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vPath: The Secret Sauce to Enabling Virtual Network Services

Wow, there’s been a lot of news in the SDN and virtual networking space in the last week or so! VMware acquiring Nicira, and Oracle acquiring Xsigo are testimony to how important virtual overlay networks and virtual switching infrastructure has become for data center vendors, and how integral they are to each company’s strategy. Speaking of our own Nexus 1000V-based virtual networks, last week I provided an overview and some new resources on Virtual Extensible LANs (VXLAN) for Nexus 1000V virtual switches. That turned out to be quite a popular post, so I’m following up this week on another fundamental component of Nexus 1000V-based virtual networks, vPath, the secret sauce that allows us to deploy virtual network services in the data center.

What is vPath? Well, if VXLANs can set up secure tunnels over a shared, multi-tenant virtual network, vPath is a feature of the Nexus 1000V virtual switch that can redirect traffic to virtual application services before the switch sends the packets down into the virtual machine. Very important stuff, but how does it do that? I find that my blog posts are more popular the less I type, and the more I embed cool TechWiseTV videos that illustrate the concept, so I’m dusting off this classic from the TWTV team on just how vPath does that with our Virtual Security Gateway (VSG). Take it away Robb

But wait, there’s more… Read More »

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VXLAN Gaining More Traction for Scalable Cloud Networks

At Cisco live last month I spent several days talking to a lot of customers about all the new enhancements to our Nexus 1000V portfolio, especially the programmable virtual network overlays that are part of the Cisco ONE framework for SDN/network programmability. While the Nexus 1000V-based virtual networks are really gaining traction (6,000+ Nexus 1000V virtual switch customers to date), I still found a lot of folks weren’t all that familiar with the concept of VXLAN, and why they are so important to building scalable cloud networks and multi-tenant data centers.

Well, not to fear, VXLAN MAN is here! Well, not really, but we have just released a great new fundamentals video on VXLAN from the creative geniuses at Techwise TV (Thanks to @JimmyRay_Purser and @robbboyd!). We’ve gotten great reviews on this so far, and I know the guys really had a fun time in creating this one.

But wait, there’s more… Read More »

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Accelerate from the Starting Blocks with Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud

As the London 2012 Olympics kicks off today, the 100m sprint event will be one I’ll definitely be watching on TV.    And with Cisco as the Official Network Infrastructure Supporter for London 2012 – an event that is generating huge excitement here in Cisco UK and Ireland as well as Cisco globally, let me use an Olympics analogy to illustrate how Cisco Services helps you accelerate deployment of our recently announced Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud Starter Edition, described in excellent detail by my good colleagues Wayne Green and Jason Schroedl.

The Acceleration is in the Preparation

The Acceleration is in the Preparation

While the 100m sprint will (hopefully!) be won in a sub-10 second time, without doubt the winner will have taken much, much longer in preparation.  Like all the Olympic sports, the 100 sprint is an event where the participants will have prepared for several – if not many –  years.  They are at the top of their game.   As I learned recently in a seminar at our Cisco Scotland office with Olympic medal winners Roger Black and Steve Backley, what is maybe not so visible is that they all have an extensive team behind them, helping them deliver that fantastic time.  And despite their own expertise, commitment and talent, they will have called on specialist expertise – physios, expert trainers, even sports psychologists – to help them accelerate from those starting blocks and over that finishing line in record time.  And for those competitors participating for the first time in such a major event, this background team will be all the more important in helping them develop their race plan.

So now onto cloud automation, and how Cisco Services can – in an analagous manner – help you accelerate from the starting block with Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud Starter Edition ….

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Cisco + EMC + VCE + VMWare Spells Success for SAP HANA and Cloud

Do the technology partners that comprise your data center really make a difference?  In the case of SAP HANA and Cloud, the answer is yes.   The Application Data Centers of the future look much different than the Application Data Center of the past.  CIO’s are looking for ways to reduce costs, floor space, and management of their Data Centers while increasing the intelligence they gather from their existing data in order to get a leg up on their competition.

Thanks to their numerous advanced technologies (i.e UCS..)  Cisco and EMC, with the active participation of VMware and VCE have developed over the past years a strong architecture to support the traditional needs of the SAP customers, but also new requirements related to cloud and big data.

With the recent certification of SAP Scale-Out, Cisco and EMC are partnering more closely than ever to provide Application Data Center Managers with the platform and persistent storage needed to solve the issues that keep CIO’s awake at night.

Cisco UCS with EMC Storage for SAP HANA Scale-out Solution from Cisco Data Center

Thanks to SAP HANA, data that previously was unattainable or unstructured, is now reportable to CIO’s in a format that will allow them to make instantaneous decisions to the benefit of their customers and to their bottom line.   Since everything with SAP HANA is real-time in memory, reports that used to take days or weeks are now attainable in seconds.   Cisco and EMC have provided the perfect platform for these transactions giving Application Data Center managers choices they may not have with other hardware vendors.

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Cloud Operating Model – How Does Your Cloud Run?

Wow, lots of excitement this week with all the news in the cloud space.  All very interesting and very much validating of the work that our Intelligent Automation Solutions Business Unit is doing around automation of the cloud.   Now on to actually showing ROI right now for your CIO.

We in the Cisco Intelligent Automation Solutions Business Unit define the cloud operating model as a set of behaviors that define the operational characteristics of your private or public cloud.  Our Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud  models a private cloud operation through a set of behaviors around the following areas:

  • Catalog of Services
  • Tenant / Organization Model
  • Site / POD model
  • Lease/Capacity management
  • Network Segregation
  • Roles
  • Lifecycle management
  • Administrative capabilities
  • Installation
  • Image Management
  • Storage and Network Automation

Let’s take a look at each of these items and show how this work in our Intelligent Automation for Cloud  Starter Edition:

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