ACI 2018: ACI Anywhere and AVE (Application Virtual Edge)

It's 2018, and looking back at 2017 I must say that I'm quite happy, because having all in mind - it seems that Cisco is taking Cloud seriously. Four arguments to prove this:

  • Intent Based approach
  • UCS and HyperFlex evolution using Cisco Intersight
  • Cisco CloudCenter evolving
  • ACI Anywhere

Let's try and explain all these concepts...

What is Intent Based Data Center?

Apps are the new business, as our customers customer is the business developer. Intent based networking is really about building networking in accordance to that, follow the intent of the developers in the networking space. This means that what we used to call Policy, we should actually call Intent.

What is Cisco Intersight?

Cisco Intersight: The idea is to achieve the Application Continuity on the Compute level, and also on the Networking and Security level. This means that we need something to keep the coherent policies around our clouds. Intersight is a step in that direction, being the intelligent management cloud platform for Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) and Hyper Flex

What is ACI Anywhere about?

One of the ideas of the entire Cloud native approach is to define the Policy Model, which includes Connectivity, Security and other policies, and apply the same Policy Model regardless whether your workloads are in the Public or Private cloud. In UCS we have Service Profiles, while in the ACI we have the Application Profiles. At the moment these only apply in the Data Center, where our ACI is. There are almost 4000 customers deploying ACI at the moment (January 2018). Why not extend this Policy Model to the Public Cloud? Imagine how happy the Hybrid Cloud fans, such as myself, will be when this becomes the reality.

ACI Anywhere has a simple objective: take the ACI policy model to the Cloud. The new Data Center is a Multi Cloud Data Center, so what needs to be done is a consistent management paradigm across the cloud. ACI Multi Site controller allows us to control the ACI on different sites using a single management platform, using this you can choose the Tenants that are "stretched" across multiple ACIs, and the ones that are local to some of them.

To sum up: ACI Anywhere = ACI Multi Site + ACI in Public Cloud

How do we bring ACI Policy Model to a Public Cloud? Using the AVE (Application Virtual Edge). At the moment (ACI 3.1) AVE is basically AVS. However, it will evolve into a Virtual Gateway concept that will allow us to "put" the ACI Policy Model into any Virtual Environment, and any Public Cloud. At the moment it is announced to support VMware with NSX, OpenStack, Google Cloud, AWS and Azure. Stay tuned for more details...

What about Micro Services?

Containers are the part of the new reality, because even though not many customers are actually using them at the moment - everyone is looking at them. Kubernetes is, in accordance with that, made a crucial part of ACI. I've already tested Kubernetes and OpenShift integration with ACI in my Lab, and I must say that I'm impressed. Right after the CiscoLive in Barcelona, I will cover the details of these integrations, so follow my Tweets/Blog.


  1. Wow, you really drank the Kool Aid - InterCloud begat InterSite - move on, nothing to see here folks...

  2. There have been no updates on this. Also I was in a meeting with Cisco the other day. They straight up lied when they said they could today do workload migration cross cloud with AWS, Azure, and Google. When I asked how every answer was AVE. I asked how the machines get re profiled and he said, AVE. This is all vapor ware.


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