In a January 13, 2014 NetworkWorld article, VMware executive, Steve Mullaney, compared VMware NSX to Cisco ACI and other SDN architectures. Cisco’s Frank D’Agostino replied to those assertions in the comments section of the article. Frank’s points are abbreviated and summarized here:
1. VMware pricing model is fundamentally flawed, which is raising OpEx costs, and affecting network design decisions and scale.
VMware is charging customers per-port, per-VM, and increases the cost of networking by 2x or more, while providing lower functionality, increasing operations expense, and forcing you to adopt a different network architecture. ACI delivers more functionality with zero VM tax.
For VMware, our customers consistently report pricing starting at $50 or more per VM per month. In competitive engagements, pricing rapidly declines to $15 per VM per month, then lower depending on the negotiation. Customers do not like the per port pricing, the same as they do not like per VM pricing. All of those models get expensive and alter your designs and scale considerations.
2. Claims that ACI is a proprietary platform or policy model belies the fact that many aspects of VMware’s architecture require vendor lock-in, on top of the premium pricing model.
VMware claims that ACI is proprietary. Yet customers have to get their OVS from VMware not the open switch download, under open source license. Currently, VMware is the only hypervisor platform that locks customers into a proprietary controller -- RedHat, KVM, and Hyper-V all provide open access. ACI contributions are showing up in OpenStack, IETF drafts, and through VXLAN extensions, and is providing the most open implementation in the industry -- API’s, data model, and integration with 3rd party controllers. Federating NSX with 3rd party controllers, such as HP, is different that providing open, bi-directional programmability.
3. Openness is really measured by the breadth of infrastructures, OS platforms, orchestration models, etc., that are supported by the policy model, and ACI is rapidly outdistancing NSX in this area.
ACI supports any hypervisor, any encapsulation (VXLAN, NVGRE, VLAN, and even STT), any physical platform, storage, physical compute, layer 4 through 7, WAN, with full flexibility of any workload anywhere, with full policy, performance, and visibility in hardware. ACI supports Open vSwitch and allows a 3rd party controller to program ACI hardware components. Investment protection is built in supporting existing platforms, and within the Nexus 9000 products enabling you to run enhanced NXOS and ACI mode with a software upgrade.
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Tags: ACI, application centric infrastructure, NSX, SDN, software defined networking
FlexPod Rings in the New Year with New Solutions, Technologies, and Offerings
FlexPod had a fantastic 2013 and received tremendous recognition for industry leadership and innovation. It takes close collaborate between Cisco and NetApp and flawless execution to create this list:
- Best of TechEd 2013 for the Microsoft Private Cloud solution
- Windows IT Pro award for best hardware appliance.
- Validated designs with 4 of the 5 world’s largest software companies -- VMware, Microsoft, SAP, and Oracle.
- Solutions capable of being delivered by almost 1,000 resellers in 84 countries including 13 of the 15 world’s largest Systems Integrators.
- 3,200 customers and over 100 public customer references.
Cisco and NetApp are not going to rest on our laurels and 2014 offers plenty of opportunity to build on that momentum. We are enhancing FlexPod by introducing industry leading technologies, solutions, and offerings that enable IT to quickly, confidently accelerate application deployment and performance:
- New FlexPod Solutions for Virtualization and Cloud
- Support for Nexus 6000 and 9000 Series Switches
- Addition of Microsoft to the FlexPod Cooperative Support Program
- The Introduction of FlexPod Unified Financing
Please read the NetApp blog post covering our FlexPod Cooperative Support and Unified Financing offerings. The latest FlexPod solutions and the addition of Cisco Nexus 6000 and 9000 switches are highlighted below.
Enhanced Solutions for Virtualization and Cloud
Cisco and NetApp are introducing new FlexPod designs that provide our customers’ tremendous choice and flexibility on their journey to the cloud. FlexPod customers can choose from Microsoft Private Cloud or VMware vSphere 5.1.1 for their virtualization and private cloud solutions. To the end, we have enhanced the Microsoft Private Cloud and FlexPod with VMWare vSphere 5.1.1 designs with the latest Cisco and NetApp components, enabling enterprises of all sizes to rapid deploy solutions using our latest technologies. FlexPod also expanded its support for Cloud Platforms to include a commercially certified and packaged version of Citrix CloudPlatform 4.2.1 Powered by Apache. FlexPod is a leader in supporting open and flexible architectures based on OpenStack and CloudStack, enabling a broad ecosystem of technology partners and avoiding vendor lock-in. Last but not least, we will be releasing an updated version of FlexPod Express with VMware Vsphere 5.1.1 with Clustered Data ONTAP 8.2.
Comprehensive Support for Nexus Family of Switches
FlexPod has also added support for the Cisco Nexus 6000 and Nexus 9000 Series Switches. FlexPod now offers validated designs covering the breadth of Nexus data center switches. The Cisco Nexus family of switches offer scalability and intelligence to help enterprises manage the proliferation of virtual machines and the challenges of cloud computing. The addition of the Nexus 6000 switch delivers more ports and lower latency than previous switches. In addition, the introduction of the new Nexus 9000 establishes a foundation for future technology enhancements.
