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Windows Server 2012 logoToday marks the general availability of the eagerly-awaited Microsoft Windows Server 2012 platform.  According to Microsoft, “Windows Server 2012 redefines the server category, delivering hundreds of new features and enhancements spanning virtualization, networking, storage, user experience, cloud computing, automation, and more.”  Earlier Cisco blog posts discussed how Cisco has collaborated with Microsoft to achieve Windows 2012 certification for our UCS servers, as well as integrating our management tools into Microsoft System Center and PowerShell.

Microsoft Build Conference 2011 - Demo of Nexus 1000V virtual switchIn this post, I’d like to highlight the integration of the Nexus 1000V virtual switch into the Windows Server 2012 platform, and particularly the Hyper-V hypervisor. We have been working closely with the Windows Server 2012 team for the past few years towards this goal, and announced Nexus 1000V and VM-FEX support for it at the Microsoft BUILD conference last year. 

At that event, we showed how Nexus 1000V provides advanced networking features, additional security, through our Virtual Security Gateway (VSG) and Virtual Network Management Center (VNMC), visibility into VM-to-VM traffic  with Cisco Prime Network Analysis Module (NAM), and manageability through our Data Center Network Manager (DCNM) to Hyper-V environments (Click here to view the on-stage demo – Nexus 1000V demo starts at 37:20). VSG and other virtual services use Nexus 1000V’s vPath to direct traffic to the appropriate services as I’ve described in other posts.

We had an overwhelming response from both enterprise and service provider customers -- for the joint beta program that we ran with Nexus 1000V and Windows Server 2012. Customers liked the operational consistency across physical and virtual environments, and across hypervisors, and are planning to deploy the Cisco+Microsoft stack for their cloud implementations (both private & public).

In addition to the integration with Windows Server 2012, we also working for tighter integration between Nexus 1000V and System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM). We demoed the integration at the TechEd Amsterdam event (Click here for the video – Nexus 1000V demo starts at 43:25). This integration helps both the server & network administrators to get a consistent view of the virtualization environment, and thus reduces operational complexity. Server admins can pick and choose the logical networks, network-sites and VM networks created by the network admins, and network admins make use of the same NX-OS CLI, feature-set across physical & virtual environments.

We are pretty excited about the Windows Server 2012/Hyper-V feature-set, and for customers that are looking at building  secure, multi-tenant data centers using Microsoft Hyper-V, Cisco Nexus 1000V preserves your existing network infrastructure investments – through consistent management interfaces, and a consistent operational model with existing network devices. Nexus 1000V is also the foundation for programmable virtual network overlays as part of our Cisco ONE portfolio. VXLAN, supported in the Nexus 1000V, forms the secure overlay tunnels, and the Nexus 1000V virtual supervisor module (VSM) will be programmable with OpenStack and other API’s in future releases.

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