While most customers encourage competition among vendors, sometimes they also serve as active catalysts for vendors to come together, collaborate and deliver joint innovations that deliver true value. This is one of those times. And it turns out to be a win-win for all.
Today, Cisco and HP made a joint announcement on a technology co-engineered by both the companies – the Nexus B22 Fabric Extender (FEX) for HP (a.k.a Nexus B22HP), that is now generally available (GA). This is a new Fabric Extender custom-built in a blade form factor for the HP c-class Blade System server environment. HP customers using this Fabric Extender will be able to connect the HP BladeSystem chassis to the Cisco Nexus-based network and derive the benefits of Cisco’s Unified Fabric architecture. Bottom line – it provides more investment protection and choice for common customers that have HP blade servers and Cisco networking.
The Nexus B22HP Fabric Extender leverages the emerging IEEE 802.1BR standard – another example of how Cisco and HP are pooling our collective expertise to drive common standards while addressing some of the emerging challenges of scaling virtual machine networking.
Here’s what the fruit of our collaboration looks like:
I started to link to my fellow Cisco Bloggers for their posts on Cisco Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) but already there are too many for which to build the links. I’m a WAAS guy so I thought I would draw you attention to the other press release that mentions Cisco WAAS.
The next layer as we peel the old onion is that Cisco WAAS is now optimized for Citrix XenDesktop. More explicitly, the Cisco WAAS engineering team has been collaborating with engineers from Citrix so that Cisco WAAS can understand the Citrix HDX and ICA protocols well enough to be able to optimize the traffic without Citrix administrators having to change any compression or encryption settings. And because it’s a a collaboration born of the strategic agreement between Cisco and Citrix, it will be jointly validated, marked as Citrix Ready prior to general availability, and will be supported by both vendors, with clean hand off mechanisms defined between both companies’ support teams.
It’s the week before VMworld Copenhagen, and there’s already a lot of buzz around the big VXI news that came out today. If you missed it, you can get access to the web event via the Cisco Collaboration Launch Experience page here. I’ll get back to Copenhagen in a minute, but let’s take a moment to discuss why these announcements have such a significant impact on delivering what we call the next-generation virtual workspace…
Last fall, we introduced VXI, delivering a groundbreaking system-level approach for simplifying and optimizing the delivery of virtual desktops to any end point, leveraging the industry’s fastest growing compute infrastructure purpose-built for large scale, high-performance virtualization, the Cisco Unified Computing System. We also announced our new portfolio of Virtualization Experience Clients (VXC’s) providing new device form factors and capabilities not previously seen in the marketplace, underpinned by an end-to-end validated design that takes the guesswork out of moving from a small pilot to full-scale production.
This video captures one of the most compelling customer testimonials to date for our Nexus 1000V virtual switch, as we sit down with Sean Donaldson, Director of IT Infrastructure at Secure-24. Secure-24 provides managed hosting and private cloud computing for the enterprise level, business critical applications of large enterprise and middle-market companies.
During the course of this year we have seen the desktop virtualization market mature from tire kicking pilots to some pretty large deployments, including some over 10,000 seats. Cisco UCS has been a very popular platform for these deployments with hundreds of Citrix XenDesktop or VMware View implementations as you can learn from a recent video blog by our VDI product manager, Ashok Rajagopalan.
Latest UCS Innovations for VDI: And during the course of the year we have continued to innovate on the UCS platform to make sure it continues to support ever greater virtual desktop hosting scalability and simplicity, while also continuing to drive down implementation and operations costs. For example recent improvements include:
• 2-fold increases in UCS fabric capacity and 4 fold increase in server I/O capacity to allow more virtual desktops per server to be hosted without any performance degradation, even during boot or logon storms
• Improved Virtual NIC capabilities ensure the multitude of networks (client/LAN/SAN/NAS/Cluster etc.) that need to be supported in a virtual desktop environment get the quality of service each requires over a unified fabric
• Unified port capabilities, ensure a more cost effective solution that supports all traffic types 10GE/FC/FCOE/NFS/iSCSI through a common port
• Increases in desktop density and management domain scalability resulting in over 30,000 Windows 7 desktops supported in a single UCS management domain
• Advanced virtual services such as security (VSG), monitoring (vNAM) and WAN optimization (vWAAS) for more scalable, flexible and cost effective services.