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Announcing Cisco Nexus 1000V for VMware vSphere 6 Release

The Cisco Nexus 1000V has been supported in VMware vSphere hypervisor since 4.0 release (August 2009) up to the current vSphere release 5.5 update 2.  We are happy to announce that the Nexus 1000V will continue to be supported in the latest vSphere 6 release which VMware recently announced. Customers who are currently running Nexus 1000V will be able to upgrade to the vSphere 6 release and the new vSphere 6 customers will have the Nexus 1000V as part of their choices for virtual networking.

Cisco is fully committed to support the Nexus 1000V product for our 10,000+ Advanced Edition customers and the thousands more using the Essential Edition software in all future releases of VMware vSphere. Cisco has a significant virtual switching R&D investment with hundreds of engineers dedicated to the Nexus 1000V platform.  The Nexus 1000V has been the industry’s leading virtual switching platform with innovations on VXLAN (industry’s first shipping VXLAN platform), and distributed zone firewall (via Virtual Security Gateway released in Jan 2011).

The Nexus 1000V also 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.

In the last major release of the Nexus 1000V for vSphere, version 3.1 (August 2014) we added significant scaling and security features and we continue to provide subsequent updates (December 2014) with the next release planned for March 2015. The recently released capabilities include:

  • Increased scale per Nexus 1000V:
    • 250 hosts
    • 10,000 virtual ports
    • 1,000 virtual ports per host
    • 6,000 VXLAN segments with ability to scale out via BGP
  • Increased security and visibility
    • Seamless security policy from campus and WAN to datacenter with Cisco TrustSec tagging/enforcement capabilities
    • Distributed port-security for scalable anti-spoofing deployment
    • Enhanced L2 security and loop prevention with BPDU Guard
    • Protection against broadcast storms and or attacks with Storm control
    • Scalable flow accounting and statistics with Distributed Netflow
  • Ease of management via Virtual Switch Update Manager (VSUM) – a vSphere web-client plug-in

One of the common questions coming from our customers is whether VMware is still re-selling and supporting the Nexus 1000V via VMware support?

VMware has decided to no longer offer Nexus 1000V through VMware sales or sell support for the Nexus 1000V through the VMware support organization as of Feb 2nd 2015.  We want to reiterate that this has NO IMPACT on the availability and associated support from Cisco for the Nexus 1000V running in a vSphere environment.  Cisco will continue to sell Nexus 1000V and offer support contracts. Cisco encourages customers who are currently using VMware support for the Nexus 1000V to migrate their support contracts to Cisco by contacting their local Cisco Sales team to aide in this transition.

For questions or help, please reach out nexus1000vinfo@cisco.com

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Unleashing IT – Microsoft Special Edition

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Bill Kehoe, CIO for King County, is taking a new approach to IT and building a progressive government to benefit citizens

The Lineup: Microsoft, Cisco, and Intel

It’s no secret that tested and tried solutions will lead to a faster time to production, allowing you to stay at the forefront of innovation and, most importantly, stand out from the competition.

The latest in our series of deep-dive examinations, our Microsoft-focused edition of Unleashing IT shows you how three industry leaders are creating integrated solutions to achieve better business outcomes. Read More »

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Automation is Unavoidable – But Painful Shift Isn’t

Private cloud – you hear it everywhere.  Industry analysts tell us that private cloud has become a core data center strategy  well on its way to becoming a core element in the formal IT portfolio.

Forrester research indicates that CIOs and IT departments are strongly drawn to private cloud as the on-ramp for their cloud journey.  What’s behind this interest and drive to shift?

Partially it is driven by the need to leverage existing data center infrastructure better.   But THE market driver responsible for the lion’s share of adoption is the need to accelerate application delivery.   We are talking about building applications faster and deploying them to the environment that has the right amount of elasticity, services and economics.

Yet for all the strategizing and trial steps, only a small number of enterprise companies have deployed a true private cloud.  Why? Without the right tools and methods, it is painful and chaotic. Read More »

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New Cisco innovations at Cisco Live Milan 2015

Cisco Live at Milan is an exciting place to be at this year. There are many new innovations and technology being showcased by teams from all across Cisco.

Below is a list of  interesting sessions to attend about the latest innovations at Cisco Live Milan 2015

Whisper suites Demos– New innovation demos. Please stop by to watch the live demos and get goodies:

Whisper suites : one on one meetings and presentations.

Breakout sessions :

  • BRKAPP-2032 – Introductory – Integrating Citrix Netscaler into Cisco Data Centers : Jeff Ostermiller
  • BRKDCT-2333 – Intermediate – Data Center Network Failure Detection : Arkadiy Shapiro

New RISE blog : Remote Integrated Service Engine at Cisco Live Milan

New ITD blog : Intelligent Traffic Director @ Cisco Live Milan

Nexus 7702 announcement : Nexus 7702 has a sweet spot in being a “services chassis” with RISE and ITD.

Nexus 5k/6k : RISE and ITD are planned  for Q1 CY 2015. Currently available for EFT.

