Cisco has more than 4,000 customers using its ACI — the company’s software-defined networking (SDN) technology for private data centers. The APIC is the name of the SDN controller within ACI. It all works in conjunction with Cisco’s Nexus 9000 switches.
By bridging to public cloud, Cisco customers will be able to run applications across their own private clouds as well as public clouds of their choice, maintaining consistent network policies across it all.
Edsell said most of the work to accomplish this has fallen to Cisco. In terms of working with the cloud titans, he said, “They’re very aggressive. It’s been a fairly quick process. We have the world’s largest footprint on-premise. For them to have compatibility and ease between environments is a positive for them. And we see it as an opportunity for us.”
As far as the technology to bridge between private and public clouds, Cisco maps its APIs to the native APIs of each public cloud provider.
“We map to the interfaces of these public clouds,” said Edsell. “We don’t take anything away from the Amazon solution [for example]. Customers want to have our APIs and have a consistent way of interacting with infrastructure on-prem and off-prem. They don’t want to lose any capabilities the cloud providers give them.
The company will also use its existing APIC multi-site technology. Until now, it’s been used to aggregate all of the controllers across the multiple private data centers of an enterprise. It provides central management for all these sites. “That same framework will be extended across this multi-cloud environment,” said Edsell. “Deployments in AWS, for example, will look like just another datacenter.”
Most enterprises are looking for a hybrid combination of public cloud and on-premises infrastructure based on their specific applications. And vendors are working to meet this demand.
At its HPE Discover conference this summer, the company said it is working on a project, internally named Project New Stack, that will help IT departments bridge their on-premise, private cloud ecosystems to public clouds.