Apprenda and Cisco ACI Announce Secure Application Platform with Dynamic App Isolation

By Rakesh Malhotra

Apprenda Cisco ACI

Apprenda and Cisco partnered more than a year ago to enable organizations who want to accelerate their path to digitization. Since then, we have been working together to build best of breed solutions to run your application workloads.

Today we are pleased to announce Apprenda’s full integration with Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). Now enterprises can leverage our turnkey solution to run their application portfolios in a more secure, efficient, and reliable fashion.

As always, we started with the real-world problems customers were having and looked to solve them. Our customers are moving from having software as a supporting part of their business to becoming the business. In other words, they are delivering their value directly through software applications. By leveraging Apprenda, they are modernizing their applications and embracing the cloud operating model.

This means silos being broken down and shared application platforms are becoming more application- and developer-centric. Once you start delivering things quickly and start sharing resources that had previously been siloed, security becomes a top-of-mind concern as these mission-critical, revenue-generating applications tend to run in highly regulated environments. We realized that for businesses to deliver high-quality agile applications and keep up with the increasing pace of change they need to:

  • Manage regulatory compliance and security while moving to new microservices architecture
  • Maintain service level agreements (SLAs) without compromising agility and efficiency
  • Isolate hyper-distributed applications across bare metal servers, virtual machines and containers
  • Empower developers and embrace DevOps for rapid app development

Our conviction was confirmed by a 2016 IDG Study of more than 200 U.S. enterprises that said the top three obstacles for hybrid cloud adoption are: security, industry regulation, and SLA adherence. Our container based platform provides isolation at the compute, memory, and storage levels.

As customers started onboarding more applications onto the Apprenda Cloud Platform, new requirements began to surface. Application Network isolation, for example, was becoming increasingly important. Developers didn’t have to worry about this type of configuration traditionally – IT and InfoSec teams made sure the network and infrastructure was to spec. Our goal was to create a solution where developers still receive the value of PaaS for their applications, plus security and network isolation features without additional upfront burden.

Customers told us that they wanted to tie network isolation policy to application characteristics such as the sensitivity of the data the app works, the owning business unit or the SLA classification. They also wanted operators to be able to customize and configure policies in a way that is completely transparent to developers and their applications.

This is where the integration comes in. Application policy drives how the network is configured in ACI. Groups of applications with similar characteristics are now placed together in their own security domains, which to ACI are endpoint groups. The traffic flow is dictated by filters and contracts, which again are specified and controlled by application policy.

An additional benefit, the standard platform operator is now able to pull information regarding the network configuration in an easy to digest manner. The Apprenda-ACI integration harvests health, event, and fault data on the ACI control plane, making it more comprehensive for platform operators to diagnose application and system issues. Lastly, the integration offers up a northbound-API and a cross-platform CLI tool that enables platform operators to automate and control the configuration of their network from their favorite suite of tools.

For more, check out the video below for a tour into some of the functionality for the Apprenda-ACI integration, or download our joint whitepaper.



Rakesh Malhotra

Prior to joining Apprenda, Rakesh was at Microsoft for more than nine years where he most recently was principal group program manager for cloud and data center management and was among the one percent of employees nominated to Microsoft’s Corporate Leadership Bench Program. Previously, he was principal lead program manager for Microsoft’s Enterprise Storage Division. During his tenure at Microsoft, Rakesh helped found the cloud and virtualization group in 2005, built and managed a team of program managers to deliver System Center Virtual Machine Manager and assisted in promoting the company’s cloud technology platforms including Windows Server Hyper-V and Windows Azure. Rakesh received his bachelor of applied science in computer engineering from the University of Waterloo where he graduated with first class honors.

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