Cloud computing today is beyond myth or hype, facing the architectural and implementation challenges before adoption takes the form of a hockey stick. Last week at CiscoLive, Cisco’s push for intelligent networking was seen at different levels. Most repeat participants at CiscoLive felt that it was the same technology message they heard from Cisco, but they see that Cisco is definitely making strides forward. The most interesting theme was that the IT expectations and technology claims about clouds computing are better aligned than ever before.
Intelligent Networking – why it is important to clouds and its challenges
Over the years we have seen a variety mix of computing, networking, storage, and recently virtualization in all three come to life. As the virtualization of computing, along with scale-out of storage, become standardized and commoditized at a rapid rate, the role of networking is becoming increasingly critical beyond LANs, FCoE, vLANs, VSANs. To enable the rapid adoption of mixed cloud based services, routing platforms and the WAN, demand rapid programmability to provide an optimal user experience across the cloud, particularly bridging and optimizing private and hybrid clouds. Cisco’s most prominent announcement – Cisco ONE – Open Network Environment, a very interesting and potentially industry-changing move by Cisco that would allow Enterprises and Service providers to build upon the things that already work with current network (scale, availability, security, etc.) and add the programmability (SDN) you need to help you deal with things like cloud and mobility with more agile infrastructure, simpler operations and application awareness. Cisco UCS-based converged cloud infrastructures (like FlexPod, Vblock and VSPEX), UCM and Cloud connected suite with Cisco ONE is poised to push feasibility of “networking for the clouds” and various business opportunities. This move means that Cisco can put routing and security functionality within public and private clouds as the hosted service with subscription models. It also allows customers to extend their routing networks in a cloud service provider’s datacenter as well as isolating them from other organizations sharing the same physical infrastructure. And this is just the beginning of intelligent networking!
Cisco ONE in a nutshell would enable…
- Network Intelligence through deep full-duplex programmatic access to Cisco devices and software
- Support for SDN-based and OpenFlow-based devices pushing standards and interoperability forward
- Build Scalable multi-tenant cloud infrastructures with much needed networking bridges with operational efficiencies between physical and virtual with the Cisco Nexus 1000V virtual switch with multi-hypervisor support and VXLAN gateway functionality
- Openstack connectivity (Quantum APIs plugin) to provide “network connectivity as a service” between interface devices (e.g., vNICs) managed by other Openstack services (e.g., nova)
There are number of challenges in this intelligent networking, to name a few…
- Tackling Multi-level, multi-tenancy monitoring and governance
- Getting visibility and “single pane of glass” for the application aware netflow monitoring including virtual overlays through the app infrastructures that spans multiple clouds
- Tying together analytics, policy propagation and orchestration
- Ever-growing need of Root-cause Analysis and Change management of the Cisco ONE-connected clouds and cloud-federated automation for corrective actions
- Monitoring Virtualized routers in the cloud building on the overwhelming success of Cisco Nexus 1000v running on the newly announced UCS E-Series
In a nutshell, as Enterprise IT continue to embrace cloud IT infrastructures – either augment what they have or replacing to the better IT, Cisco intelligent networking approach or similar is critical to any clouds-based IT. And to get application level visibility in the myriad of cloud layers, overlays and dynamics of cloud bridging, new kind of unified management which is multi-tenant, relationships-aware that delivers a single pane of glass, is not just desired but absolutely required for successful implementation of cloud computing.
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