Just prior to Interop about two weeks ago, Cisco unveiled its Remote Integrated Services Engine (RISE) on the Nexus 7000 series switch. Remote Integrated Service Engine (RISE) is a new protocol being added to the Nexus 7000 and 7700 platforms through NX-OS (software upgradeable to existing devices), that integrates external service appliances attached to Nexus 7000 Series switches with the same benefits as if the appliance was directly connected to the switch backplane, just like a dedicated service module. Initially, Citrix NetScaler Application Delivery Controllers (ADC) and the Cisco Prime Network Analysis Module (NAM) are the first services appliances that have integrated with RISE, and have been tested and Certified as “RISE-enabled”. With the announcement of RISE, we expect to develop an ecosystem of partners that will work with Cisco to take advantage of this technology, including other application services vendors and firewalls.
At Interop, I had a chance to meet up on the show floor with Citrix NetScaler Product Manager, Joe Peck, to talk about why Citrix is taking advantage of this new RISE technology.
If you recall from my earlier posts here and here, RISE is the new protocol in the Nexus 7000 and 7000 Series switch that allows integration of a remote service appliance like NAM or an application delivery controller with the same functional capability as if it was attached to the switch backplane like an embedded services blade. Devices can actually be connected over any layer 2 network, and not necessarily directly connected to the Nexus switch ports, although that is the usual configuration. RISE-enabled ports are configured on the Nexus 7000 and up to 4 dedicated ports per appliance can be configured for maximum throughput to connected devices.
It’s a great benefit for appliance vendors to not have to develop specific network-embedded modules of their products to install inside the chassis, as well as saving valuable slots while providing the same degree of traffic visibility and optimization for the appliance. In this video, I had a chance to sit down with Praveen Chandra, Director of NAM Engineering at Cisco, to talk about the first Cisco service appliance to support RISE and what it means for Prime NAM customers:
Remote Integrated Service Engine (RISE) is a new protocol being added to the Nexus 7000 and 7700 platforms through NX-OS (software upgradeable to existing devices), that integrates service appliances to be attached to Nexus 7000 Series switches with the same benefits as if the appliance was directly connected to the switch backplane, as if it were a dedicated service module. Cisco RISE establishes a communication path between the network data plane and the service appliance, simplifying deployments and optimizing data paths with better traffic visibility within the data center.
RISE allows a physical services appliance to be connected to the Nexus 7000 switch as if it was directly connected to the chassis backplane, providing greater traffic visibility and optimization, with simplified connectivity
The service appliances (e.g., Citrix NetScaler and Cisco Prime NAM) are directly attached by standard network cable to RISE-configured ports on the Nexus 7000 Series switches in a typical virtual Port Channel (VPC) deployment. Appliances can also be attached in indirect mode through any switched (Layer 2) network. Either scenario (direct or indirect connection) allows for device and data path redundancy for fault tolerance.
There are several management advantages to connecting service nodes through RISE. First, RISE can be configured through the Nexus management console or management platform. However, the specific service appliance features are still configured using the existing device management tools. This ensures separation of duties between the networking and security or application teams, as well as eliminating any additional management complexity from the RISE connection.
“RISE offers a unique ability to tightly couple Nexus 7000 Series switches and Service Appliances within the Data Center. We believe that this integration will provide the business agility from an operational and deployment perspective that Data Center engineers have been looking for to reduce the time it takes to instantiate new or modify existing services. Data-path optimization through the use of Auto-PBR (Policy Based Routes) will relieve the need for manual modifications during add/moves/changes and improve network traffic visibility for the Security/Server administrator.” — Joe Weber, Technical Solutions Architect, World Wide Technology
We had some sneak peeks at CiscoLive in London but as you probably know by now, this stuff was just formally announced last week. Several demos worth looking at give you the foundation for what is important. Shashi Kiran is leading this effort and you can always count on a good quote:
“Cisco takes Unified Fabric to the next level delivering compelling customer value in an evolutionary manner, we offer a switch with the industry’s highest 40GbE density per rack unit, the simplest solution for the hybrid cloud model, and the most extensible network controller.”
Interesting….tell us more…
Three areas of innovation: How we Scale (Nexus 6000), how we enable the Hybrid deployment model (Nexus 1000v InterCloud) and how we open it all up with Cisco ONE (Open Networking Environment)
One of the fundamental capabilities for the world of many clouds is the ability to link various cloud environments into a single extended fabric with consistent capabilities, operations and management. While previous Unified Fabric innovation has focused on physical/virtual consistency of the DC fabric, this announcement brings that consistency to the cloud. This new technology from Cisco extends the existing networking capabilities, L4-7 services and manageability of your enterprise into public and provider clouds to create a single consistent, reliable, predictable environment for all your physical, virtual and cloud workloads. This secure and seamless degree of integration to the hybrid cloud frees you to run and move applications where it makes the most sense, on-demand, without compromise.
[Note: Join us for a Live Announcement Webcast February 5: Register Here]