IT departments all over the world are finding themselves racing to keep up with the pace of innovation. We no longer exist in a place where technology will stay steady for long. Applications are driving users to demand more from their networks and more from their platforms. Making sense of it all can seem impossible to solve without the right tools.
I recently had a chance to sit down and talk to one of the people trying to solve this challenge for customers. Ronak Desai is Vice President of Engineering for Cisco’s Data Center Networking group. He’s been in the enterprise IT business for a long time and he’s seen a number of shifts over the years. When I asked him about where the market stands today, he didn’t hesitate to give me the lay of the land.
Data centers are still the place where your data and compute needs are located. However, the data center isn’t just in your office building any longer. They’ve shifted to colocation facilities, public cloud, edge computing resources, and even some combination of all of those. The future that is being deployed by customers today is most assuredly hybrid in nature.
Application owners are driving the way we build our data center networks and compute resources. Instead of the infrastructure teams dictating to the software developers how things must look based on constraints, we’re seeing that paradigm flipped around. Now, the developers are asking for infrastructure that is highly programmable and segmented end-to-end for the sake of security no matter where the application user might be located. All of it has to be delivered as a service to the application owners with zero additional management overhead needed and pay-as-you-go pricing to capitalize on operational expenditure (OpEx) budgets.
Cisco is leading the way with their Nexus Dashboard technology. They recognize these challenges and they know how to solve them with their customers. With a focus on hybrid models, no one solution is going to be perfect for every need you have. Understanding how customers are using the technology and adapting your solution to that usage is the key to enabling your customers and partners to succeed.
Whether or not the customers are planning on deploying a hybrid environment, that’s what they end up using. However, the operational model for this deployment can vary widely. The way that public cloud does something can be vastly different from legacy infrastructure in an on-prem data center. What operations teams need to make it all work well is some kind of unified language that allows a single group to make decisions that are best for the applications.
Cisco Nexus Dashboard Integrator has a unified policy language that allows Cisco to create that interface. With a single policy language, teams can deploy resources where they are needed and ensure they are up and running. They can also make granular changes to specific kinds of devices and be assured that nothing is going to break in the wrong locations. This unification of the overlay policy programming and underly network infrastructure is a huge advantage that cannot be utilized by other companies that only focus on one or the other.
Another significant advantage of the Cisco Nexus Dashboard platform is analytics. Instead of treating traditional data centers and public cloud resources as two separate entities, Cisco pulls the statistics from each location and puts them in the same data lake. This allows your teams to see how things are performing and what needs to be improved. For the operations teams, you gain insights into every little detail you need to see. With the AI and ML resources built into the platform, you can help troubleshoot issues as they come up and predict when problems will occur. The same AI and ML algorithms also help surface the top issues in your environment for the stakeholders. Instead of a laundry list of minutia, they get to see the Top 5 things they need to know and can have those phrased in such a way as to be able to make quick strategic decisions to solve them.
Bringing It All Together
Unifying your data center with the cloud seems like some kind of strange alchemy. You need the right resources that can take the unique value propositions of both and capitalize on them to help your application owners succeed and flourish. With Cisco Nexus Dashboard you gain the unified solution you need to create this integration as well as the analytics you have to have in order to ensure everything is working the way it should. Cisco is leading the way in this new frontier thanks to the excellent vision of folks like Ronak Desai. Thanks to him and the rest of his team for this great interview!
For more information about Cisco and their hybrid cloud strategies, including more resources on Cisco Nexus Dashboard, make sure you check out Ronak’s blog post here, as well as additional resources on Cisco Blogs.