Light Reading

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. 
Flash Poll
From The Founder
Last week I dropped in on "Hotlanta," Georgia to moderate Light Reading's inaugural DroneComm conference – a unique colloquium investigating the potential for drone communications to disrupt the world's telecom ecosystem. As you will see, it was a day of exploration and epiphany...
LRTV Documentaries
Verizon's Emmons: SDN Key to Cost-Effective Scaling

5|22|15   |   03:53   |   (0) comments


For Verizon and other network operators to ramp up available bandwidth cost effectively, they need to move to SDN and agree on how to do that.
LRTV Documentaries
Lack of Universal SDN a Challenge

5|21|15   |   04:51   |   (3) comments


Heavy Reading Analyst Sterling Perrin talks about how uncertainty about SDN standards and approaches may be slowing deployment.
LRTV Custom TV
Steve Vogelsang Interview: Carrier SDN

5|20|15   |   05:02   |   (0) comments


Sterling Perrin speaks to Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, about the new Carrier SDN-enabling Network Services Platform and the operator challenges it solves.
LRTV Custom TV
Carrier SDN: On-Demand Networks for an On-Demand World

5|20|15   |   20:52   |   (0) comments


Steve Vogelsang, Alcatel-Lucent CTO for IP Routing & Transport business, talks about requirements and benefits of Carrier SDN during the keynote address at the Light Reading Carrier SDN event May 2015.
LRTV Documentaries
The Security Challenge of SDN

5|19|15   |   02:52   |   (0) comments


CenturyLink VP James Feger discusses concerns that virtualization could create new vulnerabilities unless network operators build in safeguards.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Elasticity – Highly Available VNF Scale-Out Architectures for the Mobile Edge

5|18|15   |   5:50   |   (0) comments


Peter Marek and Paul Stevens from Advantech Networks and Communications Group talk about their NFV Elasticity initiative and the company's latest platforms for deploying virtual network functions at the edge of the network. Packetarium XL and the new Versatile Server Module: 'designed to reach parts of the network that other servers cannot reach.'
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Bay Area Spark Meetup 2015

5|14|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Developed in 2009, Apache Spark is a powerful open source processing engine built around speed, ease of use and sophisticated analytics. This spring, Huawei hosted a meetup for Spark developers and data scientists in Santa Clara, California. Light Reading spoke with organizers and attendees about Huawei's code contributions and long-term commitment to Spark.
LRTV Custom TV
The Transport SDN Buzz

5|12|15   |   06:01   |   (1) comment


Sterling Perrin, senior analyst at Heavy Reading, speaks with Peter Ashwood-Smith of Huawei and Guru Parulkar of ON.Lab about the evolution of transport SDN and the integration of technologies.
LRTV Custom TV
Next-Generation CCAP: Cisco cBR-8 Evolved CCAP

5|5|15   |   04:49   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explained the innovation design of Cisco's cBR-8, the industry's first Evolved CCAP, including DOCSIS 3.1 design from ground-up, distributed CCAP with Remote PHY and path to virtualization. Cisco's cBR-8 Evolved CCAP is the platform that will last through the transitions.
LRTV Custom TV
Meeting the Demands of Bandwidth & Service Group Growth

5|1|15   |   5:35   |   (0) comments


Jorge Salinger, Comcast's Vice President of Access Architecture, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 and multi-service CCAP can meet the demands of the bandwidth and service group growth.
LRTV Custom TV
DOCSIS 3.1: Transforming Cable From Hardware-Defined Network to Software-Defined Network

4|29|15   |   03:48   |   (0) comments


John Chapman, Cisco's CTO of Cable Access Business Unit and Cisco Fellow, explains how DOCSIS 3.1 can transform cable HFC network to a more agile software-defined network.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Predicting Traffic Patterns for Quality Mobile Broadband

4|29|15   |   6:45   |   (0) comments


Accessing information ubiquitously creates complexity and creates heavy traffic onto the network, especially at large-scale events like sporting events or festivals. In this video, Huawei's Mohammad Hussain speaks to experts about how to predict traffic and improve user experience during periods of heavy traffic.
Upcoming Live Events
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
October 6, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
October 6, 2015, Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network functions virtualization (NFV) is not the easiest of topics to take on board, so here's a Light Reading infographic, developed following conversations with the folks at HP, that helps make sense of where NFV is taking the industry.
Hot Topics
Verizon Saves 60% Swapping Copper for Fiber
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 5/19/2015
Choosing a Technology Supplier? Consider Changing Your Selection Criteria
Steve Saunders, CEO and founder, Light Reading, 5/18/2015
10 Alternate Uses for Tablets
Eryn Leavens, Copy Desk Editor, 5/22/2015
Chattanooga Charts Killer Gigabit Apps
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/20/2015
Smarter 'Dumb' TVs Will Drive OTT Adoption
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 5/18/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
With 200 customers in 60 countries, Stockholm-based Net Insight has carved out a solid leadership position in one of the hottest vertical markets going in comms right now: helping service providers and broadcasters deliver video and other multimedia traffic over IP networks. How has Net Insight managed to achieve this success in the face of immense competition from the industry giants?
My ongoing interview tour of the leading minds of the telecom industry recently took me to Richardson, Texas, where I met with Rod Naphan, CTO and SVP, Solutions, ...
I recently popped down to Texas to chat with CEO Eric L. Pratt about his company, Taqua.
Cats with Phones