Cisco Pioneers Real-Time Application Delivery in Global Data Centers and Clouds to Enable Greater Business Agility

Cisco Pioneers Real-Time Application Delivery in Global Data Centers and Clouds 
to Enable Greater Business Agility 
Cisco Delivers Application Centric Infrastructure to Make Data Center
and Cloud IT Responsive to Application Needs; Empowers Broad Partner
Ecosystem Through Open Platform and Open Source 
NEW YORK, NY -- (Marketwired) -- 11/06/13 --  Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO)
today begins the transformation of information technology (IT) by
delivering Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), new professional
services, and an open ecosystem of partners to help customers unleash
their applications and enable greater business agility. With ACI,
Cisco is delivering to customers the first data center and cloud
solution to offer full visibility and integrated management of both
physical and virtual networked IT resources, all built around the
needs of applications. 
During the unveiling of ACI, and in a blog post, Cisco Chairman and
CEO John Chambers discussed the imperative for IT to adapt quickly to
the needs of the application economy. Applications have become the
lifeblood of business. The consistent and high performance of
applications is vital to CIOs' ability to deliver new products and
services, manage compliance and governance, mitigate risk and
security threats, empower employees, and drive productivity into
their organizations. As billions of new valuable connections form to
create an Internet of Everything that most of us will experience
through applications, the focus on rapid and consistent application
deployment becomes even greater. The role of the network, as the
unifying technology connecting users, applications and data centers,
becomes critical. 
Today, the complexity and inflexibility of IT is slowing business
down. IT professionals work in separate inefficient siloes because
current technology doesn't support a shared architectural model, and
there is no way to gain a single view of all the technology
components that impact application performance. As a result, the IT
components are difficult to configure, complex to troubleshoot, and
cumbersome to change. That has to change. Complexity must give way to
speed and agility. 
CIOs want to break down these silos and unify all the component parts
of IT -- networking, storage, compute, 
network services,
applications, security -- and manage them as a single, dynamic,
entity without compromise: that's what ACI intends to accomplish. ACI
couples innovations in software, hardware, systems and ASICS with a
dynamic, application-aware network policy model built around open
APIs to reduce application deployment from months to minutes.  
ACI achieves this by unifying physical and virtual networks and
offering security, compliance and real-time visibility at the system,
tenant, and application levels at unprecedented scale. Cisco ACI data
center switching innovations allow the network to rapidly respond to
application development teams, while delivering up to 75 percent
total cost of ownership savings compared to merchant silicon-based
switches and software-only network virtualization solutions.  
ACI is comprised of the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller
(APIC), the Nexus 9000 portfolio, and enhanced versions of the NX-OS
operating system. The Nexus 9000 family, running optimized NX-OS,
enables unmatched "zero-touch" operations across high performance
data center networks, and can save customers millions of dollars in
capital and operating expenses.  
The new Nexus 9000 is also the foundation building block for the
Cisco ACI solution, enabling a smooth transition from optimized NX-OS
to the ACI-mode of NX-OS with a software upgrade and the addition of
APIC. Using merchant silicon and custom ASICs, this portfolio
delivers best of breed price performance and non-blocking port
density for 1/10G to 10/40G and in the future 100G transitions in
existing and next generation data centers. The Nexus 9000 portfolio
includes state of the art system innovations including the industry's
first backplane-free modular switch to provide investment protection,
efficient power and cooling, and a simpler design leading to two
times the improvement in mean time between failures.  
Based on industry standards, Cisco ACI enables IT to meet business
demands for new applications, rapid scale to existing ones, and the
ability to redeploy IT resources when applications that are no longer
required. ACI accelerates application deployment cycles to drive
faster business processes and improve bottom line results. 

