Cisco taps into AWS for data center, cloud applications


Cisco has released a cloud-service program on its flagship software-defined networking (SDN) software that will let customers manage and secure applications running in the data center or in Amazon Web Service cloud environments.

The service, Cisco Cloud ACI (application centric infrastructure) for AWS lets users configure inter-site connectivity, define policies and monitor the health of network infrastructure across hybrid environments, Cisco said.

Specifically, this connectivity includes an “underlay network for IP reachability (IPsec VPN) over the Internet, or through AWS Direct Connect; an overlay network between the on-premises and cloud sites that runs BGP EVPN [Ethernet VPN] as its control plane and uses Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN) encapsulation and tunneling as its data plane,” Cisco says.

The service utilizes the Cisco Cloud Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (Cloud APIC), which runs natively in AWS public cloud to provide automated connectivity, policy translation and enhanced visibility of workloads in the public cloud, Cisco said. And the Cisco Cloud Services Router (CSR) 1000V brings connectivity between on-premises and AWS Cloud environments. The service enables consistent network segmentation, access control and isolation across hybrid deployments.

“This solution brings a suite of capabilities to extend your on-premises data center into true multi-cloud architectures, helping to drive policy and operational consistency, independent of where your applications or data reside. [It] uses the native AWS constructs for policy translation and gives end to end visibility into the customer’s multi-cloud workloads and connectivity,” wrote Srinivas Kotamraju, senior director of Cisco’s  ACI Product Management Data Center Networking in a blog about the service. 

The service is part of a Cisco plan to spread its data center-influence and technologies by extending ACI and hyperconverged HyperFlex offering to the cloud.  ACI is Cisco’s SDN data-center package, but it also delivers the company’s intent-based networking technology, which brings customers the ability to implement network and policy changes on the fly and ensure data delivery.

Cisco introduced the concept of extending ACI with its ACI Anywher announcement in January, whicht mentioned extending ACI to the cloud – specifically Amazon AWS and Microsoft Azure environments.

The idea is that customers will have the flexibility to run and control applications anywhere they want across private or public clouds or at the edge and while maintaining consistent network policies across their entire domain, Cisco said.

The Cisco Cloud ACI for AWS announcement comes the same week Cisco announced support for Google’s new Anthos hybrid cloud platform. Anthos offers a single managed service that promises to let customers manage and deploy workloads across clouds, all without having to worry about the dissimilar environments or APIs around them. 

Cisco is promising to tightly integrate it with Cisco data-center technologies such as Cisco HyperFlex hyperconverged package, ACI, SD-WAN and Stealthwatch Cloud, offering a consistent, cloud-like experience whether on-prem or in the cloud with automatic upgrades to the latest versions and security patches, Cisco stated.

This story, “Cisco taps into AWS for data center, cloud applications” was originally published by

Network World.

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