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I've been told no - and I've railed about the stupidity of releasing a non-virtualized product in this day and age too.
Apparently some business unit that sells physical servers is still trying to stay relevant for another few months with the usual weak responses about "guaranteeing performance".
Please try again next year...
I attended an SDA seminar today at my local Cisco office and "guaranteeing performance" is definitely the battle cry. They are afraid that the customer will go cheap on the server resources making DNA Center perform poorly, or load up the server with contending apps, and then blame Cisco for all their troubles. I would not look for this to change anytime soon.
Just my two cents. Of course with inflation it's probably only worth .2 cents.
I get that decision. I come from the partner ecosystem and have seen the management appliance for “competing vendor” installed virtually, with customers trying to get away with 16GB of RAM instead of 32GB, and attendant terrible performance. The very modest requirement of 32GB and 4 vCpu was a stretch for many of my customers.
By contrast, the smallest (and to date only) Cisco DNA Center hardware appliance sports 256GB of RAM, 44 cores/88 threads, and 8TB disk. Two 10GB interfaces and a couple gig, and yes it does need the 10GB bandwidth once it starts clustering.
In most environments, if you ask for those kind of compute and network IO specs from your virt team, you’re going to get laughed out of the room. That is essentially one entire host. Which is what Cisco DNA Center is: Under the hood, it’s Kubernetes containers all the way.
I can’t speak to future product direction, but I do get what Cisco is doing here.
Edit: If you're unhappy about the price of the hardware appliance, talk to your partner about the FREE-DNAC-OFFER SKU. Still going as of the date I am posting this. If that doesn't fit you, try SDA-W-LABKIT (wired) or SDA-WW-LABKIT (wireless), those have additional discount on them.
Disclaimer: These are my own opinions and do not in any way shape or form constitute an official statement from Cisco.
Good luck with the adoption rate. Until Cisco offers this as something other than a locked and loaded piece of hardware the adoption will remain low. Not everyone needs 44 cores... Or are you, with a straight face, going to tell me that this appliance configuration is required and will perform essentially the same for customers that have 10 or 1,000 or 10,000 devices? Ludicrous is the first thing that comes to mind.
This is a virtual world Cisco. The BU needs to get with the program corporate has been preaching. Even the bloatware known as ISE is available as a virtual appliance. As a Cisco partner and enthusiast for decades I will not present this solution to my customers until the "one size fits all" mentality is gone.
Tchenry has hit the nail on the head. It's hard to imagine that a customer with 10-20 switches is going to want a DNA appliance with the throughput of 44 cores and 256G of DRAM. That's probably more than their entire compute platform put together!
The one thing I see over and over - and DNA Centre is another example of this - is the expectation that a customer will need to buy, design, build and maintain massive amounts of infrastructure in order to dip their toe in the water and try the technology out. The product may well be very good but there's no way those smaller customers (and Cisco's idea of small is closer to my idea of medium-large) will ever spend the money to even take a look at it. Some of those small customers become big customers one day too - start them on the food chain early on and then they will buy as they grow.
I'm also puzzled as to why Cisco doesn't release node-limited "Express Virtual" versions of this sort of software in order to get customers using it and interested in it. The upgrade path is then to a full blown system after the customer has achieved some scale, has the money to spend and can see the benefits of using it. This would also open the door to engineers like myself who can run the technology up, get some experience with it and then encourage our customers to buy it.
I've brought this exact topic up to our Cisco support engineers as well as higher up their leadership chain. Their response is that they simply don't have the manpower to support a smaller scale version at the moment. The idea of creating a smaller scale version is in future plans but there is no timeline for this right now. Smaller customers do have the option to install just one server as clustering isn't required plus there are some discounting options out there for customers who want to look into it. My office bought three DNAC kits which came with the server, two 24 port switches, ISE BASE, PLUS and StealthWatch licenses. They came in at a price that was lower than our original quote for just the DNAC server.
My biggest issue/concern is that this is now part of the CCIE Enterprise certification. It would be very nice to be able to add a server to my current VMWare solution without needing 96 vCPUs, 512GB RAM and 1TB SSD just to support it. I have echoed that concern up the same leadership chain. I'm hoping that if enough people request it then maybe Cisco will start making that happen.
Yes that is the right attitude- I'm actively studying the CCIE Enterprise Infrastructure (the core concepts that I can) and hoping by the time I get around to it in the Summer something will be avaliable.
That's exactly what brought me to this thread; I'm studying Fabric Technologies, and did a Google Search on how I can practice the technologies listed. Compared to before, where I could easily use my own routers and switches, or a virtual environment like GNS3, I don't really see a way to utilize many of these new Automation/SDN concepts without having the actual appliance(s). I'm not sure how well this will translate in the CCIE Lab portion, but I've even read somewhere that reputable training companies like INE are at a crossroads with the new Evolving Technologies/SDN portions of CCIE as they now have to purchase expensive appliances versus sticking to their virtual platform for labs.
Has anything changed as of May/7/2020? I have heard rumors that the virtual option is out there, it's just not publicly available/supported. If anybody from Cisco is reading this, please make it available for demo/lab/learning purposes.
APIC for DC runs on virtual machine. Not able to digest the logic of not having virtual option as it was the case with APIC-EM. by restricting to hardware the option of hosting the DNA-C in a cloud is gone.
A new product like this could have made it look like a Gen X solution with a cloud option. The complementing component such as the ISE is still running on VM (or can).
get real by getting virtual :-)