SOFTWARE DEFINED DATACENTER WITH CISCO ACI

Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure is a holistic architecture with centralized automation  and policy-driven application profiles. It delivers software flexibility with the scalability of  hardware performance and facilitates rapid systems integration and customization for  network services, monitoring, management, and orchestration with visibility of both physical  and virtual networks.

The ACI architecture provides a common management framework for network, application,  security and virtualization teams making IT more agile while reducing application deployment  time. It is also optimized for running today’s physical and virtual applications along with being  ready for tomorrow’s emerging architectures that will need to support an “application  anywhere” model with complete freedom of application movement and placement.

ACI is built for multi-tenancy, ensuring proper isolation and detailed telemetry for SLAs across  different consumers of the infrastructure while also providing a consistent security policy  across both physical and virtual applications. ACI empowers IT teams to offer cloud-based  services to their customers directly with the associated SLAs and performance requirements  for the most demanding business applications. It’s an open programmable architecture with  a comprehensive set of APIs that will be exposed to the open source community enabling the  broadest choice in Data Centre management and infrastructure. Finally, ACI enables  comprehensive investment protection by leveraging existing IT teams’ skillset and  infrastructure providing lower overall TCO.

Challenge 

Our customer, a Financial Services Provider, was going through 2 Data Center  migrations, & to negate the requirement in having to reuse hardware &  technology coming to EOL soon, they needed to look at a newer, future proof  solution. The customer had a requirement to keep the stretched VLANs they  utilised in the old network to be available in the new solution as well, this was  needed to meet VM migration & storage strategies defined within the business. The EOL hardware had be removed from the final solution, which meant a  solution need to be found that could facilitate the needed logical network  migration as well. Both Data Centers had to be shut down once the new solution  was deployed.

Solution 

Metsi had worked with the customer to understand their requirements today as  well as the future & Cisco ACI Fabric was suggested to compliment the new VM  Infrastructure & Storage solution they had chosen. Because of the specific customer requirements, a MultiPod ACI Fabric deployment was selected, providing a single  management domain for their SDDC network solution. ACI integrated with the Flashstack  solution that was chosen for the Infrastructure & Storage requirements.

Once the required services were migrated into the solution, the final stage of migrating the  network gateways from the EOL hardware into the ACI Fabric was completed. Any EOL  hardware could now be removed with no impact to services.

Summary

Metsi provided the architectural, solution & design services required to successfully  complete the design implementation, configuration & support needed to meet the  customer’s requirements. This included working with the customer & their partners during each phase of the project. 2 new Data Centers were deployed using a Cisco  ACI MPOD solution & services were successfully migrated into the new solution.

Metsi provided ongoing support for the ACI solution & ACI automation process to leverage  the open API used within the ACI solution.

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