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Citrix and NetScaler 1000V Taking Cisco Cloud Network Services to the Next Level

 

CiscoCitrixWith Cisco Live! in Orlando on the horizon, we are kicking off the news cycles and technology innovation a little early.  Today we’re teaming with our friends at Citrix to announce the expansion of our virtual networking portfolio and provide clarity around our strategy for application delivery controller solutions.

There are two key elements of this strategy:

First, Cisco will begin reselling and supporting a customized version of the popular Citrix NetScaler virtual application delivery controller (ADC) as part of our Cloud Network Services portfolio. Branded Citrix NetScaler 1000V, the Cisco version of the product will be fully supported by the Cisco Technical Assistance Center.  We will begin selling the NetScaler 1000V when available in Q3 CY 2013.

Secondly, Cisco and Citrix have worked on joint development to tightly couple the NetScaler ADC into Cisco’s virtual networking framework.  This joint development includes integration of NetScaler 1000V with the Cisco Nexus 1100 Cloud Services Platform, and the Nexus 1000V services integration technology, vPath.

Cisco’s Cloud Network Services strategy bridges IT to application architects, and with this Citrix NetScaler 1000V announcement, we integrate virtual applications to Cisco Unified Fabric, delivering scalable, reliable application services to users.

Why is NetScaler 1000V the right solution now?

Advances in cloud computing, data center consolidation, mobility and big data are imposing new demands on the network, along with a drive for greater network simplification and automation.

As virtual networking and programmable overlay networks evolve to meet these challenges, an equal evolution needs to take place in Layer 4-7 application networking services and security to support widespread virtualization, application mobility, cloud architectures and network orchestration.

Cisco’s solution to this challenge is Cloud Network Services, a portfolio of integrated, application-aware network services and security offerings designed for virtual and cloud environments. The Cloud Network Services framework eliminates the obstacles of physical service appliances to accommodate the requirements of virtual applications and cloud deployments, such as:

  • Limited scalability of physical services in fixed locations
  • Inconsistent application performance based on workload location relative to services
  • Difficulty in inserting security and network services into virtual networks
  • Lack of control over services and policies for applications deployed at cloud service providers

NetScaler1000V

The NetScaler 1000V virtual ADC

NetScaler 1000V fills an important void in Cisco’s virtual product architecture for an application delivery controller solution to give applications critical performance enhancements, offload application servers, and to help guarantee quality of service and improve end user experience. These requirements are growing exponentially with the increases in bring-your-own-device (BYOD), client mobility, and cloud migration.

Virtual services can be more flexibly deployed to cloud service providers without modification, while relying on the same infrastructure and policies that they might have with corresponding physical appliances in their on-premises data centers. With NetScaler 1000V, customers can have consistency across their physical, virtual and cloud infrastructures, along with the Citrix NetScaler physical appliances.

The Cisco Cloud Services Platform

With the evolution to Cloud Network Services as the Layer 4-7 framework for virtual and cloud networks, organizations are increasingly looking for a flexible platform to deploy these virtual service nodes rather than use existing application servers. Cisco has created the Nexus 1100 Cloud Services Platform to address this need.

The Nexus 1100 Cloud Services Platform is a series of UCS-based appliances dedicated to running Cloud Network Service nodes. In addition to the virtual services listed above, the Nexus 1100 runs the management platforms for the virtual network, the Virtual Security Module (VSM), and the Data Center Network Manager (DCNM) application. The Cloud Services Platform can be dynamically configured to allocate its virtual CPUs to each service as needed based on current application and performance requirements. Current models of the Nexus 1100 series include the Nexus 1110-S and 1110-X.

vPath: The Secret Sauce to Enabling Services in Virtual and Cloud Networks

vPath is a component of the Cisco Nexus 1000V virtual switch which directs traffic to appropriate virtual service nodes, such as firewalls or ADCs, in the right order for each application, independent of the topology of the network or the location of the network services. This allows for greater application mobility and more reliable service delivery. NetScaler 1000V will be integrated into the Cloud Network Services framework via vPath and will be a key differentiator against other ADC products.

As part of the Cisco-Citrix collaboration in next generation data center and cloud architectures, the Citrix NetScaler MPX line of high performing application delivery controllers will also attach to the Cisco Nexus 7000 Series switches.  This capability will provide customers the benefits of higher resiliency, plug and play installation, improved agility, and increased leverage of both their switching and ADC investments.

All of the Cisco Cloud Network Services, including the Citrix NetScaler 1000V, will be on display next week at Cisco Live! Along with other announcements we have planned for data center and cloud networking, it promises to be a great event and we hope to see you there.

For more information, check also the press release here 

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IT Challenges in the Internet of Everything

In a previous post, we looked at examples of new business opportunities enabled by the Internet of Everything and the importance of evaluating Data in Motion in new ways.

Naturally, the Internet of Everything brings its share of IT challenges. Data collection starts at the network edge, including a multitude of endpoint devices and sensors in everyday objects that automatically collect, analyze and transmit data—including video—on a massive scale.

For the most part, it is data that has previously gone untapped—a giant superset of the persistent data that is the subject of Big Data today. The velocity and volume of this data make it difficult to bring it together into one place and extract value from it in a timely fashion. A key IT challenge is deciding what data to store (which can be costly) and what data to ignore (which can be a lost opportunity). 

