Cisco to integrate ACI with Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure in multi-cloud play

Cisco also pitched an architecture vision it calls data center anywhere as it aims to manage more cloud and hybrid environments.
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

Cisco is outlining an architecture change that better reflects multi-cloud deployments as well as hybrid data center management. The company's vision revolves around a "data center anywhere" approach.

Also: Cisco, AWS pair up on Kubernetes management

The architecture rhymes with the multi-cloud approach that subsidiary AppDynamics pitched last week. According to Kentik, more enterprises are using multiple clouds and increasingly combining Microsoft Azure, AWS, and Google Cloud along with their own infrastructure.

That reality is why companies like Cisco, Dell, HPE, and IBM are increasingly working in cloud providers with their automation and data center platforms. 

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At Cisco Live EMEA, the networking giant outlined the following:

  • Expanding Application Centric Infrastructure, or ACI, into AWS and Microsoft Azure clouds;
  • Extending its HyperFlex systems into branch offices and remote locations for edge computing;
  • Improvements to CloudCenter to manage applications and cloud environments;
  • One enterprise agreement to buy technology across the company's data center platforms.

Of those developments, the ACI move may have the broadest impact. By connecting ACI to the two largest cloud providers as well as Cisco's AppDynamics unit, the company is making a push to manage everything from containers to hypervisors to applications. Cisco calls the effort ACI Anywhere.

The biggest challenge for Cisco and its ACI Anywhere strategy is that Dell's VMware is sold alongside AWS in a broad partnership.

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Enhancements to the CloudCenter Suite are designed give Cisco more of a play into data center and workflow automation as well as cost optimization for various infrastructure.

As for licensing agreement changes, Cisco said its customers can buy three- and five-year licensing agreements across seven suite including ACI, Hyperflex, Intersight, and Tetration.

Most of the products will be available in the second quarter.

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