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OpenStack, Cisco ONE and You

So, with our announcements around OpenStack this week a few folks have asked me how OpenStack fits into our broader strategies like Cisco Open Network Environment. The short answer is “quite well, actually”, the longer answer follows. :)

If you look back our original introduction of the Cisco Open Network Environment, we made a couple of points—there is a plurality of use cases and as a result, there need to be a plurality of enabling technologies. While there are common objectives such as agility and programmability to better handle the macro trends like cloud and virtualization, the truth is, everyone has their own design objectives and priorities. To that sentiment, I might add that folks have varying operational objectives and priorities—the appetite for the amount of risk and complexity they want to take on.

With the three-pillar structure of the Open Network Environment, we feel like we have given folks the flexibility to choose the right technologies for the job. With initiatives like OpenStack we now support a different kind of flexibility.

While a segment of the market seems to want to start writing their own protocols and hand-wiring flow tables, a different segment of the market is moving in the other direction, expressing a desire to get out of the infrastructure business and focus their time and efforts on their apps and their users—this has traditionally been the Vblock and FlexPod crowd. With OpenStack, they now have another option—they get the programmability we talk about with the Open Network Environment, but at the stack level, instead of at the box level. The idea behind something like the Cisco Edition of OpenStack is simplify the task and reduce the risks of standing up a cloud stack. You have the full Folsom release of OpenStack, some Puppet recipes to simplify deployment and validation against the relevant Cisco hardware (follow that last link for details).

To get more insights into our OpenStack announcements this week, check our this blog by Lew Tucker, our VP/CTO for Cloud Computing and this post by Kyle Mestery, one of the many Cisco folks who has invested a great deal of time and effort in OpenStack.

One final thought. We are a long way from being done yet. In just the last few days, I blogged about how our Virtuata and vCider acquisitions fit into a multi-cloud strategy, we have had the aforementioned posts related to this week’s OpenStack announcements, and Rodrigo Flores just posted about our Multi-Cloud Acceleration Kits for our Intelligent Automation for Cloud solution. While cloud is the destination, there are many ways to get there as we have customers and we will continue to innovate and partner on a number of fronts and in a number of ways that will likely surprise some folks. Stay tuned.

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“Microsoft is a great partner in the data center…” – John Chambers, October 2012

I was flying back home late last week after participating in Microsoft’s Windows Server 2012 launch event in Denver.  As I scanned through my email InBox I saw the John Chambers quote from an interview he had done with CRN . John’s quote is timely given our many Cisco engineering and marketing activities going on with Microsoft as well as with our key partners EMC and NetApp. Let’s take a look and see what’s happening:

  • Our UCS and Nexus platforms are key components in our VSPEX for Microsoft Hyper-V reference architecture with our partner EMC.
  • Our FlexPod with Microsoft Private Cloud solution with our partner NetApp is providing Hyper-V based private cloud solutions to customers such as ING Direct in Australia and the University of Waterloo in Canada.
  • UCS Manager is tightly integrated with Microsoft System Center 2012 and this was recognized with it being awarded the Breakthrough Technology Award at Microsoft Tech Ed in Orlando.
  • UCS PowerTool delivers industry leading – and in this case this phrase is really well deserved – integration with Microsoft’s PowerShell  technology affording ease of automation for deployment and rapid configuration of UCS and Microsoft applications such as Exchange and SQL Server.
  • Nexus 1000V enables virtual networking scenarios in Microsoft Windows Server 2012’s new Hyper-V Extensible Switch – a result of great teamwork between Microsoft and Cisco R&D organizations. View our recent WindowsITPro webinar on virtual networking and Nexus 1000V here.

These Cisco technologies and solutions bring UCS, Nexus, and UCS Manager into your environment helping to create a better datacenter for your Microsoft private clouds and applications.  We will continue to work closely with Microsoft and key partners on various Microsoft/Cisco initiatives.  Our combined efforts allow you more choice in determining how to spend your IT budget and a Cisco based datacenter for Microsoft applications is a good choice indeed!

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Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud – Openstack Support (and AWS, vCloud, vCenter)

In support of our Openstack Edition, Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud (IAC video) is introducing a community supported “Multi-Cloud Acceleration Kit” (MCAK) that extends IAC Starter Edition to enable provisioning of OpenStack clouds as well as vCloud, Amazon EC2 as well as vCenter and UCS blades. IAC provides both a real service catalog and an orchestration tool that help OpenStack be adopted by the enterprise. IAC provides rich Role-Based Access Control,physical provisioning and adapters to a large variety of back IT systems including help desks, CMDB’s, directories and many other systems.

 

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Unified Data Center IQ Contest : And if there is only ONE ..

First the news .. this week we got 455 answers ! So we definitely witness a fierce competition between the best brains!
Congratulations to our two first winners of a new iPAD !!
They already got an e-mail , and as soon as we have their agreement we will introduce them to you.

Now don’t forget two important rules:

– If you show up at this point of the competition you still can win a weekly iPAD and catch up for the Grand Prize (valueed $2000)  with bonus questions over the week-end
This week bonus question are about “desktop virtualization “ Perfect timing as Citrix Synergy starts next week in Barcelona- Check the bonus question on www.Facebook.com/ciscodc – You have till Sunday evening PST to answer – And follow  @ciscodc and @drombaut for some hints.

-Next week question will be about Unified Management solutions and more precisely Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud, SAP IT Process Automation, but also some questions related to Openstack. So check www.Facebook.com/ciscodc first thing in the morning (PST) on Monday .Remember ,the sooner you answer the questions, the more points you can get for the Grand Prize.

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Virtuata and vCider: Next Steps to Building a World of Many Clouds

One of the things that has always been clear to us is that a pragmatic cloud and virtualization solution is going to need to embrace diversity.  There were going to be many paths to cloud and customers would want the freedom to choose to host workloads on physical infrastructure, any of the hypervisors available or one of the emerging number of cloud options.  This realization has been one of the factors that has shaped our strategy for delivering practical solutions for virtualization and cloud to the market.

Cloud Networking: Multi-Hypervior and Multi-Service

Initially, we focused on physical/virtual consistency and separation of duties.  We kicked this effort off with the Nexus 1000V, which was a fully functioning NX-OS switch rendered fully in software.  With L2 handled, we moved on to deploy virtual services consistent with this physical counterparts like the ASA 1000V, the Virtual Security Gateway (VSG) and vWAAS. Finally, we fleshed out the networking stack with the Cloud Services Router (CRS 1000V).

The network has always been a platform for enabling heterogeneous OS and heterogeneous applications to connect. Naturally, the next step was to take the capabilities we had built and extend them across multiple hypervisors so we could now deliver a consistent experience for customers with heterogeneous hypervisor environments.  We built on our success with over 6,000 enterprise and service provider VMware vSphere customers and are now extending those came capabilities to Microsoft Hyper-V environments as well for Xen and KVM open source hypervisors. With the recently announced shift to a “freemium” pricing model, with the Nexus 1000V-Essential Edition, customers are gaining these benefits with minimal cost and risk.

vCider and Virtuata: Opportunity for Secure Multi-cloud Networking

However, some of the most interesting progress has come from our two of our more recent acquisitions that have been centered on the concept of providing better operations and management of multi-cloud environments.  As customers more broadly adopt cloud and virtualization, security and isolation at the VM level become of paramount importance. To address this need we acquired Virtuata this summer. The Virtuata technology will give us (okay, you) the ability to have sophisticated and consistent security for VMs across multi-hypervisor and multi-cloud environments.

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