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As a growing Cisco partner, we are always striving for ways to help our customers achieve the best from their Cisco solutions and this particular case study is no different. This journey explores the modernisation of a customer’s datacentre from a traditional IOS/NXOS 3 tier architecture, consisting of many protocols and connectivity types to a large-scale Software Defined Networking solution.

As with all of our projects we packed our laptops and arrived at the client’s site ready to start identifying the customers’ requirements and the existing topology. This helps us understand what technology to position to meet the client’s expectations. It was quickly evident that that a modern Software Defined Datacentre was required to meet the demands of the business and create a platform to build upon. The customer wanted a solution that provided agility to scale anywhere, speed up the time to deliver new solutions and at the same time, remove some of the constraints seen with traditional dependencies. For example, End-of-Life platforms and historical Layer-2 extensions between various locations.

For this project, Cisco ACI Multi-Site was positioned. Based on Cisco Cloud Scale technology, the Nexus 9000 platform was positioned as the underlying hardware. By choosing this platform, the customer was able to adopt a high bandwidth, equidistant network architecture. Paired with the industry leading VXLAN and API capabilities, Cisco ACI Multi-Site provided the customer with the ability to re-platform their infrastructure using a uniform hierarchical policy model from multiple physical locations within their network estate.

Once the solution was positioned and the build of the solution complete in multiple datacentres, the next step in the journey required us to audit and migrate away from the existing EoL infrastructure to Cisco ACI. This stage of the project was made easier with the ability to quickly translate the existing configurations into structured data ready to be pushed to the fabrics through tried and tested automation tooling.

Once completed, the network benefits included an increase of the average available bandwidth within the datacentres by over 1000%, the average end-to-end payload increased by 500% and the end-to-end latency and errors between servers being dramatically reduced. As a result of the project, the customer was able to realise the true business benefits of cost savings and risk mitigations seen by the consolidation and removal of End-of-Life platforms.

Since the initial project completed successfully, BestPath continues to work with the expanding Cisco datacentre portfolio, including Cisco ACI Multi-Pod, Remote Leaf, Public Cloud integrations and Cisco Hyperflex.

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