Recently, I was having a discussion with some customers about how data center networks are being redefined by convergence and virtualization, and how Cisco FabricPath is helping IT staff scale their data center networks to make them more agile for virtualization deployments. If you’re not familiar with Cisco FabricPath technology, it’s a superset of the IETF TRILL standard with added features. Cisco FabricPath allows you to build out highly scalable, multi-path layer 2 networks without Spanning-Tree.
Over the last few months, the big trend in Cloud Computing has been a dramatic shift from “talking” to “building”. Companies in every industry are taking the next steps to deploy their strategies to deliver more efficient IT services for their business, with the goal of delivering the services in the best possible manner regardless of the source (Private Cloud, Public Cloud service, Hybrid capabilities).
But companies looking to deploy Cloud Computing or expand their existing footprint face several challenges:
- How to deal with on-going support for legacy applications (such as this or this) while beginning to deploy new virtualized or cloud-based applications?
- How to ensure consistent levels of Security, Auditing, Compliance, and Quality of Service across the range of applications (old and new)?
- How to build out Cloud Computing infrastructure in a way that is consistent and able to easily grow as demand grows?
- How to deal with potential migration from one source of services (internal or external) to another without having to completely re-architecture the underlying infrastructure?
- How to deal with concerns about stability of external Cloud Computing services that are outside of their control?
Cisco Live Las Vegas is again around the corner – So back to Mandalay Bay , like it or not
This year will be a very special one with a 2 years celebration of the UCS launch!
In case you missed the comments on this incredible journey, check some of our recent blogs on the subject.
At this point, I am pretty sure that you have already made your plan for this conference (Flying in or not)
Whether you’re coming or not, first thing you want to do is to follow and use our special hash tag #cldc11 in addition of the general #cl11 hash tag
So if you registered to the physical event, here a website to visit to know the data center activities
Please check to make sure that you don’t miss an opportunity to educate yourself, and to meet great people
If you are a data center blogger , please let us know using the following spreadsheet.
I will send you an invitation for a special meet up /happy hours on Monday July 11th -5:00 to 6:30 pm
It will be an additional opportunity to meet our team of bloggers , as well as other bloggers – The virtual world as certainly a lot of virtues, but sometimes it’s great to have face to face conversations .
To thank you for coming , I am organizing also a little raffle with the opportunity to win an iPad
I want also to bring your attention on the presence of numerous Data Center partners who are instrumental in creating with us very compelling solutions : Vblock, Flexpod , Desktop Virtualization, Cloud computing, UCS, Mission Critical applications.
If you are not coming to Cisco Live in Las Vegas , you still can attend some of the sessions on Cisco Live Virtual. So I invite you to register on the website, as the key notes and a significant numbers of sessions will be streamed .
I hope to see you in Las vegas
Today, I wanted to point out a couple of great resources to develop a deeper understanding of Cisco’s virtual switch, the Nexus 1000V.
First, we were excited to have Prashant Gandhi, our Sr. Director of Product Management for the Nexus 1000V, be invited onto the latest Packet Pushers Podcast, hosted by Greg Ferro. If you aren’t yet familiar with the PP Podcasts, they are an entertaining technical dive into a wide range of networking concepts with guests from vendors as well as large IT organizations. Greg’s expertise lies in the data center and with all things networking, including virtualization and L4-7 application services. In this podcast, all about the Nexus 1000V, Greg, Prashant and the other co-hosts talk about the architecture and deployment issues. There’s an extensive comparison of Cisco’s 802.1Qbh virtual Ethernet bridge protocol with the 802.1Qbg proposal from HP, VEPA. Listen to the full podcast here.
Greg had made an earlier plea on his blog that he wasn’t getting enough Cisco guests. We were happy to help out and enjoyed the interaction. We talked about having Prashant back on a future show to talk about vPath and the Virtual Security Gateway (VSG), the virtual firewall running on the Nexus 1000V. We look forward to that as well.
For a deeper, hand-on dive into the Nexus 1000V, nothing beats the Cisco CloudLab (http://cloudlab.cisco.com). We’ve set up an online workbench configured with all the tools and software to play around with the virtual switch yourself. Cisco Cloudlab is available to folks outside Cisco, but you will have enter the name of a Cisco employee sponsor to approve access. There are a number of lab exercises you can walk through to get a general overview, install or upgrade the Nexus 1000V, as well as VSG.
I’m not a car person and I don’t worry too much about what’s under the hood. That means that I’m just a car user, I only want to turn the ignition key and drive. In the Data Center world, the server team is typically a user of the network. Server guys don’t want to know how the network is implemented. They just want their VLANs to extend to the whole network so that they can connect their devices with no constraint, without having to worry about high availability, risk containment, link provisioning… network stuff. That’s precisely what FabricPath is designed to offer them: a network that looks like a single switch, the simplest networking entity. This “Fabric” offers efficient any-to-any connectivity with high bandwidth and low latency, all without having to understand how it works.
Of course, this user perspective is an abstraction. The following Figure 2 represents an example of the physical topology of the network, a Clos fabric, typical in Data Center environments. Note that this could just as well be a ring, a star, or even a network distributed across two sites. FabricPath turns an arbitrary topology into a Fabric and does not lock you into a particular model.