Vendor vows to go where the data is in new Data Center Anywhere initiative
Looking to power the swell of edge and fog computing in the era of IoT, Cisco Systems is extending its data center-grade networking and compute capabilities in an initiative it calls “Data Center Anywhere.” Cisco announced the new capabilities and offerings at its Cisco Live event in Barcelona, Spain.
The Lowdown: The Data Center Anywhere push includes several new offerings that span Cisco’s portfolio of networking, hyperconvergence, security, and automation solutions. Among them: an expansion of Cisco’s intent-based networking offering, Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), to both Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure cloud environments; an extension of the SDN and converged infrastructure platform HyperFlex to branch offices and remote locations; and enhancements to the CloudCenter suite to help customers better manage functionality and costs in real time. All are expected to be available by the second quarter.
The Details: In addition to the ACI, Hyperflex, and CloudCenter improvements, Cisco is also trying to make it easier for customers to buy its data center technology through its channel partners, adding a new Data Center enrollment option to its Enterprise Agreement. With the Data Center enrollment, customers get a standardized three- or five-year licensing agreement across seven suites — ACI, Hyperflex, Intersight, Tetration, Cloud Center, Container Platform, and Workload Optimization Manager — with flexibility across deployment models and license portability across physical, virtual, or cloud deployments. The new Data Center agreements will be available by mid-March, officials said.
The Buzz: “Enterprises should be able to deploy applications based on the needs of their business, not the limitations of their technology,” said Roland Acra, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s data center business group. “Customers want to deploy applications and manage data across a range of diverse platforms, from on-premises to cloud-based. That is why we are taking the ‘center’ out of the data center.”
“BT adopted Cisco ACI as the basis for our newly launched SD-Fabric managed service to extend SDN capabilities into the data center. With ACI, we can offer customers full automation, central policy control, and built-in security,” said Adrian Comley, general manager of dynamic network services in the global services unit at BT Group in London. “We’re working with Cisco as it extends ACI policy to AWS and Microsoft Azure cloud services. With Cisco we’re enabling customers to rapidly deploy fabric extensions and provision applications anywhere with a repeatable, proven design for operational simplicity and better security.”