Cisco ACI: Allowing the smarts to scale

As horizontal scalability demands increase for policy based fabrics such as Cisco’s ACI and performance demands push the development of high speed Ethernet standards like 25G, 50G, 100G and beyond in to 400G, how that data is pushed and pulled on the fabric begins to become a problem. In the words of Scotty, devices of today “canne take any more” due to issues with physics, traditional approaches to ASIC interfaces and currently used materials.

A company that was born to attack this problem from a different direction has recently been acquired by Cisco. Memoir, the said acquired startup, has been inserted in to the Insieme business unit within Cisco which says much about the strategy of the policy capable hardware and the company faith in the direction of the ACI strategy. So why Memoir? They offer a solution for multiple areas of memory to be addressed concurrently, making the operation more akin to a parallel one instead of a fast serial operation. They call this: Algorithmic Memory™ and it can increase memory options ten fold!

Cisco in keeping with their origins will always try and hold the hardware networking space. As commodity devices start threatening profits in bread and butter networking, this is evidence of how Cisco will continue to try and stay ahead of the curve in the “clever hardware” space.

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