News Release

Cisco Extends SDN Leadership; Delivers Customer Choice for Data Center Programmability and Automation; Enhances Software and Expands Nexus Portfolio

Cisco delivers industry's broadest solution portfolio for Software Defined Networks
Jun 10, 2015

SAN DIEGO, Calif. – June 10, 2015 – Today at Cisco Live, Cisco’s annual IT and communications conference, Cisco announced new capabilities to enhance its comprehensive SDN strategy. Cisco continues to lead the industry by innovating on open APIs, and industry standards, and now with a newly expanded SDN hardware and software portfolio. Cisco delivers automation and programmability with flexibility across a full range of deployment models.

Cisco’s Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) approach was recently highlighted in an ExpertROI Spotlight by IDC. Symantec, a Cisco ACI customer and one of the largest software companies in the world, projects a five-year cumulative benefit of 441 percent ROI and reports 87 percent faster application development life cycle as a direct result of deploying ACI.

Portfolio additions will be generally available in 2HCY15 and include:

New Hardware and Software Additions to Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI)

Cisco announces a new major version of software for ACI deployments including additional cloud management integration, enhanced multi-site support and improved operations including:

  • Microsoft Azure and System Center virtual network automation and transit fabric interconnect support
  • Expanded ACI stretched fabric support for multi-site data center deployment and disaster recovery use cases for up to 150 kilometers over DWDM, Pseudo wire and 40G dark fiber
  • CliQr, a new ACI ecosystem member, provides application dependency mapping and application deployment automation on ACI networks
  • Improved operational simplicity with heat maps, capacity planning and new simplified troubleshooting tools. 

New SDN Capabilities across the Nexus Switch Portfolio

Cisco announces new enhancements to the Nexus portfolio, including a common programmatic approach, standards-based automation, and new Nexus 3000 switches:

  • Cisco NX-OS operating system extensibility support on Nexus 9000 switches with:
    • Object store and model-driven NX-API enhancements
    • Built in third party DevOps automation tools
    • Secure SDK enabling third party and custom application development running natively on NX-OS
  • A common programmatic approach using NX-API across the entire Nexus switch portfolio (Nexus 2000 through Nexus 9000 switches)
  • New Nexus 3200 Top of Rack switches for next generation 10G/25G/40G/50G/100G cloud data centers are available Q3CY15.
    • Nexus 3232C  delivers 128 ports of 25Gb or 32 ports of 100Gb
    • Nexus 3264Q delivers 64 ports of 40Gb
  • Standards-based fabric support on Cisco Nexus 5600 and Nexus 7000 switches with VXLAN BGP EVPN in addition to the current support available on Nexus 9000
  • Now shipping: extension of standards-based fabric support with VXLAN BGP EVPN to the modular Cisco Nexus 9500 series switches

New Cisco Virtual Topology System (VTS)

Cisco Virtual Topology System, a data center overlay provisioning and management system for stand-alone Nexus fabric, supports overlays across the entire Cisco Nexus switch portfolio (Nexus 2000 through Nexus 9000 switches.) VTS supports the BGP EVPN control plane for managing VXLAN overlays in the programmable fabric. It also integrates with cloud management systems such as OpenStack, using plug-ins for seamless integration and overlay automation.

Cisco SDN Highlights

Cisco’s SDN strategy and solution portfolio enable customers to build flexible and agile networks that support their business needs, while maintaining investment protection and lowering the total cost of ownership with a broad choice of deployment options. Today Cisco offers the most open portfolio and broadest choice of SDN solutions while delivering maximum value through software and hardware differentiation.

  • Cisco supports hypervisors from VMware, Microsoft and Red Hat and provides comprehensive centralized virtual network automation and visibility with Cisco ACI
  • Cisco offers advanced programmability and automation through configuration management tools throughout its data center switching portfolio
  • Cisco has 2,655 Nexus and ACI customers and over 585 APIC Customers
  • Cisco’s Nexus 3000 and Nexus 9000 portfolio grew 144 percent year-over-year, with over 1 million switch ports shipped
  • Cisco was the first vendor to ship VXLAN BGP EVPN inside the data center with the Nexus 9000 series switches

Cisco’s SDN deployment models include:

  • Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI):  Cisco ACI provides a fully integrated SDN approach for enterprise, commercial and service provider customers who want a turnkey solution  focused on security, centralized management, compliance, and an ability to scale quickly. ACI meets these expectations through an automated application centric-policy model with embedded security, while integrating a broad and deep open partner ecosystem. ACI’s integrated overlay model provides full support of heterogeneous physical, virtual and container endpoints, using consistent policy, while centralized management provides faster troubleshooting of the entire infrastructure.
  • Programmable Fabric: For service providers and IaaS/cloud providers who want a programmable fabric approach to SDN, the Cisco Nexus switch portfolio (Nexus 2000, 3000, 5600, 7000 and 9000 switches) now provides flexibility, mobility and scale across a single heterogeneous network through enhancements such as:
    • Support for BGP-EVPN VXLAN provisioning.
    • Provisioning and management for existing environments by extending the BGP-EVPN fabric via software overlay
    • Seamless integration with cloud management systems such as OpenStack
  • Programmable Network:  New enhancements to the NX-OS operating system now deliver a programmable network for customers to automate network configuration and management while taking advantage of familiar Linux toolsets, to manage their compute and networks in a consistent operational model.


Read IDC Report: Symantec Delivering on Its Strategic Vision with Next-Generation Secure Datacenter Powered by Cisco ACI

Learn more about: Cisco Data Center and Virtualization

Learn more about:  Virtual Topology System

Read:  Cisco Nexus 3232C Switch

Read:  Cisco Nexus 3264Q Switch

View ACI animated videos: “One Day at a Large Financial Institution”, “Fixing an Application with Cisco ACI”, “Upgrading an Application with Cisco ACI”, “Cisco ACI and IT Security Automation Saves the Day

Learn more about: Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI)

Learn How Cisco ACI delivers business outcomes

Cisco Data Center Services


About Cisco

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in IT that helps companies seize the opportunities of tomorrow by proving that amazing things can happen when you connect the previously unconnected. For ongoing news, please go to

# # #

Cisco and the Cisco logo are trademarks or registered trademarks of Cisco and/or its affiliates in the U.S. and other countries. A listing of Cisco's trademarks can be found at Third-party trademarks mentioned are the property of their respective owners. The use of the word partner does not imply a partnership relationship between Cisco and any other company.

Availability Disclaimer: Many of the products and features described herein remain in varying stages of development and will be offered on a when-and-if-available basis. This products and features are subject to change at the sole discretion of Cisco, and Cisco will have no liability for delay in the delivery or failure to deliver any of the products or features set forth in this document.