& 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
Light Reading sits down at CES with the head of Cisco's service provider video business, Conrad Clemson, to discuss how NFV and cloud security relate to video, the challenge of managing 4K/8K traffic, the global expansion of Netflix and virtual reality.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
TeliaSonera: Striving for Independence

2|12|16   |     |   (0) comments


Peter Lagergren discusses the importance of decoupling the network from services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Ken Wang on U-vMOS

2|12|16   |     |   (0) comments


Ken Wang discusses how video will take of the traffic on carrier networks and become a basic service to provide to end users.
LRTV Documentaries
All Change in Video

2|11|16   |   33:12   |   (1) comment


At this moderated panel at 2020 Vision in Dublin, Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader of Light Reading, sits down with Jeff Finkelstein, director of network architecture at Cox Communications, to discuss the rapidly changing video market.
LRTV Custom TV
Hosting in Ireland, Past & Present

2|10|16   |   16:07   |   (0) comments


Garry Connolly, president of Host in Ireland, presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
What's Hot in Mobile Commerce?

2|10|16   |   12:18   |   (1) comment


Claire Maslen, financial services relationship manager at the GSMA, talks about the development of the digital commerce sector and the types of relationships that mobile operators are developing to further their m-commerce strategies.
LRTV Documentaries
EANTC Tests Nokia IP Routing & Mobile Gateway VNFs for Real World Deployment

2|9|16   |   5:08   |   (1) comment


Nokia obtained validation of its virtualized router and virtualized mobile gateway capabilities through rigorous testing performed by EANTC. The results set a new industry benchmark for outstanding performance, scalability, resiliency and manageability. Nokia VNFs are ready for telco cloud deployment, so that service providers can accelerate mobile, business and ...
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Level 3's Jack Waters

2|8|16   |   26:15   |   (1) comment


Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
LRTV Custom TV
The Composable Telco

2|8|16   |   24:46   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading's Principal Analyst Caroline Chappell presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision Executive Summit in Dublin.
LRTV Custom TV
Join Us at the Digital Operations Transformation Summit

2|4|16   |   03:52   |   (0) comments


The Digital Operations Transformation Summit on February 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Centre will bring together 50 senior executives to engage in a unique debate on the opportunities and challenges presented by the transformative evolving digital landscape. RSVP now at events@lightreading.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Making the Test: ADVA Ensemble Connector vs. Open vSwitch

2|4|16   |   01:28   |   (0) comments


Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, recently tested ADVA's Ensemble Connector, which replaces open vSwitch and offers carrier-grade capability and interoperability. The test results strengthen ADVA's credibility as a provider in the virtualization space.
LRTV Custom TV
Bridging the Gap Between PoCs & Deployment in NFV

2|4|16   |   31:50   |   (0) comments


Charlie Ashton of Wind River presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Dublin.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Mike Aquino

2|3|16   |   17:34   |   (0) comments


The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Upcoming Live Events
March 10, 2016, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 5, 2016, The Ritz Carlton, Charlotte, NC
May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Yahoo & Verizon Sitting in a Tree...
Brian Santo, Senior editor, Test & Measurement / Components, Light Reading, 2/8/2016
AT&T Lights Fire Under 5G, Plans 2016 Trials
Iain Morris, News Editor, 2/12/2016
Vodafone: Flexible Work Policies Boost Profits
Sarah Thomas, Editorial Operations Director, 2/8/2016
It's Time to Integrate OTT Video
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 2/8/2016
Andreessen Facepalms on Facebook Free Basics
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 2/10/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading CEO and founder Steve Saunders sits down with Level 3 Communications' CTO Jack Waters to discuss hot topics like virtualization, 4K and the future of telecom...
The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and G.fast for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.