One of the things that has always been clear to us is that a pragmatic cloud and virtualization solution is going to need to embrace diversity. There were going to be many paths to cloud and customers would want the freedom to choose to host workloads on physical infrastructure, any of the hypervisors available or one of the emerging number of cloud options. This realization has been one of the factors that has shaped our strategy for delivering practical solutions for virtualization and cloud to the market.
Cloud Networking: Multi-Hypervior and Multi-Service
Initially, we focused on physical/virtual consistency and separation of duties. We kicked this effort off with the Nexus 1000V, which was a fully functioning NX-OS switch rendered fully in software. With L2 handled, we moved on to deploy virtual services consistent with this physical counterparts like the ASA 1000V, the Virtual Security Gateway (VSG) and vWAAS. Finally, we fleshed out the networking stack with the Cloud Services Router (CRS 1000V).
The network has always been a platform for enabling heterogeneous OS and heterogeneous applications to connect. Naturally, the next step was to take the capabilities we had built and extend them across multiple hypervisors so we could now deliver a consistent experience for customers with heterogeneous hypervisor environments. We built on our success with over 6,000 enterprise and service provider VMware vSphere customers and are now extending those came capabilities to Microsoft Hyper-V environments as well for Xen and KVM open source hypervisors. With the recently announced shift to a “freemium” pricing model, with the Nexus 1000V-Essential Edition, customers are gaining these benefits with minimal cost and risk.
vCider and Virtuata: Opportunity for Secure Multi-cloud Networking
However, some of the most interesting progress has come from our two of our more recent acquisitions that have been centered on the concept of providing better operations and management of multi-cloud environments. As customers more broadly adopt cloud and virtualization, security and isolation at the VM level become of paramount importance. To address this need we acquired Virtuata this summer. The Virtuata technology will give us (okay, you) the ability to have sophisticated and consistent security for VMs across multi-hypervisor and multi-cloud environments.
More recently, we announce the acquisition of vCider. While much of the direct impact of the acquisition will be focused on enhancing our OpenStack capabilities—enhancing the capabilities of the Quantum API and strengthening the overall OpenStack offering—the people and the technology gained through the acquisition will have broader impact across our virtualization and cloud efforts:
- Network Overlays: vCider’s expertise will strengthen capabilities for Cisco’s network overlay technologies like VXLAN and LISP, especially in the areas of provisioning and automation via Openstack Quantum
- Multi-Cloud Automation: drawing on vCider’s technologies and experiences to create standards-based inter-cloud automation; for example, gaining insight into operational best practices vCider team developed while running their multi-cloud service. As an aside, we as an industry need to drive standards-based orchestration/automation for hybrid cloud and inter-cloud networks (and compute and storage) leveraging Openstack – to eliminate rise of proprietary solutions.
- OpenStack/Quantum API and Nexus 1000V: vCider team’s technology and expertise in provisioning and automation will be leveraged to further enhance Quantum plug-in development for Nexus 1000V
- Cisco Controller Software: vCider’s overlay-centric placement technology and best practices will help enhance the capabilities of our software controller
The net result of our efforts to date is to give our customers the ability to build and effectively operate multi-hypervisor, multi-service, multi-cloud environment. Service providers to move beyond simple compute and offer innovative and sophisticated services to their customers. Meanwhile, enterprises get a consistent no-compromises environment for their applications regardless of where they run—first-class treatment across physical, virtual, public/private cloud and multi-cloud.