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What Cisco’s New Data Center Switching Announcements Mean for Service Providers

Cisco’s foundation for delivering the service provider Cloud is our Unified Service Delivery (USD) solution, featuring tightly integrated, data center and IP NGN technologies to deliver a virtualized end-to-end infrastructure for cloud services. We thought it would be useful to share some new capabilities that Cisco has added recently to the solution:

MPLS in the Data Center: To streamline the end to end operation across the data center and IP NGN,  Cisco announced, last week, that Nexus 7000 supports Multi Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) for Layer 3 virtual private networks (VPNs). This allows MPLS to be deployed  at the data center core/aggregation layer  rather than terminating at the data center edge. This capability enables Service Providers to greatly simplify L3 segmentation, especially for multi-tenant cloud offerings, depending on their scale and service needs.

Another key to the delivery of a data center built for Cloud requirements of scale, virtualization and multi-tenancy has been the use of a Unified Fabric. Unified Fabric provides the flexibility of high performance, highly available networks to support the needs of both LAN and SAN on a consolidated fabric. Cisco’s Unified Fabric announcements last week bring new capabilities which extend our already robust offerings to further build out a Service Provider Cloud foundation.

More flexible workload mobility: at layer 3, we have introduced LISP support in the Nexus 7000. Service Providers can easily move virtual machines across Layer 3 boundaries, burst workloads from one data center to another, eliminate route-table scaling issues by populating routes on demand and deploy IPv6 incrementally over existing IPv4 infrastructure for a simpler transition.

More flexible storage networks: With our data center fabric announcement, we have also added support for muti-hop fiber channel over Ethernet (FCoE) to our Nexus 7000 switch router. This provides greater flexibility in storage topologies by using a director-class FCoE switch that can take traffic to the access layer or aggregation layer from our Unified Compute Systems. This increases scale, flexibility and switch consolidation available from the Nexus family in Service Provider data centers.

Cisco tightly integrates the three main areas of convergence -- Unified Fabric, Unified Computing, and Unified Network Services -- into a holistic end-to-end data center fabric that is designed to be simple, scalable and secure. It allows service providers to deliver any application across any location -- within the data center, across data centers, or to the Cloud.

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