& cplSiteName &

Cisco Goes Soft With APIC, Intercloud Announcements

Dan O'Shea
1/28/2014
50%
50%

Cisco Systems might be getting a little better at addressing the elephant in the room, announcing efforts this week at Cisco Live! in Milan, Italy that should broaden its appeal in increasingly software-based and automated networks. The new solutions also couldn't come at a better time, as Cisco just suffered a stock downgrade partially related to its potential to be a loser in the evolution to software-defined networking (SDN).

Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) said in Milan that it is extending its Application Policy Infrastructure Controller -- essentially its version of a datacenter SDN controller -- to enterprise and campus wide area networks via a new enterprise module for the Cisco One platform. Perhaps even more significantly, Cisco is also adding a northbound API to Openstack and other orchestration systems, OpenFlow support and command-line interface capability -- all of which should help the software interface with both Cisco and non-Cisco network hardware resources (See Cisco Extends APIC to Enterprise.)

In a separate but similarly themed announcement, Cisco unveiled Intercloud, a new infrastructure software solution for hybrid clouds, and Intelligent Automation for Cloud 4.0, a new version of its cloud management software (See Cisco Goes Hybrid With Intercloud.}

On the APIC announcement, Jeff Reed, vice president of SDN and enterprise manageability at Cisco, says: "We want people to see the different parts of the network as the pieces of an entire system. This means bringing the capability for intent-based policy control of resources in the datacenter to the enterprise network."

The APIC enterprise module brings Cisco more in line with moves that companies like Juniper Networks, Dell Computer, and others have moved to take SDN beyond the datacenter and into the enterprise WAN. Cisco first announced the APIC as part of its Application Centric Infrastructure approach in November. The company notes the APIC can be available both as software and as an appliance if the enterprise wants the latter. (See Cisco's ACI Gets Physical With SDN.)

The Intercloud announcement also reads like an attempt to change the perception that Cisco is still too heavily wedded to its proprietary hardware and isn't embracing a more software-focused or cloud-based approach. It allows customers to move resources and workloads between private, public and hybrid cloud and datacenter environments. Fabio Gori, director of cloud marketing at Cisco, says Intercloud can interface other vendors' servers and switches, with the common hypervisors from companies like VMware, Microsoft, RedHat, and Citrix Systems and numerous cloud service providers.

"There is no vendor lock-in," Gori says. "You do not need to have Cisco infrastructure on the left or on the right of Intercloud." Not surprisingly, however, he says that it's better if you go all-Cisco.

"This launch gives us a chance to talk about openness. Clouds are going hybrid, and we want to stay ahead of the game," Gori says. "At the same time, we have spent billions of dollars in R&D to ensure that and end-to-end approach can deliver superior QoS and security."

Both the APIC enterprise module and Intercloud announcements come amid rampant criticism of Cisco's ability to compete in a world intent on adopting SDN and virtualization. Just this week, JPMorgan downgraded Cisco's stock to "underweight," based in part on the challenges this company is facing with carriers in emerging markets, but also on the likelihood of datacenters and campus networks adopting more SDN-based solutions.

— Dan O'Shea, Managing Editor, Light Reading

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
sam masud
50%
50%
sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
1/29/2014 | 11:06:00 AM
Pretty clever
It's seems pretty smart of Cisco to extend APIC to its Catalyst switches, ASR routers and wireless LAN products--and for free to those customers who have a technical support contract. That combined with Cisco's hyrid cloud initiative might lead existing Cisco customers thinking SDN to give Cisco's ACI more thought.
Carol Wilson
100%
0%
Carol Wilson,
User Rank: Blogger
1/28/2014 | 3:15:21 PM
Impact of APIC announcement
It will be interesting to see if this announcement has impact on Cisco's valuation, following the JP Morgan downgrade, but also if has impact on VC willingness to fund start-ups that might now be competing with Cisco from the get-go.

I wonder how far in advance of APIC being a real product this announcement is coming and if its timing was more based on market realities than status of the APIC itself. 

