Network World — Cisco's Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) is a revolutionary re-thinking of how to provision and manage data center networks. While the early version we looked at has some rough edges, and Cisco still has some hard problems to solve, ACI has the potential to completely change the way that large, highly virtualized data center networks are configured and built.
Just so there's no confusion, ACI is not Cisco's version of Software Defined Networking (SDN). While SDN, for many network managers, is a solution in search of a problem, ACI is something entirely different. It's Cisco's attempt to solve the most significant and important problems facing data center managers: how to more closely link the provisioning of data center networks with the applications running over those networks.
The goal is to reduce human error, shorten application deployment times, and minimize the confusion that can occur when application managers and network managers speak very different vocabularies.