--  Delivers up to 75 percent total cost of ownership savings versus
    software only-network virtualization, leveraging existing cabling
    investments, and delivering the most efficient modular data center
    switch via an innovative backplane free design reducing power and
    cooling costs by 15 percent
--  Accelerates Application Deployment Time to Minutes improving business
    agility through centralized management, application network profiles,
    L4-7 network service automation, and open APIs
--  Centralizes Policy Management Simplifying Operations and Empowering IT
    Teams through system wide policy control unlocking the power of
    collaboration across application, network, security, virtualization,
    compute and storage teams
--  Investment Protectionthrough Open Protocols, APIs and Standards
    leveraging customers' existing: networking, services including
    security, physical and virtual compute, and storage assets

The Nexus 9000 portfolio delivers several industry firsts including
innovations in software, hardware, systems, and ASICs unifying
physical and virtual infrastructures delivering uncompromised:  

--  Flexibility and Simplicity: Decoupling application centric policy from
    IP infrastructure enables full host mobility, offers centralized
    policy control, and greatly simplifies network operation. The network
    adapts to application requirements through dynamic insertion and
    chaining of physical and virtual L4-7 network services including
    firewalls, application delivery controllers, and intrusion detection
--  Performance and Scale: Delivering security and application policy at
    line rate 10/40 and in the future 100G. 60 Tbps of switching capacity,
    3X faster multicast performance and 1/3 the latency at 3X the traffic
    load of any other Data Center modular switch tested, 20% greater
    non-blocking port density -- 576 40G line rate ports with 50%+
    reduction in ASICs per module compared to merchant silicon only
    competitors. Unprecedented scale including 1M endpoints, 55K+ 10G
    ports, 64K+ tenants. Built in dynamic load balancing and
    prioritization removes network bottlenecks and can enhance application
    completion time from 30 - 90%.
--  Security: Improves application security, compliance, auditing, and
    mobility through centralized, programmable policy, enabling fine
    grained control and isolation at scale suitable for multitenant
    private and public cloud environments; open platform enables a broad
    security ecosystem driving innovation in security management
    automation, visibility, and choice including Cisco's new ASAv.
--  Real-time Visibility and Troubleshooting: Complete, real-time view of
    per tenant and per application health, statistics, and troubleshooting
    across physical and virtual infrastructure, real-time analytics
    driving intelligent application placement decisions. Ability to
    monitor and isolate packet drops by application at a syst
em level to
    accelerate problem resolution.
--  Open Platform and Open Source: Industry's 1st open and extensible
    application policy model for automation and visibility with hardware
    acceleration, open comprehensive RESTful APIs enabling tight
    integration with existing network automation tools, and open source
    community driven ACI extensions including OpenStack, Open Daylight,
    virtual switches and VXLAN. Open APIs enable a comprehensive ACI
    ecosystem for management, orchestration, monitoring, virtualization,
    network service, and storage partners.
--  Broad Virtualization Support: Automated virtual network policy
    management and telemetry with Microsoft Hyper-V, RedHat KVM, VMware
    vSphere and other virtualization platforms; Cisco is also introducing
    the Cisco Application Virtual Switch (AVS) purpose built for ACI
    virtual environments.
--  Advanced Programmability: Designed to fit seamlessly into a
    development operations team via a RESTful API for enabling automation
    and tight integration. Puppet, Chef, CFEngine, Python scripting, and
    other tools enable customers to leverage common toolsets across their
--  System Innovations: Industry's first backplane free design for a
    modular data center switch providing future proofing for 100G and
    beyond and improving by 15% power and cooling efficiency, 40G Bidi
    Optics eases the transition to 40G with zero fiber costs, atomic
    counters for system level telemetry, and built in line rate directory
    service supporting 1M endpoints.

Components of Application Centric Infrastructure
 Cisco Nexus 9000
switch family
 The Nexus 9000 Series offers modular and fixed 1/10/40
Gigabit Ethernet switch configurations. They are designed to operate
in either standalone NX-OS mode or in ACI mode to take full advantage
of ACI's application policy driven services and infrastructure
automation features. This dual capability provides investment
protection and a migration path to ACI though a software upgrade. The
portfolio includes: 

--  Cisco Nexus 9508 Switch: an 8 slot, compact 13 RU form factor chassis
    designed for high density End-of-Row (EoR) and high performance
    10/40GbE aggregation layer deployments.
--  Cisco Nexus 9300 Switches: fixed switches designed for top-of-rack and
    middle-of-row deployments.
    --  Cisco Nexus 9396PX Switch - a 960G switch with 48 fixed 10GE SFP+
        ports and 12 40-Gbps QSFP+ ports
    --  Cisco Nexus 93128TX - a 1.28T switch with 96 fixed 1/10GBASE-T
        ports and 8 40-Gbps QSFP+ ports

