Cisco updates ACI platform, adds Docker, more virtualization support

Cisco's answer to software defined networking for its hardware adds Docker support as well more support for VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V.

Cisco said it will update its Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) software, which powers Nexus 9000 switches, to support Docker as well as more virtualization platforms from VMware and Microsoft.

The updates are for the software that powers Cisco hardware. Cisco has a software portfolio that can be acquired without hardware.

Cisco said it has more than 5,000 Nexus 9000 customers ready for ACI, which is the networking giant's answer to software defined networking.

However, about 1,100 of those 5,000 ACI ready customers have actually adopted the platform after six quarters.


Cisco ACI platform is designed to work across enterprises, service providers and massive data centers.

The updates include:

  • Integration of Docker containers with policies and deployment tools via Cisco's Application Policy Infrastructure Controller. The Docker support comes via Project Contiv, an open source effort that defines container operations.
  • Support for cloud automation tools such as VMware vRealize Automation and OpenStack.
  • Policy automation across multiple data centers via ACI.
  • "Microsegmentation" for physical and virtual applications using VMware VDS and Microsoft Hyper-V.

Cisco said the updates will be available in the fourth quarter.