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Three Ways Apprenda Puts the “A” in Cisco ACI

David Kim

By David Kim

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Last week, Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) announced its vision, strategy, and leadership position in Software-Defined Networking (SDN).

Cisco ACI’s momentum and disruption in the SDN industry is now built on demand and supply economics:

  • Supply side: Expanding the footprint of infrastructure devices, hypervisors, and bare metal endpoints
  • Demand side: Expanding the footprint of applications running on ACI with PaaS, SaaS, and container workloads

So why was Apprenda mentioned in Cisco’s announcement? Because our partnership and integration with the Cisco Northbound API puts the “A” in ACI … or is it that ACI puts the “A” in Apprenda? The driver for the integration was that our customers required a way to isolate applications from one another without providing each application a dedicated environment and network configuration.

Now developers have a solution that is dynamic and agile without requiring them to understand networking, security, and implementation details. Our joint solution helps enterprises drastically reduce time to market, optimize resource utilization, and mitigate security concerns while leveraging their exiting IT investments. While we address a huge number of use cases, I have listed some of the primary ones below.

1. Application Isolation: ACI enables app developers working with Apprenda’s Platform as a Service (PaaS) to incorporate security and isolation capabilities as a native part of their application build by abstracting the infrastructure at deployment. That gives Cisco ACI a completely natural way to reach developers without imposing new DevOps requirements since microservices architectures, modern applications, and their instances are distributed among many different servers or virtual machines — all of which make isolation challenging.

2. Application Compliance: ACI is a game changer for Apprenda’s PaaS because it gives enterprise customers the ability to secure applications and safely share resources across the organization. Highly regulated applications need to run on specialized infrastructure. Beyond hosting these applications, data, and services in a different location, for highly regulated industries all traffic related to ITAR or other regulation must be monitored, audited, and isolated from any other network traffic. While Apprenda’s policy engine ensures that applications are hosted on the regulatory compliant infrastructure, Cisco ACI provides the tools needed to properly monitor and manage the networking segmentations and traffic.

3. Application Independence: With ACI, Apprenda customers don’t need to choose between agility and security. ACI doesn’t create friction in delivering security and isolation benefits are able to adapt to applications as they change in real time. Now customers can host different applications on different infrastructure. Some apps may be hosted in the public cloud while others are not. Some apps may be hosted on legacy infrastructure while others use the power of Cisco ACI. Together we provide policies that govern whether or not an application is hosted on bare metal, private-infrastructure clouds, or traditional virtualized environments from the applications to the network.

Together, Cisco ACI and Apprenda integrate to provide the most secure and comprehensive PaaS platform by expanding ACI to include PaaS, SaaS, and enterprise applications. Customers can now achieve much faster application development and migrations without any loss of security or compliance.

 

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David Kim
David Kim

David Kim is Senior Director of Business Development for Apprenda. David and his team are responsible for strategic alliances and partnerships. Prior to Apprenda, he spent five years at Microsoft as the Service Executive for Joint DoD agencies and 10 years at Citrix as Director of Business Development.

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  1. HarryJanuary 11, 2016

    Dave, great article talking about how applications teams can secure their PaaS. Policy driven infrastructure is a hot topic in the data center and abstracting the infrastructure and simplifying its control through policy is top of mind with users, for example look at the direction the Open Networking User Group is taking. See Nick Lippis’ 2016 new year blog.

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