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Nexus 1000V Free/Essential and Advanced Editions Now Shipping

After we announced the Free and Advanced Editions of the new Nexus 1000V release in October we were inundated with beta requests. Well, we are excited to announce that new version is now GA and available for download ahead of schedule. Note that this initial GA version currently runs only on VMware’s hypervisor, but versions for other hypervisors are coming.

Cisco’s newest release of the Nexus 1000V greatly improves the effort of installing, upgrading and managing the virtual switch fabric.  New management features like the vCenter plugin and vTracker help monitor the virtual network by both the system administrator and the server administrator.  The enhanced upgrade process and the intstaller app simplify deployments.  Redundancy across datacenters is greatly enhanced by the introduction of support for virtual supervisor module (VSM) pairs in remote datacenters.  Moreover, there is also an option in this release to extend the data center to branches, with support for branch virtual Ethernet modules (VEMs).

Nexus1000V is a feature-rich Cisco virtual switch that is now available in both Essential and Advanced editions.  The Advanced version has the option of an annual technical support contract for $174 per CPU socket. The no-cost Essential edition has the option of a technical support contract for $39 per CPU socket. These support contracts provide excellent Cisco TAC help, 7×24, providing all the help and advice needed for maintaining your virtual network environment.

Existing customers of Nexus 1000V who have already purchased a license for the 1.x release will automatically upgrade to the ver 2.1 Advanced Edition (see my earlier Freemium Edition Q&A post).  They can download the software from CCO and re-use their existing licenses. They will also be upgraded with the Virtual Security Gateway (VSG) license at no-cost.

Not only that, there are promotionally priced bundles of Nexus 1000V and the ASA 1000V Cloud Firewall, starting at $2495 for 1 CPU (including Nexus 1000V Advanced Edition with VSG, ASA 1000V and Virtual Network Management Center).

In addition to these major benefits and new features, Nexus 1000V is the foundation for our programmable virtual network overlays within our Cisco ONE platform for network programmability. VXLAN, which we discuss a lot in this forum, forms the secure overlay tunnels, and the Nexus 1000V virtual supervisor module (VSM) will be programmable with OpenStack Quantum and other API’s in future releases as part of our SDN strategy.

As always, stay tuned to this space for more details, tutorials, tips and news on the Nexus 1000V virtual switch and Cisco’s virtual networking infrastructure.

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Cisco UCS Scripts – Tips Tools and Hexadecimal Math

As a homeowner I found that I am regularly involved in some sort of home project.  Typically that project will require a tool that I do not own, cannot borrow and usually wouldn’t rent because the rental would cost more than the entry level version of the tool that I may only use once.

Years ago my friend gave me this advice “Never buy cheap tools; it is almost always more frustration than the money you save.” However a while back I wrote a blog that was all about free tools that I use for developing code that interacts with Cisco UCS.

With software, there are some really great free tools out there and a little time spent checking out free stuff can yield goodness. This blog is a few tidbits of free tools and suggestions for your development efforts.

First up, autohotkey, what is it you ask? Let’s examine a scenario that comes up pretty regularly in UCS Server management, KVM access, where’s the Cut-n-Paste? You cannot paste into the KVM but AutoHotKey will emulate keystrokes and mouse clicks. Additionally AutoHotKey will locate windows by title and bring them to the foreground, has programmatic logic capabilities, and can be compiled into distributable scripts as execuatables.
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At the Strata Conference +Hadoop World with Cisco Tidal Enterprise Scheduler 6.1

Today, Big Data and Hadoop are arguably the hottest (and most mysterious) subjects in computing for most technology workers. Ask any person in IT about Big Data/ Hadoop and you’ll probably get a look of utter confusion. Here at Cisco, I’ve recently taken on the role of Product Manager for Cisco Tidal Enterprise Scheduler (TES) and part of my job is to help you face your fears and put your arms around the Big Data boogeyman.

