Imagine a datacenter where both the network and application delivery system are capable of end-to-end automation and health monitoring from a Central Controller.  Would that be the SDN architecture required to deliver “Fast IT?”

The promise of delivering Fast IT with SDN architectures has been attempted by various vendors who have extended their products with third party, partner ecosystems as a solution. Such attemps have led to excitement in experimental trials that have effectively delivered proof-of-concepts.

However, when such proof-of-concepts solutions need to mature into pre-production and production environments, the need for a system over solutions and central over distributed controllers for end-to-end automation and health monitoring become the tipping point.

Citrix and Cisco are two partners who have driven innovation in the data center for the past 20 years.  Now, they’re investing in the development of  an end-to-end system built from ground up to deliver production ready Fast IT.   As partners, they remain driven by the common goal of being trusted to deliver customer success in this SDN journey to realize Fast IT.

To meet this goal, Cisco is championing the SDN architecture in the data center with the innovative Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) with system level integration from Citrix NetScaler.  This partnership is delivering the next generation data center.  Now,  there is one centralized Cisco Application Infrastructure Controller (APIC) capable of automation and monitoring the health of the end-end network and application delivery system.

Over the years in Cloud Networking, Mobile Workspaces and Cloud Services,  the partnership between Cisco and Citrix has delivered successful end-to-end systems that have been widely embraced by our customers.  The most specific strategic partnership (With respect to the SDN journey) was initiated in October, 2012.  At that time, Cisco choose Citrix NetScaler as the ADC of choice to OEM and the ADC of choice for Cisco ACE migration.

Today, Customer expectations remain as high. This is why Cisco and Citrix took on the challenge of delivering  an end-to-end system for the customers who are in various stages of this SDN journey to deliver Fast IT.

The diagram below demonstrates our commitment to remain committed to customers who are undergoing the journey to address the migration of their installed Cisco ACE service modules and/or appliances from Catalyst 6500 Services Chassis to recommended Citrix NetScaler products.  We have focused on optimizing the customer experience, and seeing that this  experience is enhanced by making architectural innovations on Citrix NetScalers with support for multiple virtual instances, with complete resource isolation, clustering and a lot more functions with the same binary across all form factors.

Once the customer had their data center applications delivered with migration to Citrix NetScalers, they could plan to update their Catalyst 6500 Services Chassis to Nexus 7000(N7K), Nexus 6000(N6K) and Nexus 50000(N5K) switches or leap frog to the Nexus 9000(N9K) switches with application delivery from Citrix NetScalers as a system.

For customers updating to the N7K, N6K, N5K switches and wanting to retain the experience of a Services Chassis, with provisioning simplicity were provided with a option to use Remote Integrated Service Engine (RISE).

Finally for customers updating to/or deploying Nexus 9K with Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), were provided with the Cisco APIC fully capable of configuring production class policies on Citrix NetScaler, with no introduction of additional gateways and controllers.

Effectively delivering  Cisco ACI with APIC as the central controller capable of end-to-end automation and health monitoring of the network and application delivery system.