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Interview with Citrix on the Benefits of NetScaler Integration with Nexus 7000 and RISE

April 3, 2014 at 5:00 am PST

It’s been a busy week at Interop in Las Vegas so far, and we’re getting a lot of interest in our new Remote Integrated Services Engine (RISE) technology for the Nexus 7000 Series switches, which Cisco unveiled earlier this week. RISE integrates service appliances attached to Nexus 7000 Series switches 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.

Recently, I had a chance to sit down with Steve Shah, Citrix Senior Director of Product Management to talk about why they were the first to integrate with RISE technology, and what benefits it has for their NetScaler customers.

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New Remote Integrated Services Engine (RISE) Enhances L4-7 Appliance Integration with Nexus 7000 Series

March 31, 2014 at 4:00 am PST

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 Logical View

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

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.

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.

Joe Weber“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

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Citrix at CiscoLive – From Disneyland to Disneyworld

You’re probably thinking I have the best job in Silicon Valley. Last month I was running the Cisco UCS – with Citrix XenDesktop demos at Citrix Synergy in Anaheim. This week it’s time for Cisco Live 2013 at the Orlando Convention Center. So you’re right I do have an enviable job, bringing together the best of Cisco and Citrix technologies that help customers work better, with more flexibility and greater security – and also having some fun in the process.  If like me, you are fortunate enough to be attending, I am sure you are looking forward to the John Chambers’s keynote, the Super Sessions and the Cisco Party.

In addition you will have another great opportunity to check out and experience the latest innovations in our Cisco Desktop Virtualization Solutions portfolio for Citrix XenDesktop.I want to spend the next few minutes taking you through a virtual tour of the Cisco and Citrix  presents at the event. Let’s pick up action in the Cisco Unified Data Center (UDC) Booth 758.

clive2013The Desktop Virtualization demos in the Cisco UCS booth are at the center of all the action.. We have two cool demos. One of these demos features the Cisco UCS Storage Accelerator with Citrix XenDesktop, that showcases how performance intensive Citrix write-cache can be placed locally on the UCS Blade servers. You guessed it, this eliminates the need for expensive SAN storage. Come, learn and experience, how you can achieve 50% reduction in SAN costs, increased IOPS and all the jazz that comes with Cisco Storage Accelerator and Citrix XenDesktops.

Also catch my good colleague Ashok Rajagopalan presenting on “Deploy VDI with Higher Performance and Lower TCO with Cisco UCS”. Do not miss this presentation, particularly as the outline touches the architectural approach to Cisco Desktop Virtualization, Performance Optimization with Cisco UCS VM-FEX, Manageability simplification and UCS-Nvidia GPU integration, among others. Ashok has a busy schedule at the event. His breakout session BRKVIR – 2022 titled, “Transformation of server caching in Desktop Virtualization, Big Data and Database workloads” is fast filling up and I recommend you register quickly.

As a teaser , here is quick snapshot that I made at Citrix Synergy on these topics

For additional insights, check out Ashok’s Video Blog on benefits of Cisco Desktop Virtualization Solutions

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