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Two Software Defined Networking Solutions: Side by Side


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A side by side look at two of the leading software defined networking solutions, Cisco ACI and VMware NSX.

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Two Software Defined Networking Solutions: Side by Side

  1. 1. Want to learn more about NSX or ACI? Download the White Paper 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 whole. Quick Reference Benefits Software Overlay 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 networking equipment 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 capacity utilization In CapEx investments by replacing incumbent gear with commodity switches 42% 50% 18Month 87% 88% 66% Savings 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. Better Together Intelligent Hardware Create network policy templates for each application. The templates will determine bandwidth priority of the apps Automate IT processes and simplify network operations Deploy ACI-enabled Cisco networking hardware to access ACI features ROI IRR Payback Period Reduction Reduction Source: VMware White Paper Savings and Returns Return on investment over a period of 3 years Internal Rate of Return over the same 3 year period The point when net benefits will equal initial investments