Cisco: ACI Initiative Is More Than SDN

Cisco: ACI Initiative Is More Than SDN
CEO John Chambers Introduces ACI
Making the Case for Hardware
That Hardware Includes the Nexus 9000 Switches
Introducing the Nexus 9508 Switch
5-Addressing the Growing Demand for 40GbE
Cisco's BiDi 40GbE Optics
A Big and Growing Slate of Partners
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Cisco: ACI Initiative Is More Than SDN

By Jeffrey Burt

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CEO John Chambers Introduces ACI

Cisco's CEO said the company has always been good at spotting market transitions and addressing them, and said that with such trends as cloud computing, mobility and SDN, the industry had reached such a transition. The Application-Centric Infrastructure is Cisco's answer to it.

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Making the Case for Hardware

SDN may make it easier for organizations to build networks from relatively inexpensive commodity hardware, but Soni Jiandani, senior vice president of marketing at Cisco, said truly flexible, automated, secure, simple and easily manageable networks need proven hardware. "This is not going to be possible if you're only focusing on software," Jiandani said. "If you could do it only in software, we would have it a long time ago."

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That Hardware Includes the Nexus 9000 Switches

Cisco's new Nexus 9000 switches come with a range of features that will enable businesses to unify their physical and virtual infrastructures. At the same time, officials also talked about a new version of the NX-OS operating system optimized for ACI and the APIC, for central control not only of the network but of the entire data center infrastructure.

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Introducing the Nexus 9508 Switch

Cisco's Nexus 9508 is an eight-slot switch in a 13U (22.75-inch) form factor chassis that is aimed at high-density end-of-row and high-performance 10GbE and 40GbE deployments.

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Addressing the Growing Demand for 40GbE

There are a number of trends—from data center consolidation to increased server performance to big data—that are fueling the drive toward 40GbE in the data center, and Cisco is addressing that demand with the new Nexus 9000 switches.

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Cisco's BiDi 40GbE Optics

Cisco is easing the transition to 40GbE with its 40GbE bidirectional technology that enables businesses to reuse 10G fiber for 40G connections. The technology is appearing first in the Nexus 9000 switches, but will be included in other systems in the future. Using Cisco's 40G optics technology means 75 percent less fiber needed and 50 percent savings on 40G fiber optics, along with other savings.

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A Big and Growing Slate of Partners

There was no lack of big-name tech vendors at the Cisco event ready to endorse ACI. From Microsoft and F5 Networks to EMC, NetApp and IBM, officials praised Cisco's vision and its possibilities for the future.

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