Start with Your End Goal in Mind.
There are many possible goals for deploying new cloud or agile technology in the data center. Solutions can be employed to tighten security, to expand defense beyond the perimeter. You may wish to speed up the deployment of new applications and services. And, many look for the ability to move to cloud computing models, or to move to agile software deployment models.
ACI vs NSX. When it comes to Software-Defined Networking (SDN) or Network Functions Virtualization (NFV), two products often come to mind: Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) and VMware’s NSX. These solutions approach datacenter management differently. And, when you are determining the most appropriate path, things can get confusing. We can help you assess and determine the solution best for your network, now and as you continue to scale. First, we consider your current structure, and then we look at business objectives and requirements. Then we look at all the options available, including NSX and ACI or a combination of them.
SDN vs NFV. VMware NSX requires traffic to be sent into the virtual environment. The key strength of NSX is security isolation within a hypervisor. By many, it is considered an NFV solution. Cisco ACI is an SDN solution. ACI is a centrally provisioned fabric operated via central control. Cisco ACI allows capabilities to be built into software or hardware— wherever they will offer the most value. ACI uses the language of applications and their business requirements to automatically provision the underlying virtual and physical networking infrastructure.
Security and Compliance. ACI provides networking, security, and compliance automation for all aspects of application delivery. NSX is a hypervisor networking solution providing switching, routing, and basic load-balancer and firewall services to data moving between virtual machines within the hypervisor. Your data center solution will add to the security and meet all compliance requirements. One or the other of these solutions, or a combination of them, might provide the answer you are looking for to enhance and achieve security and compliance goals.
Robust Operations. According to Joe Onisick in an article via Network Computing, “ACI is arguably the most robust and automated network transport solution, while NSX offers hypervisor-based load-balancing and firewalls, especially when paired with third-party VMware partners for more than basic functionality.” One suite of tools complements the other architecture. When your data center needs a boost in capacity, speed, agility, there are great opportunities available to you.
Improved Efficiencies. Leverage ACI to improve the efficiency of IT operations while reducing datacenter-related infrastructure costs. With ACI, minimize risk by lowering the incidence of revenue-impacting downtime. Use ACI to increase non-IT staff productivity by amplifying the speed and delivery of data resources to meet business requirements. Also, potentially increase revenue by speeding up application deployments and enhancing the flow of information across the organization.
Seamless Integration. Take into account that over half of data center users multiple hypervisors. Also, note that modern data centers are only about 70% virtualized from a workload perspective. Whatever the solution, it must ensure the ability to provide current and improved network services and security to existing workloads, without jamming traffic. A key architectural component of ACI provides a common operational framework to unify applications, networking, cloud, and security teams in defining application requirements.
Where do you want your data center to take you? We have an expert understanding of what these—and other—products offer. So bring us your business goals and let us design the optimal solution for your technology shift. And then, we can provide the services to install and implement data center assets to facilitate and enable your business success.
Join us on March 23 at 10 AM for a Webinar to learn more about the Cisco ACI innovative software-defined networking (SDN) architecture.