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Response to CRN Interview With Chuck Robbins - August 2015

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sdnI recently read a great interview with the new CEO of Cisco, Chuck Robbins, on CRN.com. He touched on topics from ACI to IoT to channel partners. Recommended reading!

ACI Led the Discussion

It was exciting that Chuck led with a discussion on ACI. Zenoss is working with many organizations implementing policy-defined networking, and it's fascinating how quickly customers are adapting to this new technology.

You might think about ACI implementations in three broad categories:

  1. People replacing classic core-aggregation design with spine-leaf. Generally, not a ton of ACI policy exploitation, happy for the simpler design and higher capacity. Zenoss provides node and APIC visibility with dependency mapping.
  2. People using network application segmentation, so deploying virtual network devices (e.g. Cisco ASAv or Citrix Netscaler VPX). Using ACI policy to define network segments for applications. Zenoss adds application network visibility and gives network admins a view of the virtual infrastructure supporting the virtual network devices.
  3. People using ACI with UCS Director to build a software-defined data center. They're provisioning applications and networks at the same time. Zenoss provides data center-wide application visibility — workload, network, storage, virtualization, and compute.

We're impressed by how many people are talking about, planning for, and implementing the software-defined data center. And since that's where our strength lies, we see tremendous opportunity.

Opportunities for Cisco Partners

Chuck also talked about the opportunity for Cisco partners in helping their customers move from 75% systems integration work to 75% strategic technology value. We're actively helping partners execute this transition. When a partner proposes Cisco technology along with Zenoss, they help their customer build what we call the Intelligent Data Center. You get that when you describe via policy and unify day 1 provisioning and day 2 operations all in an automated flow. In day 2, you need to track whether you're achieving the business value you planned for and look for additional opportunities. Zenoss provides the day 2 information customers and partners need to determine exactly those things, and, as we're policy-driven ourselves, the effort to keep deployments in sync with plans is tremendously reduced.

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