“Move faster. Transform. Do more with less. Be agile. Increase reliability. Keep us secure.”
That pretty much sums up the demands put on CIOs these days. Some of those requirements appear to be contradictory and there are times when all of them can feel impossible. Nonetheless, if an organization is going to survive it needs an agile IT department that is able to fulfill lofty and shifting strategic goals while operating on a continuously accelerating application lifecycle.
You can’t do that using old tactics with siloed and different operational models for application, network, security, and cloud teams. That method means any a new application has to go through a chain of administration and be reviewed by several different teams. Not very fast and agile, is it?
Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) advanced by Cisco turns that around by letting all teams work together in parallel. ACI transforms IT into an application-centric model that automates deployment, operations, and visibility. This change begins at the network level in order to optimize for application agility.
ACI eliminates application, network, and security team communications gaps by capturing application requirements in a clearly defined policy model using the language of the application administrator. This results in a concrete expression of application requirements throughout the network infrastructure. Its object-oriented approach resolves the problems of complexity that cripple so many networks today, while enabling accurate, repeatable automation to deploy applications. This is particularly useful for organizations adopting a DevOps structure.
What does this mean in concrete terms?
- Easier, faster management
ACI’s architecture gives a holistic view of all applications. This provides centralized application-level integrated visibility and real-time application health monitoring in physical and virtual environments.
- Less time spent on firewall and routing ACL changes
ACI makes what had been a difficult and time-consuming process a snap. So no more waiting days or weeks to repair.
- Data center provisioning in minutes not of days
Manual processes and IT silos means provisioning of IT resources can take days or even months. ACI slashes that by letting different IT administrators to work as a single team, define policies, and then automate the provisioning of IT resources.
- Superior alignment with business goals
ACI delivers on-demand scale-out and tear-down which make for more predictable application IT spending that is better aligned with business activity.
- Rapid infrastructure configuration
ACI drives operational simplicity by having common policy, management, and operation models across application, network, and security resources. This centralized deployment model integrated into the DevOps structure rushes the configuration and maintenance of security and network infrastructure.
- Better application performance
ACI can provide up to an 80% increase* in application flow completion time.
- Move the computing to where it’s needed
ACI’s flexibility and agility enable any workload to be delivered anywhere. This means resources can be migrated around the network as the business requirements change
- Improved network security
The security team can have tight end-to-end control thanks to the automation of security policy. ACI applies a policy model designed to capture application requirements and automate deployment across the network, regardless of whether the applications are virtualized or running on bare metal.
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*Source: Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure whitepaper