Light Reading
News from Cisco Live! may indicate the networking hardware giant is broadening its efforts and attitude toward SDN and hybrid clouds.

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
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. 
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Documentaries
The Rise of Virtual CPE

1|27|15   |   01:38   |   (1) comment


As NFV strategies evolve from tests and trials to production telco networks, expect to hear a lot about virtual CPE (customer premises equipment) rollouts during 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
Optical Is Hot in 2015

1|23|15   |   01:56   |   (2) comments


Optical comms technology underpins the whole communications sector and there are some really hot trends set for 2015.
LRTV Custom TV
Policy Control in the Fast Lane

1|22|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


What's making policy control strategic in 2015 and beyond? Amdocs talks with Heavy Reading's Graham Finnie about the key factors driving change in the data services landscape. Find out what his policy management research reveals about the road ahead for policy control – and sign up for
LRTV Documentaries
Highlights From the 2020 Vision Executive Summit

1|21|15   |   4:33   |   (2) comments


In December 2014, Light Reading brought together telecom executives in Reykjavik, Iceland to discuss their vision for high-capacity networks through the end of the decade. The intimate, interactive meeting was set against the backdrop of Iceland's spectacular natural beauty. As one of the event's founding sponsors, Cisco's Doug Webster shared his company's ...
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Harmonic, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment with Huawei

1|20|15   |   5:42   |   (1) comment


At IBC, Peter Alexander, Senior Vice President & CMO at Harmonic, speaks about the growing interest in pay-TV service and its branching into multiple devices.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Sony Marketing Director Olivier Bovis Discusses the Outlook for 4K and Cooperation With Huawei at IBC 2014

1|20|15   |   6:50   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Pay-TV Partner Envivio, Helping Carriers Accelerate 4K Video Deployment

1|20|15   |   2:57   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Olivier Bovis, Marketing Director of Sony, speaks about the coming of the 4K era.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Pay-TV's Networked Future

1|20|15   |   6:29   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about the future of the pay-TV industry and its transition.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Jeff Heynen: Distributed Access Will Help MSOs Compete in the Future

1|20|15   |   2:26   |   (0) comments


At IBC, Jeff Heynen, Principal Analyst at Infonetics, speaks about moving to distributed access and the future trend of cable business.
LRTV Interviews
Cisco Talks Transformation

1|20|15   |   13:02   |   (0) comments


In December 2014, Steve Saunders sat down with Cisco VP of Products & Solutions Marketing Doug Webster at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Reykjavik, Iceland. They spoke about Cisco's approach to network virtualization as well as how service providers can begin to monetize high-capacity networks through the end of the decade.
LRTV Interviews
Bob Wilson, Arsenal Legend: The Light Reading Interview

1|16|15   |   35:36   |   (3) comments


Arsenal goalkeeping legend Bob Wilson was Light Reading's guest interviewee at the 2020 Vision Executive Summit in December. See what the former soccer star and sports broadcaster had to say when he took to the stage in Iceland.
LRTV Custom TV
What MEF Third Network Initiative Means for SDN & NFV

1|14|15   |   6:13   |   (0) comments


Vitesse Semiconductor CTO Martin Nuss discusses the importance of the MEF Third Network initiative and why it's good news for SDN/NFV industry initiatives.
Upcoming Live Events
February 5, 2015, Washington, DC
February 19, 2015, The Fairmont San Jose, San Jose, CA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 9-10, 2015, The Westin Galleria Dallas, Dallas, TX
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
December 1, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
December 2-3, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City
Infographics
Hot Topics
BlackBerry Wants Net Neutrality Protection – That's Just Sad
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 1/22/2015
FiOS Picks Up Pace Again
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 1/22/2015
Verizon Ready for Google MVNO Challenge
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 1/22/2015
Indiana Carrier Takes Fiber to the Farm
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 1/22/2015
Cablevision's New WiFi Try – Freewheeling Enough?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 1/26/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive