Cisco Will Ship ACI Technology July 31
Cisco initially will offer its APIC as a hardware appliance, based on the company's Unified Computing System (UCS) C-series x86-based server. While the company will offer it as a software-only solution that can run on other x86 servers later, officials decided to first go with the UCS appliance "to make it easier for customers to have a good out-of-the-box experience and minimize the dependencies," Scheibe told eWEEK. The APIC will come in two versions: the APIC-M1 and APIC-Cluster-M1 for configurations with fewer than 1,000 10G leaf ports, and APIC-L1 and APIC-Cluster-L1, for those with more than 1,000 10G leaf endpoints. The API starter kits are prepackaged offerings designed to help organizations more easily adopt Cisco's technology, and are aimed at such uses as proof-of-concepts, R&D test deployments and small production deployments. They start at $250,000, and include Cisco's APIC, fixed or modular spines, two or four leaf switches, and two or four ACI software licenses. Organizations also can start ACI-enabling their data centers by running an ACI fabric in Nexus 9000 switches in conjunction with their Nexus 2000, 5000 and 7000 switches, creating an ACI pod, Scheibe said. The ACI fabric can be used to enforce policies in traffic sent its way, he said. The ACI environment can be expanded as time goes on. Making software licensing on a per-leaf-switch basis gives customers a predictable model on which to base their decisions, Scheibe said. It also is a good tool for building out a use case, he said."You want some way of showing to your management team how this will pay off," Scheibe said. In addition, Cisco unveiled new Nexus 9500 eight- and 12-port 100G line cards, which will be available in the fourth quarter. They will offer up to 128 ports of 100G in a single chassis, and the cards will be able to be used in the same chassis, giving organizations greater control over the designs. Also new are starter kits to help customers easily upgrade their Catalyst 6000 and 6500 end-of-row switches to the Nexus 9508 and the new X9464TX or X9564TX line card. A new switch for space-constrained designs—the 64-port Nexus 3164—runs the same NX-OS operating system that runs on the Nexus 9000s devices, and is available immediately, starting at $32,000.