In the first half of 2014 Cisco expects to extend the Nexus 9000 switch
family to include a four-slot and 16-slot system and additional top
of rack switches. More details will be released over the coming
The Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (Cisco APIC) is the
unified point of automation and management for the ACI fabric, policy
programming, and health monitoring. It optimizes performance,
supports any application anywhere, and unifies management of physical
and virtual infrastructure. The APIC is a highly scalable, clustered
software controller capable of managing 1M endpoints. Unlike
traditional SDN controllers, it operates independently of switch data
and control planes allowing the network to respond to endpoint
changes even when the APIC is offline. It enables tremendous
flexibility in how application networks are defined and automated and
is designed from the ground up for programmability and centralized
Application Network Profiles define the requirements of an
application and its interdependencies on the underlying
infrastructure. APIC leverages these profiles to dynamically
provision networking, services, compute storage and security
policies, no matter where the application is, or how it changes. 
Cisco Virtual ASA (ASAv) provides the first fully integrated security
services based on application needs designed specifically for ACI.
ASAv scales on demand and operates seamlessly in both physical and
virtual environments with tight integration with APIC. This
simplifies security administration and allows organizations to take a
holistic, policy-based approach to data center security without
compromising functionality. 
The Cisco Application Virtual Switch (Cisco AVS) is an ACI-enabled
virtual switch that is optimized for consistent policy enforcement,
providing improved visibility and performance of applications running
on ACI. The distributed virtual switch is managed by the Application
Policy Infrastructure Controller for centralized provisioning and
ACI Ecosystem
 Cisco also announced today an ecosystem of industry
leaders to help customers leverage, customize and extend their
existing IT investments through Cisco ACI. Technology leaders that
support today's announcement include: BMC, CA Technologies, Citrix,
EMC, Embrane, Emulex, F5, IBM, Microsoft, NetApp, OpsCode, Panduit,
Puppet Labs, NIKSUN, Red Hat, SAP, Splunk, Symantec, VCE, and VMware. 
Comprehensive Services and Programs Enable Customer Migration to ACI 
Designed to help customers achieve their business and technical
objectives while reducing risk, Cisco Services for ACI span the data
center and offer a range of professional and technical services.
These services include Cisco Readiness Planning, Cisco Quick Start
Service for Nexus 9000, and Cisco Accelerated Deployment Services for
Nexus 9000. In addition Cisco's Technology Migration Program assists
customers migrating from legacy infrastructure. Cisco offers new
services to secure data center infrastructure: Cisco Data Center
Security Posture, Assessment, Plan and Build, and Optimization
What Customers Are Saying about ACI 
Alibaba Group
 Alibaba Group is a family of Internet-based businesses
with leading businesses in consumer e-commerce, online payment,
business-to-business marketplaces, cloud computing, mobile apps,
mobile operating system, and Internet TV. Among its many companies is
Taobao Marketplace which has over 760 million product listings and
one of the world's top 20 most visited websites according to Alexa.
"The rapid growth of our business requires us to search for next
generation technology that can deliver to us more server clusters and
larger server clusters, more bandwidth, more intelligent automation
to O&M, optimized traffic flows, simpler operations, and an improved
view of application performance metrics," said Yuanyou, vice
president, Alibaba. "We found that Cisco matches our vision for what
is required for future network architecture, and they are delivering
that vision with their Application Centric Infrastructure. We are
very interested in testing the ACI solution, and considering
collaborating with Cisco as they further their development. This is a
clear win-win for both our companies." 
Cerner Corporation
 Cerner Corporation is a global health care
transformation company whose mission is to contribute to the systemic
improvement of health care delivery and the health of communities.
"In the health care application and data hosting business, service
availability, security and rapid scalability are the top
considerations for IT systems infrastructures," said Brett Jones,
director of infrastructure technology for Cerner Corporation. "With
the help of Cisco we've been wor
king on our own next generation data
center initiative, and we believe the Cisco ACI solution will be a
key component in that new architecture. The ability to meet our
projected scale points, increase the flexibility of computing
infrastructure development and to manage a collection of network
elements as a single entity will provide Cerner with significant
operational advantage. Furthermore the programmatic nature of the
