to accelerate software-defined networking for service provider networks, as SDxCentral reported earlier this week.

Solutions on this front to date, Linda Hardesty reports, include:

  • Cisco’s Unified Computing Systems and Nexus switch,
  • Cisco’s virtual infrastructure manager based on Red Hat OpenStack, and
  • the Zenoss Service Dynamics hybrid IT monitoring solution.

In a recent email interview with TMC’s Cloud Computing magazine, Cisco explained that one of its key areas of innovation has been the use of policy. 

“We observed a divergence in languages used by the teams designing networks and the teams building applications,” Cisco explained. “While Web developers may be thinking about how their Web servers need to ‘talk’ to their application servers, the network team would ultimately have to understand these requirements and manually convert them to a set of VLANs, network ACLs, and firewall rules. This process took time, added limitations on where the applications could ultimately be placed, and introduced potential security risks.”

Cisco’s application-centric policy model allows application developers to define templates for their applications that can be automatically deployed across the network and easily monitored and audited by network and security teams. This ability to launch applications quickly, securely, and anywhere in the infrastructure helps Cisco customers concretely realize the value of SDN, according to Cisco. 

The company added that its end-to-end data center architecture with common policy-based management is the key for organizations to increase IT efficiency and agility, and reduce the cost of data center management. The network components of that architecture include the Cisco Nexus switching platform and Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), a software-defined networking (SDN) solution composed of the Nexus 9000 series of switches and the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC).

“Cisco ACI provides policy-based automation and security, workload mobility, deep telemetry and visibility across physical, virtual, and container-based environments, offering a highly programmable platform with open APIs and over 65 global ecosystem partners whose products interoperate with ACI,” the company explained.

Edited by Alicia Young

Executive Editor, TMC

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