Cisco Launches First Application-Centric Offerings
The networking vendor also buys its Insieme startup as its looks to address the challenges presented by SDN.NEW YORK—Cisco Systems is continuing its efforts to set the tone in a networking market that is undergoing significant change due to the growth of software-defined networking and the evolving demands from such trends as cloud computing, big data and mobility. At an event here Nov. 6, Cisco executives, including CEO John Chambers, unveiled the first technologies associated with the company's Application-Centric Infrastructure (ACI) strategy, an initiative that they say lays the groundwork for an IT foundation that will enable businesses to rapidly create, provision and deploy applications. Cisco first spoke about ACI at Cisco Live in June. The products—from new hardware switches to software controllers—are the first fruits from Cisco's Insieme "spin in" company, which Cisco initially created through a $100 million investment last year. Cisco owned 85 percent of Insieme and executives here announced that it is buying the rest of the company and bringing it into the Cisco fold, a move that will cost $863 million. "I would like to welcome the founders and entire Insieme team to Cisco," Rob Lloyd, president of development and sales at Cisco, said during the event here. "It's going to be quite a ride together."
That ride will include ensuring that Cisco can address the changing networking demands in the data center and the rise of software-defined networking (SDN) while protecting its massive business of selling high-end physical switches and routers. SDN promises to create more flexible, dynamic and cost-effective networks by removing the network intelligence from the underlying physical hardware and putting it into software.