For example, high-definition video surveillance cameras combined with data analysis offer retailers insight into everything from facial recognition to age, gender and socioeconomic indicators. Retailers can also use video intelligence to create augmented reality mirrors or spot customers in need and send associates to assist them. However, not all the data from these devices needs to be stored or even analyzed, but rather used in the moment to create interactive engagements with the customers.

To address these challenges, intelligence and automated data processing must be embedded in the network. This intelligence takes the guesswork out of selecting the correct data from the torrent, because the network can filter based on relevance. At the same time, it can prioritize what data to retain and what data to discard based on value policies. This requires a flexible infrastructure where compute, storage, network and security resources can be assigned on the fly where and when needed. In most cases with Data in Motion, the application moves to where the data is, not the other way round.

Another key challenge is security, which remains paramount all the way from the edge to the cloud and back. The rapid deployment of Internet of Things and M2M technologies is leading to a proliferation of devices whose variety, data, complexity and vulnerability go beyond the traditional IT landscape. Along with the tremendous value that can be extracted from Data in Motion come new risks that require network-centric security approaches.

The Internet of Everything brings together people, process, data and things to make networked connections more relevant and valuable than ever before, thus providing unprecedented economic opportunity for businesses, individuals and countries. We are still in the early stages of evolution for Data in Motion and the impact it will have on all of us. But it is clear that the more knowledge we have, based on meaningful information pulled from a variety of data sources, the more wisdom we can gain and apply. It will profoundly change the world.

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Everything’s in the Cloud: Now What?

Today’s applications are either virtualized in our own data center or being hosted by any number of providers. But is our security built around our current security reality or is it living in the past? During one of my Gartner Security & Risk Management Summit presentations, I shared best practices in a rapidly changing environment, where cloud vendor hype isn’t matching our security reality. Now that everything is in the cloud, we need a strategic approach to cloud security.

 

Here’s how to make it happen:

Ensure safe data handling when working with cloud provider. Considering cloud providers are an extension of your business, it is vital to ensure how your provider handles security for storing and transmitting your data. What provisions are in place to make sure data is secure once it has been transmitted? Determine if your provider has firewalls, data encryption, and user authentication to keep your data safe.

Combat growing threats. As cloud-based technologies grow more sophisticated over time, so do the possibilities of threats. A proactive approach to security means that we enable technology like cloud-based threat intelligence to detect a threat as they happen – or in some cases before they happen. Other anti-threat measures such as deep packet inspection and proactive monitoring can also help combat viruses, spam and other intrusions. Learn more. You don’t have to be a security expert to take security seriously. Leverage industry bodies, like the Cloud Security Alliance, for guidance on benchmarking service provider security capabilities. Learn what certifications and security practices your cloud provider has, including daily risk audits. And look for ways to increase security processes when you work with cloud providers. See how Cisco can help you protect your business assets and meet compliance requirements.

Learn more. You don’t have to be a security expert to take security seriously. Leverage industry bodies, like the Cloud Security Alliance, for guidance on benchmarking service provider security capabilities. Learn what certifications and security practices your cloud provider has, including daily risk audits. And look for ways to increase security processes when you work with cloud providers. See how Cisco can help you protect your business assets and meet compliance requirements.

To know more follow me on Twitter  @e_desouza  and check my blog and Gartner presentation  on Three Data Center Security Innovations to Accelerate Your Business

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New Pervasive Conferencing Capabilities Enable Video Collaboration for Everyone

Today Cisco is introducing new Pervasive Conferencing capabilities that further simplify and enable video collaboration for everyone.  It’s about increase in scale throughout your organization along with greater efficiencies and affordability.  Consider doubling the number of endpoints while keeping costs at a few dollars per user per month.

Enhancements across our collaboration portfolio make it easy to migrate, upgrade or implement a new deployment, and give you flexibility to customize solutions for what your business specifically needs. Let me share a few announcement highlights:

  • Deployment options: We’ve made it easier for you to choose your deployment. Virtualized, on-premise, or cloud, you can use the platform that works best with your infrastructure strategy.
  • Broader reach:  Extend high-quality multiparty video and web conferencing meetings to more endpoint types with our expanded support of high-definition mobile devices. Read More »

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Bringing Pervasive Conferencing to the Cloud with Virtual Meeting Rooms

Businesses are embracing cloud based video services to achieve higher scale and universal reach. Today’s work environment is dynamic and fast paced, with the exponential growth of video enabled mobile devices bringing even more opportunities to leverage cloud based video services. Recently, the Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI), which tracks global mobile data traffic, predicted that eight billion mobile devices would be in use by 2016. For organizations interested in extending video to mobile users with disparate devices, cloud based video services offer a simple solution to management complexity and device interoperability.

With Cisco ‘s cloud based video services, it’s even easier and more affordable for organizations to enable video on mobile and Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) use cases.  Cisco’s pervasive conferencing strategy delivers cloud deployment options for multiparty video meetings anywhere, at any time, and from any device. Cisco is working with its partners to deliver simple to use cloud based virtual meeting capabilities, without any compromises on video quality and support.  The new Virtual Meeting Room capabilities offer organizations the ability to use business class multiparty video without the need to reserve or schedule meeting resources ahead of time.

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