Big Data’s growth in the market has exploded and it’s clear why: data-driven decision-making results in optimal business outcomes. With Big Data/ Hadoop, analyzing massive datasets has become easier and we glean new business insights, which can be a massive competitive advantage.

I just arrived in NYC for Strata Conference + Hadoop World 2012, where I’m part of the Cisco team here to show off the new 6.1 release of Cisco Tidal Enterprise Scheduler announced yesterday. With 6.1, Cisco TES includes Hadoop integration – to help our customers address the Big Data challenge and gain even more value from your infrastructure. The workload automation features provided by TES are an integral part of getting the most out of your Hadoop deployments.

At the Strata event, we’re featuring Cisco UCS servers and Cisco Nexus switches for Big Data as well as our Cisco TES support for Hadoop. To see Cisco TES and Hadoop in action, check out this online demo here.  This demo runs on UCS and schedules a Hadoop MapReduce job every 15 minutes to track tweets at the conference – revealing the biggest Twitter topics and the most active tweeps in Big Data this week.

In addition to our support for Hadoop and Big Data, with TES 6.1 we’ve announced a self-service portal, support for Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) EC2 & S3 features, and an iPhone app. AWS support adds the advantages of cloud-based Hadoop by providing the scalability and agility to expand capacity as needed coupled with Hadoop’s analytical strength. Throwing TES 6.1 into the AWS mix provides automated, efficient provisioning of cloud resources.

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Cisco Validated Designs for Cloud : Lab-Validated for Free ! Part 1

This new Cisco Validated Designs for Cloud blog series will feature the latest CVDs released and published in this rapidly-evolving systems and technology area….  Before digging  into some of these new CVD’s, I had a short conversation with Tom Nallen who leads the Cisco Validated Design program and Design Zone, the main repository for these on Cisco.com.

” I’ve heard about CVDs, what exactly are they?

Simply put, Cisco Validated Designs are recommended, lab-validated, end-to-end designs for next-generation IT systems.  The foundation of this long-running systems validation program at Cisco is the Cisco Validated Design guide, or CVD, which provides lab-validated technical guidance to help achieve faster, more consistent and reliable technology deployments.  While the customer requirements-driven CVD development process requires a substantial investment of system capital and engineering expertise by Cisco,  CVDs are published on Cisco.com and available to all free of charge.

CVD’s are developed by many different business units across Cisco, focused on the five Cisco Priorities including: the Network Foundation (routing, switching, services plus security and mobility), Collaboration, Data Center/Virtualization and Cloud, and Video – all within a Technology Architecture linked to Business Architecture.   Cisco Validated Designs play a key role here by incorporating a wide range of technologies, products and applications into a portfolio of proven solutions that have been developed to address the business needs of our customers.  The complete portfolio of Cisco Validated Designs can be found on Design Zone on Cisco.com at www.cisco.com/go/designzone.

OK, so how are CVDs relevant to Data Centers and Cloud?

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Manage Hadoop Jobs from iPhone? Yes with Cisco Enterprise Scheduler!

Last night we uploaded version 6.1 of Cisco’s Tidal Enterprise Scheduler. I’m pretty excited to introduce the new functionality of this tool and there’s a lot. Particularly with Hadoop support and Amazon EC and S3 support as well. If you are unfamiliar with TES, the datasheet is here.

But when talking about big data, I thought, I’d start small. Like iPhone small. Existing Scheduler customers and the curious, can download the free Apple iPhone app to control jobs. Here’s the AppStore description and link

Cisco Enterprise Scheduler is the premiere job scheduling and process automation software that provides a single point of control and monitoring for business operations. Enterprise Scheduler for iOS now allows Scheduler administrators and users to monitor and control their operations directly on their mobile devices. Enterprise Scheduler for iOS was designed for the mobile user experience, but retains core features of the Enterprise Scheduler web client that users are familiar with including:

* Monitor and view jobs, connections, events, schedules, queues, logs and alerts.
* Control all aspects of jobs, including holding, rerunning, canceling, and overriding jobs.
* Powerful search and filtering for all Scheduler objects.

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