(This is part 5 of a 7-part series sharing insights from Cisco partners about the Future of Cloud.)
“A lot of things go into building out a cloud practice that most people don’t realize until they get into it. Because we have been a systems integrator, we know the on-premises environment very well. That gives us an advantage over some cloud providers who may be more like service providers. They just don’t understand the integration piece. ”
Integration is an important part of a successful migration to cloud, according to Ludwig. Cisco has a whole ecosystem that has built applications to integrate with on-premises equipment. When moving to cloud, all of these integrations still have to work. “That was something we did a lot of research on, to make sure that all of the third party companies that we work with on-premises are going to work in the cloud.”
For NWN, the value of the Cisco partner ecosystem cannot be underestimated. Regarding which partners to work with, Ludwig said, “We certainly look to Cisco for guidance. We don’t want to pick a partner and then find out something doesn’t work right.
“It’s very helpful knowing that if they’re part of the ecosystem, we know that they are going to be a good partner. That they are going to be around. That they know how to work with the Cisco team and technology.”
You can also learn more about how providers are addressing the need for enterprise class services in the latest edition of Unleashing IT.
Customers gain great value from server virtualization in the form of virtual machines (VM) and more recently Linux Containers /Dockers in data centers, clouds and branches. By some estimates, more than 60 % of the workloads are virtualized although less than 16% of the physical servers (IDC) are virtualized (running a hypervisor). From a networking perspective, the hypervisor virtual switch on these virtualized servers plays a critical component in all current and future data center, cloud, and branch designs and solutions
As we count down to the annual VMworld conference and reflect on the introduction of the Cisco Nexus 1000V in vSphere 4.0 six years ago, we can feel proud of what we have achieved. We have to congratulate VMware for their partnership and success in opening vSphere networking to third party vendors. It was beneficial for our joint customers, and for both companies. VMware and Cisco could be considered visionaries in this sense. Recognizing this success, the industry has followed.
Similarly we praise Microsoft as well, for having also provided an open environment for third-party virtual switches within Hyper-V, which has continued gaining market share recently. Cisco and Microsoft (along with other industry players) are leading the industry with the latest collaboration on submitting the OpFlex control protocol to the IETF. Microsoft’s intention to enable OpFlex support in their native Hyper-V virtual switch enables standards-based interaction with the virtual switches. Another win for customers and the industry.
In KVM and Xen environments, many organizations have looked at Open vSwitch (OVS) as an open source alternative. There is an interest in having richer networking than the standard Linux Bridge provides, or using OVS as a component for implementing SDN-based solutions like network virtualization. We think that there is an appetite for OVS on other hypervisors as well. Cisco is also committed to contributing and improving these open source efforts. We are active contributors in the Open Virtual Switch project and diligently working to open source our OpFlex control protocol implementation for OVS in the OpenDaylight consortium.
To recap on the thoughts from above, Table 1 provides a quick glance at the options for virtual networking from multiple vendors as of today:
Table 1: Hypervisors and Choices in Virtual Switches
OVS -- open source project with multiple contributions from different vendors and individuals
As an IT Professional, whether you are running workloads on Red Hat KVM, Microsoft Hyper-V or VMware vSphere, it is difficult to imagine not having a choice of virtual networking. For many customers, this choice still means using the hypervisor’s native vSwitch. For others, it is about having an open source alternative, like OVS. And in many other cases, having the option of selecting an Enterprise-grade virtual switch has been key to increasing deployments of virtualization, since it enables consistent policies and network operations between virtual machines and bare metal workloads.
As can be seen in the table above, Cisco Nexus 1000V continues to be the industry’s only multi-hypervisor virtual switching solution that delivers enterprise class functionality and features across vSphere, Hyper-V and KVM. Currently, over 10,000 customers have selected this option with Cisco Nexus 1000V in either vSphere, Hyper-V, or KVM (or a combination of them).
Cisco is fully committed to the Nexus 1000V for vSphere, Hyper-V and KVM and also the Application Virtual Switch (AVS) for Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), in addition to our open source contributions to OVS. Cisco has a large R&D investment in virtual switching, with a lot of talented engineers dedicated to this area, inclusive of those working on open-source contributions.
Nexus 1000V 3.0 release for vSphere is slated for August 2014 (general availability). This release addresses scale requirements of our increasing customer base, as well as an easy installation tool in the form of Cisco Virtual Switch Update Manager. The Cisco AVS for vSphere will bring the ACI policy framework to virtual servers. With ACI, customers will for the first time benefit from a true end-to-end virtual + physical infrastructure being managed holistically to provide visibility and optimal performance for heterogeneous hypervisors and workloads (virtual or physical). These innovations and choices are enabled by the availability of open choices in virtual switching within hypervisors.
As we look forward to VMworld next month, we are excited to continue the collaborative work with platform vendors VMware, Microsoft, Red Hat, Canonical, and the open source community to maintain and continue development of openness and choice for our customers. We are fully committed to this vision at Cisco.
Acknowledgement: Juan Lage (@juanlage) contributed to this blog.
IBM Business Continuity and Resiliency Services (BCRS) team helps clients protect their mission-critical information and maintain continuous business operations, with help from Cisco MDS solutions and Cisco Services.
Business Continuance describes the processes, procedures and technology solutions an organization puts in place to ensure that essential business functions can continue after a disruption. A good business continuance plan consists of risk analysis, contingency planning, and a disaster recovery plan that includes technology solutions to address recovery and data protection needs of business-critical applications. The cost of outage, whether due to natural disasters, power failure, or malicious acts, is usually in tens of thousands of dollars to Millions, depending upon the nature of the business.
Recently, IBM BCRS in the United Kingdom engaged with a new operating entity of a world-leading financial services organization, to ensure that the organization’s business data was backed up and preserved in the event of a disruption. The client chose IBM Managed Backup offerings. To support the customer requirements, IBM had to build the SAN infrastructure from the ground up, it teamed with Cisco to create and implement a dedicated, large-scale, best-of-class enterprise SAN solution.
In the last two blogs, I talked about the reasons for IT Transformation, understanding Enterprise Environment and how to effectively set management goals. As more and more companies begin to move towards IT Transformation, there are mistakes that businesses should be weary of. Today I will discuss the pitfalls that can slump the IT transformation process, as well as, the services Cisco has been developing to help Enterprise on the journey to IT transformation. Read More »
Big Data Analytics is becoming an integral part of the enterprise IT ecosystem. In order to realize its full potential it must be integrated with traditional data management systems and analytics technologies (and in the near future with Internet of Everything). Today, Cisco and SAS is announcing joint solutions that deliver faster, more accurate insights and solve most complex business problems. Built up on our vision of shared infrastructure and unified management across enterprise applications, these solutions are designed to deliver high-performance compute, network, and storage access and cost effectively scale as your business demands. We are offering you the choice of three configurations to meet your business needs:
In-Memory real-time analytics solution powered by Cisco UCS B460 M4 Blade Server and C460 M4 Rack Server featuring Intel Xeon E7 V2 processor family that supports up to 60 processors cores and 6TB of memory enabling fast in-memory analytics, delivering up to 80 percent more performance and up to 80 percent lower total cost of ownership (TCO) than alternative RISC architectures1