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April 2014 Vol. 16 / No. 3

How Cisco's 'Application Centric Infrastructure' differs from SDN

Cisco Systems is touting its "spin-in" Insieme Networks' Application Centric Infrastructure, which is purpose-built for integrating cloud computing and data center management, as an alternative to software-defined networking. The Application Centric Infrastructure technology was developed by former Cisco employees and announced in November 2013. Cisco completed its acquisition of Insieme Networks in December. Application Centric Infrastructure is positioned as another component in Cisco's network programmability framework. Software-defined networking (SDN) was created specifically to solve security issues. It involves a zero-trust model that assumes all guests are untrusted and limits the code base. VMware's network virtualization platform, NSX, which was one of the very first implementations of SDN, uses a set of primitives that can be controlled by software, independent of the physical devices beneath it. The NSX platform was announced in August 2013 at VMworld. In addition to fast-growing partner ecosystems, a key similarity ...

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