A few weeks ago, VMware announced a huge number of updates to their product portfolio, under the “Cloud Infrastructure Suite” umbrella. Without going into all the product/feature specifics, as plenty of blogs have already covered that, I wanted to highlight several areas where IT organizations will now have the opportunity to truly take advantage of joint integration and world-class technology from Cisco and VMware. I highlight these because many of them will be demo’d at the Cisco Booth (#700) at VMworld next week, as well as covered in white-boarding and Q&A sessions with our “Ask the Experts” panel each day.
So if you’re going out to VMworld 2011 in Las Vegas next week, I highly recommend you check out these technologies and opportunities to improve how IT is delivered to your business:
- “Monster VMs” – one of the key areas of vSphere 5 is enhanced capabilities to host large, Tier-1 application VMs. This is a huge advancement as IT organizations look to continue to drive greater utilization and efficiency in the data center, without sacrificing performance and availability. And there is no better x86 server platform to run those mission-critical applications on that Cisco UCS. Not only has the UCS plaform been independently proven to provide world-record performance for almost every application type, but more and more customers are voting with their wallets that UCS will be their next generation server platform (now up to 7400 customers as of August 2011).
- “Deeper Nexus 1000v Integration” – As the only 3rd-party distributed switch for vSphere, Cisco and VMware have always had deep engineering integration to extend all the robust network capabilities you’ve become used to with NX-OS to virtualized environments. But initial support for N1K in vCloud Director was somewhat limited. With the update to vCD, the integration has gotten much deeper and now supports much greater flexibility for deploying the infrastructure.
- “Greater VM Visibility” – as a prominent VMware vExpert just tweeted, “1st update I’ve seen has shown up in vSphere 5.0 Update Manager. embeddedEsx 5.0.0 Cisco Nexus 1000V VEM”. If there was any question how tightly the VMware and Cisco engineering teams work together, that explains it all. We work so hard on Nexus 1000v because it provides unmatched visibility for Network and Security teams that have to maintain virtualized environments. And with the huge push for Virtual Desktops and Unified Communications these days, visibility and the ability to provide granular levels of service is incredible important – exactly what Nexus 1000v provides to virtualized environments!
- “Simplified VM deployments” – By leveraging Cisco UCS Service Profiles, customers have always found it simple to deploy and update UCS servers. By now being able to layer on “vSphere Auto Deploy”, customers will be able to create highly automated environments to roll out new VMs. This is a perfect combination for anyone looking to rollout or expand a VDI environment.
- “Automate More Complex Cloud Environments” – It might be easy for a customer to assume that the only tools available to manage a VMware-based infrastructure or Cloud are vCenter, vCloud Director, or vCloud Orchestrator. But in many cases, customers are somewhere on the journey to cloud, in a transitional phases (physical and virtual machines; legacy and new applications, etc.) and this is where Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud can be an excellent compliment to one or all of those tools from VMware. In fact, Cisco uses that combination in our own internal Private Cloud (CITEIS – Cisco IT Elastic Infrastructure Services)
- “Smaller Storage Needs” – Maybe you’re virtualization environment isn’t large enough (yet) for a Vblock or a FlexPod today. If so, the new vSphere Storage Appliance can run great on just a few Cisco UCS C-Series servers. Even customers that have small needs can start to leverage the incredible power of the UCS Manager to automate their application environments.
- “Simplified Disaster Recovery” – By simplifying the two-way operations needs for robust Disaster Recovery in SRM, we expect to see many more customers looking to expand those capabilities for their data center. But in order to create a robust BC/DR environment, customers need to have the right network in place. This is where Cisco “Data Center Interconnect” technologies such as OTV and LISP add tremendous value and simplicity in design and operations.
- “Begin the PaaS Journey” - With the announcement of the open-source Cloud Foundry PaaS platform, the ability to investigate new application frameworks and multi-Cloud environments has gotten much simpler. Cloud Computing is all about delivering simplified environments and applications to quickly solve business challenges. Combined with the system-level automation of Cisco UCS and open-APIs, it is now incredibly easy for IT organizations (enterprise, government, commercial or Service Provider) to rapidly deploy infrastructure and applications for Cloud Computing.