 Nexus 7k/7700 :  Most recent NX-OS 6.2.10 has the following new features:

  • Weighted load balancing
  • L4 port based load balancing
  • Sandwich mode Node-State sync between two ITD services in  a VDC
  • DNS probe
  • Start/Stop/Clear ITD statistics collection
  • Show ITD statistics have % traffic distribution
  • Node-level standby
  • VRF support for ITD Service and Probes
  • Number of ITD services scaled up : 32 ITD services per VDC
  • Number of VIPs scaled up : 16 VIPs per ITD service
  • DCNM support using DevNet

Scalability & A Whole Lot More At Cisco Live Milan

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Thousands of customers from around the globe have converged at Cisco Live in Milan to share and discover what is new, interesting and impactful in networking.  In the Data Center, several key themes are emerging, one of which involves scalability.  As business requirements continue to drive the need for more – more apps, more storage, more compute, more speed, more capacity, more of whatever – Cisco continues to innovate, helping customers scale their environments.  There are a lot of new capabilities/products being introduced across the Nexus Data Center switching portfolio, to address scalability, and much more.

One of the key things I’d like to call out is BGP control plane for VXLAN.  While there are more details and a link below, I want to highlight this because as VXLAN continues to pickup steam, and more customers deploy it, these networks are getting, and will continue to get, much larger.  When VXLAN initially came out, one of the things about it that resonated with people was the fact that it would allow a theoretical max of 16 million tenants, which is quite compelling relative to the 4096 offered by traditional VLANs.  However, the fact that the VXLAN header happens to have enough space (24 bits) to allow for a network that large does not mean you can just go out and build it.  By default, VXLAN uses a flood and learn mechanism for device discovery because there is no control plane explicitly defined.  Think about this for a minute.  Flood and learn out to 16 million tenants, umm, may not be the most optimized approach.  Is there another tried and true method to perform this type of function, that customers are already familiar with?  Yes – BGP.  So, this is the background on the rationale for BGP control plane for VXLAN and why I think it’s an exciting new innovation.

There are plenty of other interesting things to check out on the World of Solutions show floor and they are called out below.  To  those of you that are here, come by and take a look, ask questions and learn how these latest product introductions and technology innovations can help your data center scale. If you’re not here, take some time to go through the many hyperlinks below or watch Cisco Live keynotes and presentations live from Milan!

BGP VXLAN Support on the Nexus 9000 and Nexus 7000 – as cloud computing continues to momentum, enabling the creation of a highly scalable, multi-tenant environment with network segmentation, traffic separation, elasticity, and workload mobility. However, the VXLAN IETF draft does not specify a control plane, and relies on a flood-and-learn mechanism for host and endpoint discovery. The Cisco® Border Gateway Protocol (BGP) Control Plane for VXLAN solution is an open, interoperable standards based approach using the proven features of BGP to provide a more scalable, flexible, alternative.

Nexus 9000 Additions to the Portfolio:

  • 100G on Nexus 9500 and Nexus 9300 – Keeping up with evolving data center bandwidth demands, Cisco is introducing 100GE modules for both the Nexus 9500 and 9300 (8 port and 4 port respectively) for  high performance spine/core connectivity and also for direct router interconnect.
  • New Nexus 93120TX a 2RU switch supporting 96 x 10GBaseT + 6 x 40GE Uplinks operating in NX-OS Mode and ACI-capable

Nexus 7702 and New Nexus 7000 F3 Series Module -For customers wanting the comprehensive DCI and services features of the Nexus 7700 in a small form factor, the wait is over! The new 3 RU Nexus 7702 is an ideal compact solution for small/medium DCI deployments (OTV, MPLS, VPLS and EVPN) and high performance RISE and ITD services. Cisco is also introducing a new 10GE F3 module for the Nexus 7000 chassis, rounding out the 10, 40 and 100GE F3 portfolio for both 7000/7700 chassis.

QSFP BiDi MonitorFollowing up on the huge success of the 40GE Bidi transceiver, Cisco is introducing a BiDi Monitor QSFP. The Monitor QSFP provides passive optical tap capabilities for Bidi links, allowing data monitoring for security and network optimization analysis.

Cisco Nexus 5648Q and new 12 Port 40G Ethernet/FCoE GEM: the Nexus 5648Q features 24 x 40G ports and can scale up to 48 x 40G ports via 2 of the 12 port 40G GEM modules. This new switch also supports FEX, offers VXLAN capabilities, and rich data analytics and FCoE support.

Nexus 3000 Family Enhancements

  • Nexus 3548-X offers lower power consumption (~ 25%), Multicast NAT:  Simplifies co-location integration and Latency Monitoring: FIFO Traffic visibility and troubleshooting
  • Nexus 3132Q-X featuring lower Power consumption (~ 15%), the option for 4 x 10GE SFP ports at a lower price

Nexus 2332TQ Fabric Extender supporting  32 x 10GBaseT + 4 x 40G Uplinks plus all of the feature set that the Nexus 2300 Series offers including larger buffers to absorb traffic bursts, support for Cisco 40G BiDi optics, and additional versatile TCAM Supporting for support of capabilities such as ACL classifications and QOS, and local flow redirect for architectures that require intra-rack traffic to reduce bandwidth.