Announcing Cisco ACI Integration with Nutanix Cloud Platform

Discover the top three benefits of how Cisco ACI with Nutanix Cloud Platform simplifies, enables, and unifies a secure and connected hybrid multicloud.

By Mike Barmonde, Nutanix Senior Product Marketing Manager, Network and Security

August 31, 2023 | min

Nutanix Cloud Platform’s built-in hypervisor, AHV, and Nutanix Flow Network Security are now integrated as an approved Cisco ACI (Application Centric Infrastructure) VMM (Virtual Machine Manager) solution. Together, they deliver security policies via an integration with Nutanix AHV VLANs into Cisco ACI EPGs (endpoint protection groups). Following the recent announcement that Cisco will offer Nutanix Cloud Platform on its UCS platform, this Cisco ACI integration further assists customers wanting to create a more secure and connected hybrid multicloud platform. 

Why does this partnership matter? As customers look to define their cloud operating model, networking and security become paramount to operate. The need to simplify networking anywhere, create strong cybersecurity that follows data and apps, and leverage current security tools that already exist, are huge challenges. 

Nutanix Cloud Platform, the industry-leading HCI solution combined with Cisco ACI, the industry’s top infrastructure security solution, creates a best-in-class connected and secure hybrid multicloud platform delivering an end-to-end, secure hybrid multicloud connected from anywhere.

Let’s break down the top 3 benefits of integrating Cisco ACI with Nutanix Cloud Platform (NCP) 

  1. Simplify Networking and Security Operations   
  2. Enable Microsegmentation Seamlessly
  3. Unify and Strengthen Your Hybrid Multicloud

1. Simplify Networking and Security Operations

Cisco ACI enables Nutanix Flow Network Security (FNS) microsegmentation to deliver contextual security policies for VMs running on AHV within its software-defined networking (SDN) technology. This process is simple, needing only 4 steps to start your Cisco ACI and Nutanix integration:

  1. (on Cisco APIC) Create a Nutanix VMM domain.
  2. (on Nutanix Prism Central) Assign host links to the virtual switch.
  3. (on Cisco APIC) Associate EPGs for the VMM domain.
  4. (on Nutanix Prism Central) Assign VMs to subnets and categories.

In this design, either Cisco admins and Nutanix admins can utilize their expertise without the need to learn the different technologies. The result is a powerful approach to security operations with the ability for Nutanix admins to create natural rules for more secure applications and Cisco admins validating the software-defined nature of extending a secure network.

2. Enable Microsegmentation Seamlessly

Once configured, FNS microsegmentation policies will be pushed to Cisco ACI EPGs (endpoint protection groups)  which map applications to the network, either between EPGs on different subnets (Inter-EPG), or between EPGs in the same subnet (Intra-EPG). Future changes to Flow Network Security policies will update VMs within the AHV VMM domain managed by Cisco ACI automatically. 

Enable Microsegmentation

This combined design translates to a fast, secure, and contextual policy system:

  • Deploy microsegmentation policies on the fly without complex network operations
  • Adapt to a changing application security landscape to ensure business continuity and cyber resilience  
  • Align to how you define applications without compromise. Security policies follow applications without refactoring a security posture

3. Unify and Strengthen Your Hybrid Multicloud 

Nutanix’s hybrid multicloud is the integration of your data centers connecting to the public cloud (Hybrid), and also connecting to multiple public clouds (Multicloud). Your business is unique. All aspects of a given public cloud may not fit with your data centers or cloud services you may use. The Nutanix Cloud Platform ensures you have the choice to securely align your unique cloud operating model, however you see fit.

The Nutanix Cloud Platform and HCI used with the Cisco ACI solution, leverages your current investment in Cisco’s industry-leading software-defined networking stack to help create a secure hybrid multicloud. Networks become easily extendable, security policies are seamlessly enabled, and your data and apps become securely accessible.

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What’s Next?

How do you get started? Start with where you’re comfortable:

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