Software Defined Networking

Gain More Control of Your Network


Network virtualization is very similar to server virtualization. Instead of having physical switches, routers, etc., the hypervisor creates software versions of these items.

Software Defined Networking allows the network administration to program customized logic into the network for more control over what data is moved through the network. Network virtualization makes software defined networking easier to do.

Many players in the industry use the terms, “network virtualization” and “software defined networking” interchangeably, as there is a lot of overlap between the two. There have even been arguments on what constitutes software defined networking. For a more in-depth look into that topic, please read our blog, “SDN, ACI, and Micro-segmentation, Oh My!

To simplify discussions, we will be referring to both concepts as software defined networking.

Mindsight is both a VMware Premier Solutions Advisor and a Cisco Gold partner, so you know that you’re getting the experience and expertise you need to have a successful SDN deployment.

VMware NSX and Cisco ACI

VMware NSX and Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) are the two leading products in the software defined networking space. Each has their own advantages, and both overlap in some functionality.

  • VMware NSX

    NSX is an overlay software on top of the existing components in the network. It removes the intelligence from the hardware and moves it up the stack. Networks and subnetworks can be created on a whim and experimented on without impacting the rest of the network. Policies within these virtual networks can give certain applications bandwidth priority over others, thereby making better use of network resources.

    Infrastructure Agnostic
    Apply NSX to any existing network for rapid deployment.

    Unlock full visibility of the network and establish unique security policies for each VM.

    Cloud Connectivity
    Draw and redraw network boundaries to include public cloud deployments. Now VMs can be moved freely in and out of the cloud without downtime or the need for reconfiguration.

  • Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI)

    Instead of extracting the intelligence from hardware, Cisco made their hardware even more intelligent. Now, the Nexus series, along with the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC), can create something very similar to an SDN. Using this special equipment, administrators can create policy templates for their virtual machines. These policies will redirect traffic as it moves through the network to ensure that mission-critical applications receive the priority bandwidth they need.

    Automated Quality of Service Templates
    Create quality of service templates for each application and ensure bandwidth priority in times of peak traffic.

    Reduced Human Error
    Clone and distribute templates to every application in order to automate network provisioning and remove the opportunity for human error.

    Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC)
    The APIC is the single pane of glass management platform unique to ACI. With the APIC, network admins can control and monitor the entire network and create templates to ensure healthy VM performance at all times.

    Cisco Intercloud Fabric
    By combining ACI with Cisco Intercloud Fabric, networks can now burst into the cloud to supplement their resources seamlessly, automatically, and as needed.

Check out our white paper, "Modernizing Your IT Environment for Software Defined Networking."

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    Mindsight’s Cisco Gold Partner certification, which includes both our Advanced Enterprise Networks Architecture and Advanced Security Architecture Specializations, ensures that we will figure out exactly what you need to meet your networking goals.


  • VMware Premier Solution Provider Certification

    Mindsight achieved the VMware Premier Solution Provider certification through robust technical training. As a Solution Provider Partner, Mindsight has expertise in VMware virtualization products and solutions—from the desktop to the datacenter to the cloud.

Mindsight Supporting Services

  • Infrastructure Optimization Roadmap

    Interested in implementing VMware NSX or Cisco ACI? Before you dive into these technologies head-first, let Mindsight take an in-depth look into your network to determine areas for improvement, as well as plan for future growth, upgrades, and expansion.

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  • Security as a Service

    Whether you need someone to manage your entire network, or just need a few hours of help for an upcoming project, we have you covered. Our managed services packages are flexible and customizable, so that you get the help you need, when you need it.

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  • Path to the Cloud Analysis

    Are you ready for the cloud? Schedule a Path to the Cloud Analysis and one of Mindsight’s senior consultants will analyze your environment, find any applications ready to be hosted in the cloud, and help you prepare the rest of your VMs for the migration.

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Mindsight Blog

Read the latest and most relevant technology news through the Mindsight blog. Our most recent articles are below.

Design and Deployment, Infrastructure, Network Infrastructure

  May 14, 2019 by Siobhan Climer Swaths of information, devices, and connections are added to networks every day. Managing this is key to the success of the IT industry. Many technologies released by Cisco, VMware, Citrix, and other developers are designed to alleviate the daily challenges of IT…

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Education, Mindsight News and Giving Back, Network Infrastructure

  May 9, 2019 by Siobhan Climer Exciting news! Cisco’s annual 2018 award selections have been announced, and Mindsight is the winner of the 2018 SLED Illinois Official Selection Best Enterprise Networking Partner. Mindsight, a leading provider of technology services, is excited to share the…

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Converged Infrastructure and Virtualization, Design and Deployment, Infrastructure, Managed IT Services, Network Infrastructure

  March 21, 2019 by Siobhan Climer Virtualization is a fascinating technology to trace historically. While the roots of virtualization date back as early as the 1960s, with initial development by IBM, Bell Labs, and MIT’s Project MAC, most businesses today consider VMware to be…

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