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Will Cisco's App-Aware ACI Revolutionize the Data Center?

Will Cisco's App-Aware ACI Revolutionize the Data Center?
By Jennifer LeClaire

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The idea behind Cisco's application-centric technology is to make provisioning IT infrastructure in data centers easier. Simply making changes to infrastructure can take months. Bringing up new applications can take months. What Cisco is trying to do is take a task that is very labor intensive and make it simple, said analyst Zeus Karravala.
 



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A Rising Tide

We caught up with Zeus Kerravala, principal analyst at ZK Research, who attended Cisco’s announcement event. He told us ACI is a bold vision -- and that a lot of the reports he has read miss the point.

“This is not about new products. It’s about making the process of provisioning IT infrastructure in data centers easier. Simply making changes to infrastructure can take months sometimes. Bringing up new applications can take months,” Kerravala said. “What Cisco is trying to do is take a task that is very labor intensive and make it simple. This isn’t going to be easy.”

Kerravala was impressed by Cisco’s ACI partner list, which include Citrix, Network Appliance, and EMC. The reason Cisco is garnering such widespread support is that the solution is a big boost for data centers. If Cisco’s ACI vision pans out, he predicted, it will create a rising tide for the whole industry.

“ACI is a major step forward. This is as big to the data center as VoIP was to telecom years ago,” he said. “Too much of the industry is focused around software defined networks that commoditize hardware. I don’t think customers want commoditized hardware. I think they want something that’s easier to use and easier to manage. That’s what Cisco is trying to bring.”

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