Two Software Defined Networking Solutions: Side by Side
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about NSX or ACI?
Two Software Defined Networking Solutions Side by Side
Cisco ACI injects more intelligence into
select Cisco networking hardware. With
this equipment, administrators can
create application profiles to dictate
bandwidth priority and network policies
for key applications.
These policy templates can then be
duplicated, tweaked, and assigned to
each application in the network.
Cisco ACI VMware NSX
VMware NSX is a software overlay
application. It can be applied over
nearly any existing networking
equipment and overrides the
intelligence within the networking
hardware. Admins can set policies
within NSX to manage network traffic.
NSX makes it very easy to create virtual
networks and manage the network as a
Quick Reference Benefits
Spin up networks like virtual machines
Leverage microsegmentation to
effectively place firewalls around each
virtual machine (VM) and prevent East-
West traffic of malicious data
Deploy NSX on any existing
ACI Cash Flow NSX Cost Savings
Source: Forrester Research
In person-hours and costs required to
provision a network
In CapEx investments due to full compute
In CapEx investments by replacing
incumbent gear with commodity switches
In very large network designs, both solutions can be used together to yield the best results.
ACI is best deployed at the core and switching layer. Administrators can use ACI to create
networks within the core switching and assign profiles as necessary. This allows the team to
configure the core of the network through software as well as track changes along the way.
Meanwhile, NSX can be used at the hypervisor level. Using the software overlay, the
administration team can spin up new virtual networks throughout the environment quickly
and efficiently while also enabling microsegmentation of the virtual machines.
This approach overlaps the strengths of each solution to create a strategy more effective
than either individual solution.
Create network policy templates for
each application. The templates
will determine bandwidth priority of
Automate IT processes and
simplify network operations
Deploy ACI-enabled Cisco
networking hardware to access
Source: VMware White Paper
Savings and Returns
Return on investment over a period of 3
Internal Rate of Return over the same 3
The point when net benefits will equal
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