In last week’s blog I mentioned that I recently had the opportunity to share some of my excitement about the Cisco UCS family of products during an interview with Cisco. This week I would like to dive deeper into Cisco VACS (Cisco Virtual Application Container Services) as the second platform that I believe will help propel LightEdge (and the industry at large) into the future.

Cisco VACS (Cisco Virtual Application Container Services)

While UCSD is focused on the infrastructure or building blocks that go into Cloud, VACS helps IT group these building blocks together in a meaningful manner. Although the business users MAY want a single VM they typically want a meaningful package of IT. For example 3 VMs, with specific security policies between the 3 VMs, with a specific load balancer policy to the world. The “package” may live in one data center today but tomorrow it may need to move to another data center.

I often find people trying to compare VACS to a traditional 3-tier application approach as they attempt to understand what VACS can do for them. Although VACS can help solve this traditional use case it does a lot more. Consider for example the increasing security requirements around federal/banking and medical hosting. Because VACS allows one to build “policy wrappers” of logic one could leverage VACS to solve security requirements of compliant hosting in a very scalable fashion. Instead of slaving over hundreds or thousands of firewall policies, VACS allows you to create simple logical policies. VACS then applies that policy itself to all of the physical infrastructure. “I only want the web servers to be able to talk to the SQL servers on port 1433”. Simple policy if all the webservers and SQL servers are in specific subnets, in specific data centers, right? Now imagine 500 web servers, 30 SQL servers, in 100 different subnets, in 10 different data centers. Gets difficult pretty quickly right? VACS gets you back to “I only want the web servers to be able to talk to the SQL servers on port 1433”.

Check back next week for highlights on Cisco InterCloud Fabric.