Cisco ACI solution should aid us in our pursuit to streamline
operations through automation." 
Chrysler Group LLC
 "One of our biggest challenges today is how to
easily manage and deploy large numbers of enterprise applications,
while keeping consistent, auditable policies," said Paolo Vallotti,
CTO, Chrysler Group LLC. "In our current environment, application
teams must communicate with no less than four different
infrastructure organizations. Each has their own requirements
gathering and deployment processes. We'd like to define the
application requirements and security once, and then automate
 OVH is an independent European company based in
France. It's the number one hosting provider in Europe and the third
for the active sites in the world (Netcraft, October 2013). "We are
impressed with Cisco ACI features and functionality, and want to
deploy the standard-mode Nexus 9000 Series now, with a gradual move
to full Cisco ACI," said Octave Klaba, CEO, "Cisco ACI will
offer huge advantages in deploying hybrid cloud solutions to
customers, and we appreciate the two-step approach that Cisco is
offering; we can move to a very cost-effective 40 Gigabit
architecture now, with full software management functionality later,
as we get the system in place, and get our staff trained." 
World Wide Technology, Inc. (WWT)
 World Wide Technology, Inc. is a
$5 billion systems integrator that provides innovative technology and
supply chain solutions to the commercial, government and telecom
sectors. "WWT is investing in Cisco ACI because it will allow us to
more simply provide customers with the solutions they want -- ones
containing an extra level of integration and automation," said Jim
Kavanaugh, CEO, WWT. "By enabling policy automation in the fabric,
ACI makes it easy for us to provide this capability to customers out
of the box without having to tack on additional components. It
simplifies our business and reduces our costs. More importantly, it
makes us a better partner to our customers and enables us to better
serve them." 
Sirius Computer Solutions
 "Since 1980, Sirius Computer Solutions has
been helping customers gain a competitive advantage while reducing
costs and improving productivity through innovative technology
solutions across the data center," said Craig Nelson, vice president,
Sirius Computer Solutions. "Cisco's new platform for ACI, application
centric infrastructure, will allow more flexibility and scalability
to design and customize networks to support changing business
 By designing a network fabric focused on business
applications, Cisco will help businesses achieve new levels of
productivity, agility and cost savings through policy-based
automation, improved performance, enhanced visibility, and
operational simplicity.  
Insieme Acquisition
 Today Cisco also announced its intent to acquire
the remaining interest that it does not yet hold in San Jose-based
Insieme Networks. In April 2012 Cisco announced it made an investment
in Insieme Networks of $100 million, and agreed to commit an
additional $35 million in November 2012 upon the satisfaction of
certain conditions. Upon the close of the transaction, Insieme will
become a wholly-owned business of Cisco. The maximum potential payout
as a result of Cisco's acquisition is $863 million, based primarily
on the revenue achieved by the sale of Insieme products.  
Additional Resources
 Learn more about Cisco Application Centric
Infrastructure (ACI)
 Learn more about Cisco ACI Ecosystem of
industry leaders
 Read blog by Cisco Chairman and CEO John Chambers 
Learn more about Cisco Security
 Learn more about Cisco Services 
Learn more about Cisco data center solutions
 Read: Cisco Data Center
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Availability Disclaimer: Many of the products and features described
herein remain in varying stages of development and will be offered on
a when-and-if-available basis. This products and features are subject
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which are subject to the safe harbor provisions of the Private
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among others, statements regarding Cisco's delivery of Application
Centric Infrastructure, new professional services and an open partner
ecosystem and the expected benefits for customers, Cisco's expansion
of its Nexus switching portfolio, and Cisco's intention to acquire
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Networks due to the uncertainty about the acquisition, the retention
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environment, overall information technology spending, the growth and
evolution of the Internet and levels of capital spending on
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competition in Cisco's product and service markets, including the
data center, and other risk factors set forth in Cisco's most recent
reports on Form 10-K filed on September 10, 2013. Any forward-looking
statements in this release are based on limited information currently
available to Cisco, which is subject to change, and Cisco will not
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