We are looking forward to an exciting year with FlexPod. These new solutions and technologies enable FlexPod to meet a broad range of IT needs and run the most business-critical applications. If you’re going to Cisco Live in Milan, please come by the World of Solutions and see our FlexPod demo. To learn more about our FlexPod portfolio visit www.cisco.com/go/flexpod and to see all of our validated designs check out the DesignZone for FlexPod.
At Cisco, we continue to see OpenStack’s community-driven process and standards based approach act as a catalyst in the development and transition to an open source cloud platform. This approach leverages a robust ecosystem of industry-leading technologies and avoids lock-in to a single vendor or platform. As the ecosystem grows so does the pace of innovation, with each OpenStack release there are new features and increased levels of maturity.
We are less than a week away from Cisco Live in Milan, Italy where we will have several OpenStack demos showcased in the data center section of our World of Solutions exhibit.
Explore the OpenStack Demos:
- OpenStack Automation for Cisco UCS: This demo presents key technology integrations between the fastest growing open source cloud solution and the Cisco UCS platform. These integrations include our one-touch installation automation and enablement of VM-FEX in OpenStack deployments.
- Virtual Network Automation with OpenStack: Come see this demo where Canonical OpenStack is fully integrated with Nexus 1000V enabling the latest in OpenStack capabilities.
- OpenStack Automation for Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI): Cisco’s vision for ACI is to provide highly flexible application policy and infrastructure control that can dramatically accelerate application deployment and operations. This demo highlights how Cisco and Red Hat are extending the Cisco ACI policy framework to OpenStack environments, to enable customers to build rich application driven network policies in their cloud environments.
If you are attending the Cisco Live in Milan next week, stop by the World of Solutions, see our demos, and talk to our OpenStack and technology experts. For the latest information on OpenStack at Cisco, visit us here.
The designation “Big Data” has become a mainstream buzz phrase across many industries as well as research circles. However, today many vendors are making performance claims that are not easily verifiable in the absence of a neutral industry-wide benchmark. [The situation is not a lot different from what motivated the creation of TPC and SPEC in 1980s. See: Early Attempts at Civilized Competition, and A Measure of Transaction Processing Power by Jim Gray et al]. Big Data was identified as one of the top areas for industry standard benchmark developments at the recent VLDB, TPCTC, WBDB and other conferences. Keeping this in mind and continuing the commitment to developing relevant benchmark standards, the TPC has created a Big Data Working Group (TPC-BDWG) tasked with developing industry standards for benchmarking Big Data systems. Companies, research and government institutions who are interested in influencing the development of such benchmarks are encouraged to join the TPC.
Check out our new “on-demand” webinar: Big Data Essentials: Don’t Let Your Sandbox Turn to Quicksand
What you will learn:
- How to manage data as an asset and transform data into business value.
- Why Big Data projects fail and how to avoid common pitfalls.
- How to optimize a Big Data supply chain.
- What infrastructure is required to run and automate data workload processing.
Big Data has become the next big thing, not only for the promise of finding the “needle on the haystack” of untapped revenues, but also for the possibility of uncovering and delivering exciting new business models.
For IT, Big Data can be both exciting and daunting: By delivering analysis from huge amounts of data more quickly than with existing Business Intelligence (BI) tools, data center managers can deliver new services to the business end users; daunting because researching, selecting, buying, staffing and managing Big Data tools sets pretty much demand a separate data center.
We invited our partner Informatica to share its knowledge on managing complex data supply chains have produced this webinar with insight from leading analyst firm Gartner, that will help you align how you think about your data and the infrastructure that it runs on.
By incorporating these the Big Data essentials into your planning you can prevent your sandbox from turning into quicksand and avoiding project delays and cost overruns.
This webinar consists of three parts:
Doug Laney, Research VP at Gartner for business analytics, begins with a lesson in Infonomics – managing data as an asset, and the skills required for Big Data analytics.
John Haddad, Senior Director Big Data Product Marketing at Informatica, explains how to turn these data assets into actionable information generating business value and developing a Big Data supply chain.
Ronnie Ray, Director Product Management for Cisco Cloud and Systems Management, completes the discussion by describing a Big Data infrastructure and operations platform that will exceed your business service levels.
Many of our customers already agree: Cisco is delivering Big Data infrastructure and data workload processing management with the Cisco Common Platform Architecture (CPA). CPA is based on Cisco Unified Computing (UCS), Unified Fabric, and Unified Management. The Cisco Big Data solution delivers:
Integrated Server Management
Cisco UCS unifies computing, networking, management, virtualization, and storage access into a single integrated architecture. It’s an ideal platform for Big Data applications.
Integrated Network Management
The same Cisco network architecture can serve both traditional applications and databases and Big Data processing solutions.
Integrated Data Processing Management
Cisco provides workload automation that manages the flow of data between a wide variety of applications into and out of your Big Data processing environments.
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Tags: automation, Big Data, Gartner, informatica, Tidal Enterprise Scheduler, workload automation