Software development teams were the first out of the gate. Responding to the speeds and needs of modern business, they spurred agile development methodologies and DevOps practices that forever altered the role technologies play in support of an enterprise - and the pace in which they are delivered, expanded and optimized.
Cloud providers quickly followed suit, offering foundational technology resources on demand, empowering the aforementioned development teams and further accelerating the rate of change and progress.
Corporate IT teams have been playing catch-up ever since, and many have struggled to straddle the fine lines between control and enablement, risk and speed. But this is changing thanks to software-defined automation and DevOps practices, which have made their way into the multi-cloud data center and hybrid cloud.
Countless IT teams are implementing Infrastructure as Code and offering compute, network and storage resources on demand - just like cloud providers. But they're doing it with a consistent set of policies, security and visibility that span on-premises, branch office and cloud environments.
Societe Generale, one of Europe's largest financial institutions, is using Cisco ACI and Cisco ACI Multi-Site Orchestrator (MSO) to standardize network policies, accelerate infrastructure deployments and increase operational efficiency across multiple regions.
'We needed our infrastructure to catch up to compute in terms of agility,' said Thomas Mouilleseaux, Global Head of Network Architecture, Security, Reliability and Automation at Societe Generale, 'so we introduced DevOps principles to the data center networking team.'
With the help of Cisco Customer Experience (Cisco CX), Societe Generale deployed Cisco ACI in its UK data center and later connected multiple data centers in France using a Cisco ACI Multi-Site design. The financial services company is now in the process of extending the network architecture to its regional data centers in the Czech Republic and the United States.
'Cisco ACI is supporting roughly 1,000 leaves on a number of large underlay fabrics, and all of the policies are consistent,' said Vivien Strady, Global Head of Data Center and Network at Societe Generale, noting the fabrics host physical server, private cloud and big data environments. 'That type of standardization and software-defined automation is important for operational efficiency, knowledge sharing and business agility - on a global scale.'
Adopting DevOps practices and delivering Infrastructure as Code takes time and effort, especially in the beginning stages. It also requires changes to an IT team's culture and everyday processes. But when done right, data center automation can greatly increase the speed and consistency of IT while expanding the possibilities for business enablement.
Learn how to prepare your infrastructure and organization for DevOps with Infrastructure as Code, and see how the developer community is getting involved on Cisco DevNet.
Explore Cisco Data Center Networking case studies.