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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.

 

 

 

RISE: Remote Integrated Service Engine Demo @ Cisco Live Milan

The Cisco® Remote Integrated Services Engine (RISE) allows both physical and virtual external service appliances to be attached to the Cisco Nexus® 7000 Series Switches and gain the same benefits as if the appliances were directly connected to the switch backplane like a dedicated service module. Cisco RISE provides a bidirectional control plane for tightly coupling network services to data center switching. Cisco RISE establishes a communication path between the network data plane and the service appliance, simplifying deployment and optimizing data paths with better traffic visibility in the data center. RISE is supported Cisco Prime NAM, Citrix NetScaler 1000v, Citrix NetScaler VPX, Citrix NetScaler MPX, Citrix NetScaler SDX etc.

Interested in knowing more about Cisco® RISE . The engineering team will showcase demos of some of the innovative features being designed for the Nexus 2K to 7K platforms. These are 15-30min Software Demos performed by our technical leaders. Please stop by our booth or visit the Nexus Data Center Whisper suites to watch the live demo and get some free goodies. Email questions to: rise-info@cisco.com

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Cisco ACI and Nexus 9000 Activities at Cisco Live Milan 2015

Interested in learning more about Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure and Nexus 9000? We are hosting a myriad of activities here at Cisco Live Milan 2015! With Meet the Expert sessions and Demos at the World of Solutions, DevNet Zone labs, a plethora of breakout sessions, and customer whisper suite sessions, there is a wide range of content available throughout the week at the MiCo. Check out the highlights below.

DEVNET ZONE:

  • “Let’s Discuss: Cisco’s Controllers – Why, What, How, When”

Wednesday, January 28 • 2:30pm -- 3:30pm

https://www.ciscolivemilan.com/connect/sessionDetail.ww?SESSION_ID=9522&tclass=popup

  • “API Deep Dive: APIC DC”

Monday, January 26 • 3:30 PM -- 4:30 PM

https://www.ciscolivemilan.com/connect/sessionDetail.ww?SESSION_ID=9502&tclass=popup

  • “API Deep Dive: APIC DC APIs”

Thursday, January 29 • 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM

https://www.ciscolivemilan.com/connect/sessionDetail.ww?SESSION_ID=9529&tclass=popup

BREAKOUTS:

1.TECACI-2009 -- Intermediate -- Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) -- The Policy Driven Data Center

https://www.ciscolivemilan.com/connect/sessionDetail.ww?SESSION_ID=5795&tclass=popup

2.BRKAPP-9000 -- Introduction to Application Centric Infrastructure.

https://www.ciscolivemilan.com/connect/sessionDetail.ww?SESSION_ID=5698&tclass=popup

3.BRKACI-2001 -- Intermediate -- Integration and Interoperation of existing Nexus networks into an ACI architecture

https://www.ciscolivemilan.com/connect/sessionDetail.ww?SESSION_ID=5699&tclass=popup

4.TECDCT-2002 -- Intermediate -- Next Generation Data Center Infrastructure

https://www.ciscolivemilan.com/connect/sessionDetail.ww?SESSION_ID=5807&tclass=popup

5.BRKAPP-9004 -- Intermediate -- Data Center Mobility, VXLAN & ACI Fabric Architecture

https://www.ciscolivemilan.com/connect/sessionDetail.ww?SESSION_ID=5861&tclass=popup

6.BRKACI-3456 -- Advanced -- Mastering OpenStack and ACI

https://www.ciscolivemilan.com/connect/sessionDetail.ww?SESSION_ID=6561&tclass=popup

7.TECDCT-2002 -- Intermediate -- Next Generation Data Center Infrastructure

https://www.ciscolivemilan.com/connect/sessionDetail.ww?SESSION_ID=5807&tclass=popup

8.BRKACI-2006 -- Intermediate -- Integration of Hypervisors and L4-7 Services into an ACI Fabric

https://www.ciscolivemilan.com/connect/sessionDetail.ww?SESSION_ID=5700&tclass=popup

9.LTRDCT-1224 -- Intermediate -- Implementing VXLAN in Datacenter

https://www.ciscolivemilan.com/connect/sessionDetail.ww?SESSION_ID=6111&tclass=popup

10.BRKDCT-1302 -- APIC and Nexus 9000: Network Programmability and Automation

https://www.ciscolivemilan.com/connect/sessionDetail.ww?SESSION_ID=5714&tclass=popup

11.BRKVIR-2931 -- Intermediate -- End-to-End Application-Centric Data Center

https://www.ciscolivemilan.com/connect/sessionDetail.ww?SESSION_ID=5493&tclass=popup

Cisco ACI/N9K Whisper Suites

Please visit https://cisco.jifflenow.com/livedcmilan2015 to register a request. Please note a Cisco domain name is required.

