IBM and Cisco partner to deploy software-defined networks

By: Jeff Gatz


IT organizations are constantly looking for ways to streamline operations, take advantage of new capabilities and adopt technologies that can reduce IT lead time to improve service. Many enterprises are adopting hybrid cloud and virtualization capabilities as part of an overall data center transformation to increase utilization, reduce costs and automate the data center. Software-defined networking (SDN) provides core capabilities that make networks more agile, secure and scalable and allow them to address the needs of a hybrid cloud environment.

Software Defined Networking (SDN): Readiness assessment for data center networks — download the ebook.

The benefits of software-defined networks

A good software-defined networking solution converges the management of network and application services into a centralized, consolidated environment that automates provisioning and configuration of the entire network. It’s not enough to simply centralize management while leaving the complexities of a legacy network in place. The language of the network must be transformed to enable centralized IT policies that deliver a modern infrastructure that can deploy new applications and services in a matter of minutes. Cisco’s software-defined networking solution, Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), will reduce operating expenses and offer easy scalability and enhanced security.

Cisco’s software-defined networking

Cisco’s SDN solution is delivered through Cisco Nexus 9000 switches and Cisco ACI. Cisco ACI uses a unique application-based policy model to blend the mapping of hardware and software capabilities for SDN. The policy-based approach of Cisco ACI offers unique network automation and agility that not only applies to virtual machines but also to all network-attached devices in the data center. Cisco ACI is open and programmable, allowing you to leverage APIs and a global partner ecosystem. It enhances security and analytics via a white-list model and microsegmentation. It also provides workload mobility at scale, allowing you to deploy, scale and migrate applications seamlessly across multiple hybrid data centers.

IBM and Cisco redefine work

To help customers take advantage of the business and IT benefits of ACI, Cisco has partnered with IBM Network Services. IBM provides complete life-cycle services for SDN, including:

  • High-level architecture
  • Selection and procurement of components
  • Installation and integration
  • Solution deployment and testing
  • Training

These services coupled with Cisco ACI technology empower customers to experience the full benefits of SDN, including software-based programming, automated control of networks, network function virtualization and network virtualization. In the end, these tools will offer businesses agility and the support they need for hybrid cloud and IT-as-a-service deployments.

For more information on IBM’s partnership with Cisco, visit the IBM and Cisco alliance.

Ready to take the next step? Schedule a consultation with an IBM Network Services expert.

Related topic: Software-defined Networking (SDN)

In depth: Software defined (SD) network topics:

IBM Network Services

IBM Network Consulting Services

IBM Services for Software Defined Networking (SDN)

IBM Managed Network Services

IBM Hybrid SD-WAN Services

What is Software-defined wide area network (SD-WAN)?

What is a software-defined data center and how it can help your business?

SDN vs Traditional Networking Explained

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About The Author

Jeff Gatz

Global IBM Business Development Manager

Jeff Gatz, Global IBM Business Development Manager – Cisco Systems, has been in the IT industry for 17 years. His passion for understanding technology and utilizing it to solve complex problems has landed him in a wide variety of roles over his career. Some of those include: Tech Support, Server Admin, Network Admin, Senior Technical... Read more