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Embrane to Deliver Virtual Appliance Lifecycle Management for Virtual Network Services in Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI)

At Cisco Live 2014, Embrane,® the leader in delivering application-centric network services today announced that it will be offering lifecycle management for virtual network service delivered within Cisco ACI. The company also announced plans for integrating the Embrane Elastic Services Manager (ESM) with the Cisco® Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC).

In addition to offering its own firewall and load balancer services on the platform, Embrane will now automate the lifecycle management for its growing ecosystem of partners, including Cisco Adaptive Security Virtual Appliance ASAv and SourceFire virtual appliances, as well as the newest ACI ecosystem partners, A10 Networks (NYSE: ATEN) and its vThunder virtual appliance and Citrix (Nasdaq: CTXS) and its Netscaler VPX and Netscaler 1000v.

“The demand for increased agility and automation are two of the biggest drivers for building a cloud experience in the data center,” said Soni Jiandani, senior vice president of marketing, Cisco. “The integration of Embrane, ACI and our ecosystem of third-party Layer 4-7 network services partners is integral to delivering full automation of IT services across physical and virtual environments, with secure multi-tenancy at scale. Together, we are uniquely positioned to offer lifecycle and policy management in one holistic architecture and with investment protection.”

Virtual appliance lifecycle management is a critical requirement when creating a virtual network infrastructure as it automates dozens of otherwise manual steps required to license, create, deploy and maintain virtual appliances. By leveraging the Embrane heleos platform and the Embrane heleos Elastic Services Manager (ESM), customers can dedicate A10 vThunder, Cisco ASAv, Citrix Netscaler VPX and Citrix Netscaler 1000v and Sourcefire virtual appliances as needed for any application or tenant. As the premier lifecycle management solution for virtual appliances, Embrane heleos provisions virtual network services instances in minutes, automatically inserts them in the network, enables self-healing high availability (HA), and automates the licensing and usage monitoring for each virtual appliance.

“Increasing levels of agility should not add complexity and operational costs,” added Bill Burns, Embrane president and chief executive officer. “Together with Cisco and partners such as Citrix and A10, we give the network team the tools they need to lower their operational expenses through zero-touch automation of key steps necessary to deliver and manage virtual Layer 4-7 network services.”

For enterprises and services providers, the most notable use cases for ACI with virtual network services are where automation and multi-tenancy is key. These include private/public/hybrid cloud, infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS), self-service dev/test labs, and disaster recovery. When deploying virtual network services in ACI, customers not only get on-demand delivery of dedicated network services to applications or tenants, they get the ultimate visibility for quick troubleshooting and problem resolution. The end result is the ability to non-disruptively adapt to business changes, simplified operations and significant cost savings.

“Citrix NetScaler with TriScale technology provides multi-tenant ADC services within the largest public and private clouds in the world,” stated Morgan Gerhart, Senior Director of Products of Citrix. “NetScaler integration with Cisco ACI and the Embrane virtual lifecycle management solution gives enterprises and service providers the ultimate solution for highly automated, application-centric infrastructures.”

“A10 Networks vThunder virtual appliances operate on our core ACOS platform, providing high-performance and API-driven programmability to integrate within cloud orchestrated vendor ecosystems,” said Jason Matlof, A10 Networks vice president of marketing. “Participating as an ecosystem partner with Cisco ACI and the Embrane Lifecycle Management Platform gives our customers a services platform to achieve flexibility and business agility, while lowering operating and capital expenses.”

About Embrane Lifecycle Management

In addition to managing the lifecycle of potentially hundreds of Embrane or third-party dedicated virtual appliances from a single point, the Embrane heleos ESM adds even greater functionality and automation to virtual network services including:

  • Automated Licensing– The ESM manages all of the licensing for each instance of a network service, regardless of the service or the vendor. Using the ESM, customers select the size of a service to deploy and the ESM automatically pulls the appropriate license from a pre-purchased pool of licenses and assigns it to the service. For Embrane services it’s even easier as the ESM only cares about the aggregate throughput of all of the services associated with load balancing or firewalls.
  • Centralized Billing – The ESM tracks the usage data of each instance and reports it. Enterprises can then institute a chargeback program internally, while service providers can begin to monetize network services by charging their customers as appropriate.
  • Park/Unpark – when a network service is no longer needed for a particular application, the ESM will power down the virtual appliance, release its resources from the virtual appliance, park it and save the layout, configuration, logs, etc. When/if the virtual appliance is needed, the ESM will non-disruptively add compute power back to the appliance and reinstate it.
  • Cloning – if a network service needs to be replicated, the ESM creates duplicate network services with the exact image, layout and start-up configuration as the original.
  • Self-Healing HA – When HA is requested, a single click tells the ESM to create active/standby HA pairs. In the event the active appliance goes offline, the standby appliance becomes the active device and the ESM automatically creates a new standby appliance to ensure continued redundancy.
  • Programmability – The ESM leverages RESTful APIs that enable integration with new or existing tools, while enabling high levels of automation.

To see live demos of Embrane virtual appliance lifecycle management in action with the Cisco APIC, Citrix Netscaler VPX and Citrix Netscaler 1000v, A10 vThunder, Cisco ASAv and Sourcefire virtual appliances please visit any of the following locations at Cisco Live:

  • Embrane Booth #2423
  • The Data Center technology zone on the Cisco Campus
  • The Cisco Investment Pavilion Booth #929

Related Blogs and Video:

Read Embrane blog: When Vision Becomes Reality

Read Jason Blank’s blog: ACI Ecosystem: Introduction to an Open Ecosystem, L4-L7 device packages, and Embrane integration!

Watch video: Lifecycle management for Cisco Virtual Adaptive Security Appliance

Watch video: Lifecycle management for Sourcefire Virtual Appliances

Watch video: Embrane and Cisco Executive Discuss the Partnership with Application Centric Infrastructure

About Citrix

Citrix (NASDAQ:CTXS) is a leader in virtualization, networking and cloud services to enable new ways for people to work better. Citrix solutions help IT and service providers to build, manage and secure virtual and mobile workspaces that seamlessly deliver apps, desktops, data and services to anyone, on any device, over any network or cloud. This year Citrix is celebrating 25 years of innovation, making IT simpler and people more productive with mobile workstyles. With annual revenue in 2013 of $2.9 billion, Citrix solutions are in use at more than 330,000 organizations and by over 100 million people globally. Learn more at www.citrix.com.

About Embrane

Embrane is the leading enabler of application-centric network services, including firewalls, VPNs, load balancers and SSL offload engines. The company’s solutions enable customers to create network services on per application basis in seconds, all managed from a single orchestration engine. The result is greater security, and faster time to deployment for applications. Additionally, customers achieve over 50 percent savings in CAPEX and OPEX compared to integrated hardware-based systems and traditional virtual appliance offerings. These solutions are purpose-built for enterprises and service providers looking to design data centers where agility and automation are priorities, including private/hybrid/public cloud environments.

This press release may contain forward looking statements relating to future events or future financial performance that involve risks and uncertainties. Such statements can be identified by terminology such as "may," "will," "should," "expects," "plans," "anticipates," "believes," "estimates," "predicts," "potential," or "continue," or the negative of such terms or comparable terms. These statements are only predictions and actual results could differ materially from those anticipated in these statements based upon a number of factors including those identified in the company's filings with the SEC.

* Availability disclaimer: Many of the products and features described herein remain in varying stages of development and will be offered on a when-and-if-available basis. These products and features are subject to change at the sole discretion of Cisco and neither Cisco nor its suppliers will have any liability for delay in the delivery or failure to deliver any of the products or features set forth in this release.

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