Whisper suites are being held offsite at:

Melia Milano Hotel

Via Masaccio, 19

We hope you will enjoy the show.

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Intelligent Traffic Director @ Cisco Live Milan

Cisco® Intelligent Traffic Director (ITD) is an intelligent and scalable, clustering and load-balancing engine that addresses the performance gap between multi-terabit switches and gigabit servers and appliances. The ITD architecture integrates Layer 2 and Layer 3 switching with Layer 4 to Layer 7 applications for scale and capacity expansion to serve high-bandwidth applications. ITD provides adaptive load balancing to distribute traffic to an application cluster.

It allows customers to deploy servers and appliances from any vendor with no network or topology changes. With a few simple configuration steps on a Cisco Nexus® 7000/7700 series switch, customers can create an appliance or server cluster and deploy multiple devices to scale service capacity with ease. The servers or appliances do not have to be directly connected to the Cisco Nexus switch. ITD started shipping in NX-OS 6.2(8) and has significant new features in 6.2(10).

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Below are some of the reasons why customers used ITD:

  • Load-balance traffic to 256 servers of 10Gbps each.
  • Load-balance to cluster of Firewalls. ITD is much superior than PBR.
  • Scale up NG IPS and WAF by load-balancing to standalone devices.
  • Scale the WAAS / WAE solution.
  • Scale the VDS-TC (video-caching) solution.
  • Replace ECMP/Port-channel to avoid re-hashing. ITD is resilient.

Please stop by our booth or visit the Nexus Data Center Whisper suites to watch the live demo and get some goodies.

References:

Email questions to: ask-itd@external.cisco.com

Why Shadow IT is Dangerous to Your Organization

Moving to cloud offers many benefits to organizations.  However, these benefits come with a corresponding range of new challenges for IT to address.  One of these challenges is what is known as “Shadow IT.”  Shadow IT refers to activities of members within an organization to secure their own IT resources without going through a company’s IT department.

There are many compelling reasons why organizations consider Shadow IT an important issue:

Security: IT resources outside the management of a company’s IT department are also outside of their control and policy management.  Many cloud providers offer only marginal security with their baseline service; to get better security requires an upsell and higher cost.  This means that sensitive company data and digital assets may be exposed without a company’s knowledge.  As a result, a company may be at risk in many ways, either through potential loss of customer data or failure to comply with industry standards and requirements.

Cost: When cloud services are purchased individually, they cost more.  A large organization can consolidate cloud resources needs across all of its departments to achieve volume-pricing discounts.

Efficiency: A group that purchases its own cloud resources may underutilize them.  When clouds resources are managed by IT, unutilized resources can be shared with other departments.  Such a strategy increases the efficient usage of cloud resources.  In addition, fewer resources are required across the company, resulting in lower cost as well.

Unified Management: When cloud resources can be centrally managed, their management can be consistent and unified across the company.  This enables IT to ensure that cloud resources are properly protected as well as simplifies tracking allocation and usage of resources.

There is a high value in eliminating Shadow IT.  However, it is clear that relying upon policies that prohibit Shadow IT activities is not enough to solve the problem.  In the blog, “Overcome Your Shadow IT Struggles”, cloud provider Presidio discusses the reasons why Shadow IT exists.  The blog also describes how you can provide compelling reasons for members of your organization to go through IT and use internal resources.

Another important facet of eliminating Shadow IT is selecting the right cloud services and provider.  It does little good to consolidate cloud access if the services IT brokers to the organization don’t provide enterprise-class security, performance, and flexibility as a baseline.

Learn more about how Hybrid Cloud and Cisco Powered cloud and managed services can transform your business.