Today, Cisco is announcing an expansion of their partner ecosystem around Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI). Infoblox is proud to be included as the first partner for core network services automation, providing customers an integrated solution for managing DNS, DHCP, and IP Address Management (DDI) in multi-cloud and hyper converged environments.
As we mentioned in a blog post last year, Cisco ACI is an architectural shift that delivers the flexibility of software along with the scalability of hardware performance when building data centers. ACI’s policy framework supports a business-relevant application policy language, greater scalability through a distributed enforcement system, and greater network visibility. These benefits are achieved through the integration of physical and virtual environments under one policy model for networks, servers, storage, services, and security
Throughout the past year, we have talked with joint customers, and have heard about the need to automate DNS and IP address provisioning with Cisco ACI. Infoblox has now gone a step further by validating integration with CliQr to extend this level of automated provisioning to ACI. (As you may have seen, Cisco announced its intent to acquire CliQr this morning, which makes this integration even more relevant.) Infoblox acts as the authoritative, single source of truth for the network properties and DNS records needed to connect virtual machines (VMs) to the network, providing consistent management of core network services configurations across physical and virtual environments.
Infoblox Extensible Attributes enable users to tag subnets, ranges and zones with metadata that can be used to dynamically provision IP addresses and assign network configuration properties to VMs. This allows users to dynamically change assignments of subnets, ranges, and zones as needed through simple configuration changes in Infoblox, complementing ACI’s policy driven approach to network provisioning and management.
As VMs are deployed from CliQr, Infoblox automatically assigns IP addresses and creates DNS records for each network interface on the server. This data, in addition to corresponding network properties such as default gateway, netmask, and DNS server settings, are injected directly into the server, dramatically reducing provisioning time. When applications are destroyed from CliQr, the IP addresses and DNS records are de-allocated and become available immediately for use by new servers. Every IP Address assignment and DNS record change is tracked in Infoblox, providing visibility into assets and ensuring consistent network resource utilization across the enterprise.
By using Infoblox Extensible Attributes to determine which subnet, range, or zone to allocate to VMs, network properties can be changed on demand in Infoblox to add additional IP space as subnets or ranges are exhausted, change network assignments, or re-configure DNS zone mapping, without making any changes in the orchestrator or in ACI. This capability increases business and service agility, eliminates outages due to misconfiguration, and reduces operational overhead.
To learn more, you can watch a video of Infoblox Chief Technology Officer Alan Conley talking about the benefits of Cisco ACI here.
Moving forward, we expect to work closely with Cisco to expand these use cases to include other orchestration platforms and expand the DNS security proof of concepts (PoCs) we showcased at recent Cisco Live events. We are excited to see how Cisco will evolve the future of networking through their Application Centric Infrastructure and even more excited to help drive this evolution as a Cisco Preferred Solution Partner.