As cloud takes off, Cisco dials up another ACI channel

VCE now offering fabric mode Nexus 9000s in Vblocks

data center planning photo

More than half of the enterprise respondents in a Technology Business Research survey use public cloud services to support hybrid IT, brokerage and geographic expansion. Interoperability and business process improvements are desired goals, and if suppliers can deliver TBR estimates the public cloud market could reach $133 billion by 2018.

The firm surveyed 2,850 cloud strategists and buyers in large enterprises across North America, EMEA and APAC. Security, data ownership and privacy remain barriers for adoption.

Those are areas vendors and providers should work on, as well as offering built-in integrations for cloud and on-premises applications. Add lower cost and greater reliability, and you have the ingredients for that $100 billion-plus market. TBR says ecosystems of vendors with popular public cloud providers would fill in the gaps.

Cisco and the VCE coalition it reduced its stake in are attacking many of these requirements. They claim to have an ecosystem of over 45 vendors. And they announced this week that VCE is now offering Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) SDN on its Vblock converged IT stack.

Really? Only now? ACI’s been shipping since August 2014; but Cisco reduced its stake in VCE two months later. Five months after that VCE announced VxBlock, a converged stack that also offers VMware’s NSX as the software-driven network. VxBlock is currently shipping, VCE says.

VCE referred ACI Vblock inquiries to Cisco. Cisco says ACI-ready Vblock’s – with Nexus 9000 switches in standalone mode -- have been available from VCE since last year; what’s new this week is now ACI-enabled Vblocks -- where a customer can buy Nexus 9000 leafs and spines for ACI fabrics managed by the ACI APIC controller – are available from VCE.

A statement from Cisco when asked why it took over a year for VCE to offer the full ACI suite:

It’s about new capabilities from VCE.  As of this most recent announcement, VCE has the ability to sell, implement and support Vblocks with ACI, shipped from the factory, to include top-of-rack switches, spine switches, and APIC.  Previously, VCE could sell top-of-rack switches that were capable of running ACI (fabric mode), but shipped from the factory running NS-OX (standalone mode).  VCE’s capabilities now give customers an enhanced support experience, as well as the opportunity to integrate many parts of their infrastructure using ACI and VCE Vscale Fabric.

ACI will allow Vblock users to define application requirement policies for the IT infrastructure. Those policies can be security adherence, regulatory compliance, governmental compliance, etc. VCE’s Vscale architecture enables multiple Vblock systems to operate as a single policy-automated and orchestrated pool of system resources that can share workloads, the companies say.

Arqiva, a UK-based media and communications infrastructure provider, is using ACI on Vblock for application control and network consistency, the companies said.

More from Cisco Subnet:

Cisco shifting to a software model

Cisco adds programmability to Internet routers

Cisco CEO not big on spin-ins

Ex-Juniper sibs look to soften up the WAN

What's Juniper Networks to do?

Cisco, Ericsson team as industry consolidates

Users prepare for a software-driven world

Juniper disaggregates even further

PC storage waning, Cisco study finds

Cisco SDN user says just pick what you need

Follow Jim Duffy on Twitter

Copyright © 2015 IDG Communications, Inc.

The 10 most powerful companies in enterprise networking 2022