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Faster, Cheaper, Scalable Hybrid Cloud Deployments with Cloud ACI and AWS Transit Gateway Connect

Public cloud infrastructure led by industry leaders such as AWS will continue to play dominant roles across the IT industry for the foreseeable future.

According to the IDC Research report “Worldwide Whole Cloud Forecast, 2020–2024”, global cloud revenue for hardware/software/support going to reach $180.7 B by 2024 up from 106.8 B in 2019, a Compound Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 11.1%.

“By the end of 2021, based on lessons learned in the pandemic, most enterprises will put a mechanism in place to accelerate their shift to cloud-centric digital infrastructure and application services twice as fast as before the pandemic. Spending on cloud services, the hardware and software components underpinning cloud services, and the professional and managed services opportunities around cloud services will surpass $1 trillion in 2024.” — Rick Villars, group vice president, Worldwide Research at IDC.

The Digital Business Transformation journey has entered a more challenging and urgency-driven phase. Businesses have had to adjust to a new normal, one that is rapidly evolving and is here to stay. Cost-effective and productive digital solutions are the need of the hour as many industries are experiencing the impact of this new “remote” reality. The shutdowns of offices, schools, and enterprises have dramatically increased the demand for cloud solutions and services.

Recent global events have served notice to accelerate these migrations to the public cloud sites to gain cost and speed efficiencies while maintaining a high degree of availability for their business critical on-prem data offerings. These trends have put significant strain on our customers, who are tasked with more ambitious Objectives and Key Results (OKR) and reducing ongoing costs with a simpler operational model.

Cisco and AWS recognized these customer pain-points and have embraced the hybrid cloud model for some time now. Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (Cisco ACI™) was launched as part of our intent-based networking framework to enable agility in the datacenter. With the Cisco Cloud ACI solution on AWS , organizations can use the same operating model on AWS as they do with their on-premises data centers today. This solution provides a single management control point to automate inter-cloud connectivity, view the health of various cloud deployments, and consistently stretch policies into multiple cloud locations.

Cloud ACI, also extends its application-centric policy management on Amazon Web Service (AWS), with a hypervisor agnostic architecture that enables consistent end to end policy across the entire infrastructure, be it physical, containerized or virtual across multiple clouds. Cisco’s Multi-Site Orchestrator (MSO), expands functions to the AWS Cloud sites and automates the creation of overlay connectivity between all sites (on premises and on AWS).

The Cloud ACI integration on AWS already delivers significant benefits to our customers. A steady stream of feature rich software releases has strengthened the joint solution and provides innovative policy driven networking for customers’ hybrid cloud infrastructure. These include secure interconnect to public cloud sites, best practice networking automation inside the cloud infrastructure and an extension of the on-premises policy semantics to the cloud. The strong collaboration between the two companies continues as we announce our next wave of integrations with the new AWS networking offerings.

Announcing Cisco Cloud ACI and Amazon Transit Gateway (TGW) Connect Integration:

AWS Transit Gateway (TGW) enables organizations to simplify and scale the connectivity of AWS Virtual Private Clouds (VPCs) with one another and to their on-premises networks via a central hub.. By enabling a “hub and-spoke” topology, the solution reduced the number of Virtual Private Cloud  peering connections and consolidated access to the on-premises network. Cloud ACI on AWS is already shipping with the AWS Transit Gateway integration and customers are able to take advantage of the hub-and spoke model of connectivity inside the cloud. VPC to VPC peering communication is automated with the Cisco Cloud ACI automatically provisioning the Transit Gateway, making the networking setup and VPC attachments to the Transit Gateway seamless. All of this, while maintaining the security and segmentation posture defined in the ACI policy.

Today, we are taking automation inside the cloud to the next phase.  I am excited to announce Cisco’s  plans to integrate with the Transit Gateway Connect, a new attachment type in AWS Transit Gateway that enables cloud routers to exchange BGP routes with AWS Transit Gateway over a high-bandwidth non-encrypted tunnel.

“AWS is pleased to collaborate with Cisco for the new AWS Transit Gateway Connect feature. Through this native integration, customers will benefit from a simplified branch and data center deployment experience to AWS. This solution will enhance segmentation, scale bandwidth, and provide granular route advertisement capability. Customers deploying global networks on AWS can utilize a single orchestration, management, and visualization platform for their branch and data center hybrid networks,” said Mayumi Hiramatsu, Vice President, Amazon EC2 Networking.

Cloud ACI

Remote productivity options for enterprise businesses will continue to place high demand on secure high throughput access to the AWS workloads. Cloud ACI with AWS Transit Gateway Connect will enhance the current solution by providing several benefits:-

  1. Higher throughput for hybrid cloud traffic – With AWS Transit Gateway Connect automation multiple CSRs are able to connect to a single AWS Transit Gateway over higher throughput GRE tunnels.
  2. Higher route scale – with AWS Transit Gateway Connect automation, a significantly higher number of routes will be supported on the AWS Transit Gateway, with no VPC subnet route table automation required.
  3. Optimal ECMP for hybrid cloud traffic – To achieve ingress throughput in to the cloud ACI sites, a scale-out model is supported with the virtual CSR instances.
    • With AWS Transit Gateway Connect automation, optimal ECMP can now be supported on hybrid cloud traffic across on-prem and AWS sites.
    • Horizontal scaling is possible since BGP ECMP can be used to load balance traffic across EC2 instances.
  4. Lower cost– The enhancement will eliminate the need to automate multiple AWS Transit Gateway instances for external site connectivity through the CSRs.

“Cloud ACI on AWS has a rich track record of delivering innovative hybrid cloud networking infrastructure for our customers. We have continued our investment with AWS announcing the availability of our integration with the AWS Transit Gateway , and now we further our relationship by announcing our intent to integrate Cloud ACI with AWS’s new Transit Gateway connect solution. As the recent global events places unprecedented demands on our customers’ infrastructure, the joint solution continues to address customer pain-points by providing them a lower cost, scalable, and higher throughput solution for their multi-datacenter and cloud connectivity needs. “ – said Ronak Desai, Vice President, Cisco Data Center Networking

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Author: Navjyoti Sharma

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