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Deploying Application Tiers Across Both Data Center and Cloud

This blog originally appeared on Cisco Blogs.

So you want to deploy your database tier in the data center with an ACI managed network, and app server and web tiers in the public IaaS cloud? No problem.

As applications are getting more complex, IT is getting more savvy about where individual tiers are deployed. With Cisco CloudCenter, you can automate application deployment and control exactly where each application tier is placed.

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You probably know that with CloudCenter patented technology, users can create a cloud agnostic blueprint called the Application Profile, that describes everything needed to deploy an application. The CloudCenter orchestrator abstracts each cloud API, and deploys the application in any of 20 different data center, private and public cloud environments. When users click “Deploy” they have freedom to choose which cloud the application is deployed to.

But you may not know that when users deploy an application, they can also choose “Hybrid” and then select the deployment environment for each application tier individually.

Consequently, both legacy enterprise applications and cloud-native architectures can be deployed with its services, Docker containers, configuration recipes across any combination of data center and cloud.

Stretched Application Topology

The application profile doesn’t change. The application doesn’t have to be refactored. IT doesn’t have to version control and edit scripts or workflows that hardwire specific tiers to a single target environment. That is the simplicity and power of CloudCenter!

For a traditional 3-tiered application like Magento that requires PCI compliance on its credit-card-holding database, the stretched topology features allow the database to be hosted within a company’s secure data center while the application and web tiers are hosted when needed on a public IaaS cloud.

Benefits of Stretched

There are three primary reasons that you might choose to stretch an application:

Cost: Not everything belongs in the cloud. Deploying long running stable applications tiers in your virtualized data center can reduce your monthly cloud bill. But variable usage tiers that require more resources during periods of heavy usage can benefit from cloud pay-per-use economics.

Security: Stretched application topologies can increase security by letting users consume Software Defined Networking (SDN) through Cisco ACI. Customer data, patient data, trade secrets may best be deployed back in your data center. Cisco ACI and CloudCenter together offer unparalleled application security via micro-segmentation, zero trust, white list communication between specific application tiers. The application profile doesn’t change with ACI. Users don’t have to know anything about networking to get the power of ACI for their deployment.

HA/DR: An application profile can describe a high availability or disaster recovery architecture with master and slave nodes stretched across availability zones within a cloud region. This makes it easy for a developer or production engineer to deploy and test an HA/DR configuration. Then use the same version-controlled automation to deploy in production as well.

Just three steps

All a user has to do is deploy an application profile like they normally would, but when asked which cloud to deploy to:

  • Select Hybrid. to activate cloud fields for each tier.
  • Select the appropriate execution venue for each application tier.
  • One-click deploy. That’s it!

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CloudCenter does the rest. The user doesn’t have to know the nuances of each cloud API. Or, change any orchestration flow. Or, change any deployment script or automation artifact that is hard coded to a specific environment.

Of course CloudCenter’s simple tag based governance applies to each tier as well, simplifying placement, deployment, and run time decisions for users.

Being the first application deployment tool to have the ability to stretch deployments across any cloud from the same model is a giant leap forward in harnessing the power of the cloud while whittling the cost to pay for only what you need. It’s just another example of how Cisco is pushing boundaries and adding value across the hybrid IT landscape.

Watch this on-demand webinar to see how Cisco ACI and Cisco CloudCenter support various stretch application topologies.

 

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