It seems to have the potential of convincing enterprises that are already largely Cisco houses that they don't have to look elsewhere for the next generation of network technology. 
From The Founder
The independent evaluation of Nokia's key virtual network functions (VNFs) was a defining moment for the Finnish giant.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP’s Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it’s going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
Cable & the Move to IPTV

5|31|16   |   04:44   |   (0) comments


Cable operators are looking at transitioning operations to IPTV, and some have already started. What issues do operators face? What opportunities will this bring to customers? These are just a few of the questions Alticast considers in this interview between Alan Breznick and Susan Crouse at INTX 2016.
LRTV Custom TV
Ooredoo at UBBS 2016

5|31|16   |   06:04   |   (0) comments


At UBBS 2016 in Dubai, Light Reading is joined by Ooredoo Qatar's Yann Courqueux for an in-depth interview on their success.
LRTV Custom TV
du's Success Infrastructure

5|31|16   |   11:48   |   (0) comments


At UBBS 2016 in Dubai, Light Reading is joined by du's Jasim Alawadi for an in-depth interview on deploying all types of technology.
LRTV Custom TV
What Is Customer Experience Management?

5|31|16   |   05:53   |   (0) comments


At UBBS 2016 in Dubai, Light Reading is joined by Huawei's Michael Spratt for an in-depth interview on customer experience management.
LRTV Custom TV
UBBS 2016 World Tour Highlight

5|31|16   |   02:43   |   (0) comments


At UBBS World Tour 2016 in Dubai, Light Reading takes an exclusive look at the latest Huawei technology and the future of broadband.
LRTV Interviews
Getting Somewhere With TV Everywhere

5|31|16   |   7:08   |   (0) comments


Comcast's Vito Forlenza describes the progress his company is making with TV Everywhere and the challenges that remain.
LRTV Custom TV
Cisco's Innovations in Cable

5|26|16   |   03:18   |   (0) comments


Marc Aldrich from Cisco discusses the latest in security, the evolution and momentum for CCAP and what the industry will be seeing next from Cisco.
LRTV Documentaries
Leading Lights 2016 Highlights

5|25|16   |   02:26   |   (1) comment


Some of the high points from this year's Leading Lights awards dinner at the Hotel Ella in Austin, Texas.
LRTV Documentaries
Light Reading Hall of Fame 2016

5|23|16   |   05:43   |   (0) comments


Find out who has been welcomed into Light Reading's Hall of Fame this year.
LRTV Custom TV
ZTE TM Forum Highlights

5|23|16   |     |   (0) comments


ZTE showcased its new ICT solutions at TM Forum in Nice.
LRTV Interviews
Gamma's MD on the Emergence of UC2

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


Gamma Communications Managing Director David Macfarlane believes the unified communications (UC) market has reached a tipping point.
LRTV Custom TV
The Ultimate 5-Minute Guide to Digital Customer Engagement

5|20|16   |     |   (0) comments


In this short video, you will hear all about how Digital Customer Engagement is the key to meeting customer expectations, keeping them happy, and maximizing revenue. VP Product & Marketing at Pontis, Ofer Razon, breaks down for ...
Upcoming Live Events
September 13-14, 2016, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
December 6-8, 2016,
June 16-18, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
A new survey conducted by Heavy Reading and TM Forum shows that CSPs around the world see the move to digital operations as a necessary part of their overall virtualization strategies.
Hot Topics
Cisco's Patel Hails 'Microculture' Successes
Iain Morris, News Editor, 5/26/2016
Cable Is Eyeing Its Retail Options
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/25/2016
AT&T's Margaret Chiosi Retires
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 5/25/2016
West Coast Gets Its First 10-Gig City
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/26/2016
IEEE President-Elect Tackles the Digital Divide
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 5/30/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
In this latest installment of the CEO Chat series, Craig Labovitz, co-founder and CEO of Deepfield, sits down with Light Reading's Steve Saunders in Light Reading's New York City office to discuss how Deepfield fits in with the big data trend and more.
Grant van Rooyen, president and CEO of Cologix, sits down with Steve Saunders, founder and CEO of Light Reading, in the vendor's New Jersey facility to offer an inside look at the company's success story and discuss the importance of security in the telecom industry.
Animals with Phones
Please Pass the Waterproof Phone Click Here
Walruses: more tech-savvy than you might think.
Live Digital Audio

Our world has evolved through innovation from the Industrial Revolution of the 1740s to the information age, and it is now entering the Fourth Industrial Revolution, driven by technology. Technology is driving a paradigm shift in the way digital solutions deliver a connected world, changing the way we live, communicate and provide solutions. It can have a powerful impact on how we tackle some of the world’s most pressing problems. In this radio show, Caroline Dowling, President of Communications Infrastructure & Enterprise Computing at Flex, will join Women in Comms Director Sarah Thomas to discuss the impact technology has on society and how it can be a game-changer across the globe; improving lives and creating a smarter world. Dowling, a Cork, Ireland, native and graduate of Harvard Business School's Advanced Management Program, will also discuss her experience managing an international team focused on innovation in an age of high-speed change.