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As a leading network security company, Symantec aims to ensure the safe and successful flow of information. This summer, the company is starting to roll out Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) to automate IT infrastructure and significantly speed up and strengthen its ability to deliver application security.
Symantec is one of the earliest adopters of ACI, which has three primary components: Nexus 9000 switches, the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC), and the Application Virtual Switch. In the video below, Symantec Vice President of Alliances Sean Doherty talks to Cisco Senior Director Shashi Kiran about how Symantec is adopting ACI to provide the infrastructure for a more modern, agile environment.
Like any other long-established IT environment, Symantec’s network is a complex system ranging from legacy components to state-of-the-art cloud deployments. Some applications have been through the physical to virtual cycle, and others have been placed on clouds. To get to the next level, Symantec wanted a fabric to provide automation that would allow users to share the same infrastructure securely yet separately.
The company already has reaped automation’s benefits in its Granite Labs division, believed to be the largest software-defined data center in the world. Thanks to automation, the company needs just 29 people to run production operations for 7,000 users, 45,000 x86 VMs, and a large number of Unix bare metal systems.
Symantec plans to extend similar benefits throughout its IT environment using the Cisco ACI fabric. ACI will provide a more standardized infrastructure that allows people to detect and remediate breaches more quickly, while automating basic tasks so people can invest more time on security. “Adopting this infrastructure brings a base level of security,” Doherty said. “When we look at the analysis of most breaches, there has been human error involved. Being able to define an application stops accidents.”
Symantec has been rolling out Nexus 9000s since the end of spring, and this month the company plans to go live with its first APIC deployment. Doherty expects the company will take a couple of years to fully migrate its IT services to the ACI infrastructure. “We’re taking the opportunity to look at the tools that ACI and the other controls that environment gives us and design them to fit for the next decade,” he said.
“This is not a networking refresh. This is a way of changing our IT operations.”
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