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Leave Behind a Legacy: Escaping the Paradox of Infrastructure Upgrades for Your Data Center


Jeremiah Cornelius, Technical Leader for Alliances and Partners at AlgoSec, explains how AlgoSec’s discovery and automation makes the transition possible from traditional switched networks to a secure and agile application-centric fabric built on Nexus 9000 and Cisco ACI.


It’s Called “Legacy”, But It’s How We Live Today

I’ve noticed something over the past few years discussing security with our technology partners. Even today, in the general adoption phase of the Cloud Era, there are still many organizations with significant ‘legacy’ infrastructure embedded in their data centers and network operations. You might be surprised by who some of these are – it’s probably not who you imagine. Some have an already established footprint in hybrid cloud services or even operate entire parts of their business with publicly hosted cloud providers. Others understand the technology and business advantages of this next generation of application and hosting architectures — and are engaged in multi-year projects to affect these transitions. So, even forward-leaning IT organizations straddle gaps between modernization and established legacy infrastructure, particularly with their internal, switched networks built on Cisco Nexus 7000 or even earlier generations. This comes at a cost of operations complexity and duplication of efforts — a theme that is repeated often in these conversations.

Why Are We Here?

The IT leadership of a company still operating Cisco Nexus 7000 in traditional-style 3-tier or 2-tier ‘leaf-spine’ switched networks hasn’t ignored the advantages of new, software-defined logical fabrics like Cisco ACI. The reason for maintaining these legacies isn’t the same in every case but commonly mentioned is an inability to prioritize budget and investments for on-premises solutions vs. mandates for hosted clouds. Another repeated story is the challenges of migrating data segmentation policy from previous Nexus 7000 or even Nexus 5000 configurations to software-defined fabric operations. The barriers aren’t because there’s not a technology pathway or lack of ACI capabilities — it more often rests in the very large number of existing applications which must be maintained for availability, security, and compliance. Even well-managed IT operators have a poor understanding of older multi-tier application deployments in their custodial worlds. Migrating to a newer, cloud-friendly network platform is a risk for these data center operators. As they remain tasked with a mission to maintain existing capabilities for ‘unknown applications’, they settle for the known costs – and risks – in these legacy Nexus solutions. This situation, with split horizons for operation and different management tools, may make their ability to reach a future desired state ever harder to realize over time.

Getting From There to Here: Cisco and AlgoSec

For many, this consideration of data center legacy is very familiar territory.  If you operate environments built on Cisco Nexus 7000 devices, you’ve already been inundated with end-of-life warnings and messages about the benefits of upgrading to Nexus 9000 driven by Cisco ACI as your application-centric cloud management fabric. So, you may already understand the benefits of modernizing your network, embracing digital transformation for these on-premises deployments, while extending a single architecture into the cloud.

Because of the partnership between Cisco and AlgoSec, you now have a solution for taking full advantage of the power of Cisco Nexus and Cisco ACI. This is achievable without abandoning the management of your traditional application networking, or by subjecting your organization to new operations risks — and now you could add a whole new dimension to these, realizing higher ROI by also managing your network security.

Leading With Security and Automation

Modernizing your legacy network using Nexus 9000 and the AlgoSec Security Management Suite empowers a secure digital transformation so you can cover your entire networking needs, including the configurations served by well-established legacy Nexus environments. AlgoSec’s capabilities complement and expand those of Nexus 9000 — and coupled with Cisco ACI they provide full visibility into your entire hybrid multi-vendor network, network security policy automation, compliance, and security policy enforcement.

With AlgoSec ASMS, the switch-segment policies and secure networking configurations can be migrated from Nexus (legacy or 9000) to Cisco ACI in application-centric mode — providing improved agility and manageability, along with new capabilities for risk and compliance. The integration of Cisco ACI with the AlgoSec Security Management Suite is a complete solution, providing your organization with full visibility, visualization, and automation for the connected security of your entire network. “Entire network” extends beyond the on-premises legacy, extending to multi-vendor and cloud management operations, with advanced change management and detailed reporting capabilities. Our partner solution unlocks Cisco ACI’s potential by providing full visibility, automation, compliance, and micro-segmentation capabilities from AlgoSec.

With our joint solution, your organization will be enabled by software-defined security for a software-defined network — one that embraces continuity for your entire multi-vendor, hybrid deployment. Through the unifying AlgoSec workflow for NetOps and SecOps, security policy changes can be implemented automatically on your network through zero-touch automation. This solution’s intelligent automation workflow automatically pushes security policy changes to your entire network and enables automated deployment of contracts, EPGs, and filters to Cisco ACI controllers. Connectivity can also be modeled, then deployed at the business application level. This enables companies like yours to use a single process for the deployment of applications and security policies across their entire data center, both in the cloud and those you are hosting for your organization.

More Information

Contact AlgoSec!

AlgoSec is your first, best contact for legacy modernization with Cisco 9000, and will take lead with your existing Cisco relationship leaders, to retire data center legacy with aligned network and security operations. Talk to us at AlgoSec about our Cisco joint solution, together with your Cisco team and reseller. Convinced that it is time to harness the full power of migrating to Nexus 9000? Schedule a personal demo to see how AlgoSec makes the transition flawless.

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