New Cisco Initiative Extends Data Center to Where the Data Is

Cisco has announced a new architecture to extend the data center to wherever that data lives and everywhere applications are deployed. To support this “data center anywhere” initiative, Cisco is introducing a range of innovations across networking, hyperconvergence, security, and automation.

As part of the initiative, Cisco is extending  ACI into the cloud with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure environments; extending HyperFlex into branch offices and remote locations to power applications at the edge; adding enhancements to CloudCenter to help customers manage the lifecycle of applications across multiple cloud environments; and creating a simpler way for customers to buy and manage the technology across the entire data center architecture, via a single enterprise agreement.

“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, Data Center Business Group, Cisco. “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. Today, Cisco is helping our customers expand their reach into every cloud, every data center, and every branch.”

ACI available in AWS and Azure

Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) is Cisco’s intent-based networking solution for the data center. It delivers operational simplicity, application agility and protection in the data center—all delivered in an open approach that integrates with all hypervisors and container frameworks on which applications are deployed. With ACI Anywhere, that journey extends ACI to any workload, any location, any cloud. Virtual ACI already supports bare metal clouds and remote edge locations and now with the new Cloud ACI capabilities, Cisco extends automation, management, and security to AWS and Microsoft Azure by fully integrating with their Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) environments. 

HyperFlex for Branch

Deploying hyperconverged infrastructure to multiple sites in order to provide distributed computing at a global scale can be a complex task. HyperFlex with Cisco Intersight now allows customers to seamlessly extend computing and storage from their core data centers to the edges of their operations. It does this with flexible scalability and the unmatched ease-of-use of cloud-powered systems management. HyperFlex now delivers data center-class application performance for digital innovation in branch offices and remote sites, enabling analytics and intelligent services at the enterprise edge. 

CloudCenter Suite

 The operational complexity and burgeoning cost of managing applications across multiple public and private clouds is a growing challenge for IT teams. The new CloudCenter Suite now features full application lifecycle management, greater workflow automation, and significantly enhanced cost optimization and governance.  According to the company, the new suite is also easier to consume, with simplified deployment, tiered pricing and a new SaaS offering.  

New Data Center Enterprise Agreement

Customers can now take advantage of a single standardized 3- or 5-year licensing agreement across seven suites, including ACI, HyperFlex, Intersight and Tetration. The Cisco EA provides customers with choice in deployment models and license portability across physical, virtual or cloud deployments. It lets customers have access to what they need, when and where they need it, available from their preferred channel partner. 

Cross-Domain Integrations

Now, ACI also integrates with AppDynamics to correlate app performance with network health. It also integrates with Cisco DNA Center and the Identity Services Engine to deliver end-to-end identity-based policy and access control between users or devices on campus and applications or data anywhere. These integrations are the latest step on Cisco’s path to create a multi-domain architecture.

For more information about Cisco’s data center anywhere strategy, go to