You probably saw my earlier blog telling you that The Cisco Connected Industries Group (CIG) were at Cisco Live!, and I just got word that over 3,000 attended over the four days in Melbourne. There was strong interest in follow-up meetings by over a hundred folks who were keenly interested in mining and Oil and Gas, in addition to Manufacturing. Not surprising really, as the region has a solid industry in these three areas. Many folks were very interested in the 819 for 4G mobile assets (think earth movers and that kind of thing), and the IE2000 was well received.
Whether you’re a small or large organization, your employees are no doubt your most valuable assets. During my career, I’ve seen just how critical it is to unlock the full potential of each person to achieve great things. Today’s unique challenge lies in facilitating effective collaboration amongst a globally distributed workforce with the Internet at the center of everything.
I recently took the stage at Cisco Live! London where I talked about a new class of Internet-raised employees, their requirements for the next-gen workspace, and what Cisco is doing to facilitate this new way of working.
For starters, employees’ expectations today far exceed those of the past when it comes to communications. I can’t even imagine how my 7-year old daughter’s generation will be when they enter the workforce. Influenced by their consumer experiences, employees now desire (and need) much more than the corporate issued laptop: They want access to the devices—smartphones, tablets—and platforms of their choosing. IT departments now must figure out how to provide integrated collaboration experiences from any device and location. I’ve dedicated the past few years to finding a way for people to collaborate in a secure and scalable way while meeting these new expectations.
Cisco Connected Industries are present in Melbourne showing off some of the latest ruggedized equipment that Cisco has for industrial users such as those in the manufacturing, Oil and Gas, and Mining sectors.
There’s been a great deal of excitement, interest and certainly follow-on questions after we announced our new hybrid cloud integration solution, Nexus 1000V InterCloud. My earlier three-part blog consisted of Part 1 on the architecture and features, Part 2 on the hybrid cloud management specifics, and Part 3 a recap of the frequently asked questions.
And now, we have the video demonstration. At Cisco live! last month in London, TechWise TV‘s Robb Boyd caught up with Prashant Gandhi, Sr. Director of Product Management in our Server Access and Virtualization Business Unit, before the trade show floor opened and recorded a demonstration of the new hybrid cloud infrastructure.
In this demo, Prashant quickly migrates a few virtual machines from our simulated private cloud to Amazon Web Services hosting servers. Part of the ease of use is through integration of Cisco’s Virtual Network Management Center (VNMC) InterCloud to Amazon cloud management tools, and the ability to view and manage virtual machines in both the private data center as well as those hosted in the cloud. The other important point about Nexus 1000V InterCloud is not only how it provides all the seamless layer 2 connectivity and security to connect the data center to public cloud resources quickly and easily, but security and application policies can be mirrored and migrated just as easily in the public cloud through the use and deployment of Cisco Cloud Network Services, such as our Virtual Security Gateway, the ASA 1000V Cloud Firewall or vWAAS. Take it away Robb and Prashant…
At Cisco Live! in London this week, Cisco is demonstrating some enhancements to its Nexus 1000V virtual switch that greatly ease some of the challenges in deploying VXLAN in large scale cloud networks. VXLAN was designed to solve the problem of setting up traditional virtual networks (VLANs) in large multi-tenant cloud environments: the limited ID range for VLAN tags was quickly exhausted and a larger ID pool was needed for larger shared infrastructures. VXLAN thus becomes the foundation for a virtual network tunnel or virtual network overlays on top of physical networks. And unlike VLANs, VXLANs are designed to act as L2 virtual networks over L3 physical networks. For a more in-depth refresher on VXLAN, start here.
[Note: Join Cisco for a Live Announcement Webinar on Cloud Innovations on February 5: Register Here]
While VXLANs have certainly enabled a whole new level of scalability for virtual networks, one of the challenges in deploying VXLAN is its use of IP Multicast to implement the L2 over L3 network capability. Why is this? VXLAN is a MAC-in-IP encapsulation protocol in a UDP frame. The virtual switch that acts as the VXLAN termination (in Cisco’s case, the Nexus 1000V virtual switch) takes the L2 packet from the VM, wraps it in a L3 IP header, and sends it out over UDP. But the challenge is that there’s no way to determine which IP address should be used for the destination host (VXLAN termination point) at which the desired MAC address can be found. In other protocols, this can be accomplished within the network control plane and some MAC to IP mapping protocol, but the VXLAN specification indicates there should be no reliance on a control plane or a physical to virtual mapping table.