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Get On With It! Your Cloud is Waiting

Sound familiar? We hear that term all the time. We hear it at home, we hear it at work, we keeping saying it to our elected officials. It’s a term often used when we are frustrated with progress. It doesn’t matter what the task is, we just want it done!

At Cisco we do a lot of research. We talk to customers to understand their needs, we survey customers to predict what their needs may be and we engage with the analyst community to understand how our industry is changing. Working from this feedback we aim to make an impact on the market with great products.

Moving to the Cloud has been a hot topic for the past few years and it has been amazing to watch the progress. Just two years ago, our Cloud Connected Survey highlighted the challenges Enterprises were facing as they tried to migrate to the Cloud, with Security being one of the top concerns. The Cisco product team responded to those concerns with the Cloud Services Router 1000V aiming to help Enterprises to ‘get on with it’ and accelerate their migration to the Cloud. Read More »

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Key Annoucements at AWS Summit for the Cloud Services Router (CSR) 1000V

We continue to see significant interest in the CSR 1000V as customers look for robust routing and VPN solution for securely connecting users and branch offices to the Cloud. Last week at the Amazon Web Services Summit in San Francisco Cisco announced a number of key enhancements to its Cloud Services Router (CSR) 1000V for AWS that increase throughput, reduce cost and make it easier for you to get support. These enhancements are explained in more detail below:

  • Hourly billing on a pay-as-you-go basis reduce upfront costs and enable you to get started with minimal upfront costs. You can find out more at the CSR AWS Marketplace page which includes a 30-day free trial.
  • Higher throughput of 100MB gives you faster access to your applications and data.
  • Enhanced support to help you deploy and install the CSR. The new CSR AWS Community is an online community managed by Cisco TAC and CSR Product Management.
  • Testing environment. Deploy and explore the value and benefits of the CSR1000V on the AWS cloud in a lab environment using the CSR AWS Test Drive Lab. The current CSR 1000V lab includes up to 4 hours of complimentary AWS server time for you to try and evaluate a live CSR.

Don’t forget that you can still try the CSR free for 60-days in AWS with the BYOL version. Visit www.cisco.com/go/csrtrial to get started. For those of you still deciding on how to move to the Cloud, I encourage you to read my last blog post  where I talk about some of the key considerations you should take into account when making a decision. Lastly our technical marketing organization has put together a detailed video showing with 3 simple steps on how to deploy the CSR 1000V in Amazon Web Services. With all these support resources and free trials there is no excuse to not get started today!

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IWAN Wed: Faster Service Delivery with NFV

As part of our IWAN series I wanted to take a closer look into what trends are impacting the Service Providers. My previous blog talked about how Enterprises can use the CSR 1000V  to migrate to the Cloud. This week I wanted to talk about how Service Providers are using the CSR to deliver services to their customers.

Historically Service Providers deliver services like routing, firewall and VPN to customers by installing multiple hardware products at the customer site. At the customer site the location where the customer and Service Providers network meet is referred to as the customer premise equipment or CPE. The hardware installed at the CPE is often specialized for different network functions, and the architecture and associated management systems are designed by the Service Provider. This approach provides reliable network services to business customers however it can become complex as more network services are added and it is not very flexible when it comes to adding new services. As a result when businesses demand more services or capacity, Service Providers can be slow to respond and will ultimately see an increased time-to-revenue.

Network Function Virtualization (NFV) aims to overcome these challenges by allowing network services to be moved, or instantiated, in various locations in the Service Provider network on demand and without the need for the installation of specialized hardware equipment.  For NFV to work it requires industry vendors like Cisco to virtualize network functions like routers just like we did with the CSR 1000V. We took our IOS XE operating system from the Aggregation Services Router (ASR) 1000 which was already tried and tested in Service Providers networks and turned it into a virtual form factor that can be run on any off-the-shelf x86 server. Cisco has many more products that are in virtualized form factors and the list includes but is not limited to:

•    Virtual Wide Area Application Services (vWAAS)
•    Virtual Wireless LAN Controller (vWLC)
•    Virtual Mobility Service Engine (vMSE)
•    Virtual Security Gateway (VSG)
•    Virtual Network Analysis Module (VNAM)
•    Virtual Identity Services Engine (vISE)
•    Virtual Adaptive Security Appliance (vASA)
•    Nexus 1000v vSwitch (N1Kv)

The primary benefit of NFV is the ability to use the same data center equipment and management tools that Service Providers currently use for their internal networks to host and manage network functions for their customers. The new vCPE has a reduced hardware footprint, simplified infrastructure and requires less customization. Core network functionality shifts to the Service Provider network where the  pooling of resources increases flexibility allowing them to deploy services faster and scale them according to customer demand.

The benefits to of NFV are significant, however the transition will take some time due to the complexity and size of Service Provider networks. Look out for more blog posts around NFV and the vCPE as I explore in more detail the challenges of moving to this new architecture. In the mean time I encourage you to download a new CSR case study about MiroNet AG, a Swiss Cloud and Infrastructure provider that is using the CSR to deliver new differentiated services to its existing customers while simultaneously attracting new customers.

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Introducing Cisco Prime Network Services Controller 3.2

The Cisco Prime Network Services Controller team is pleased to announce the availability of 3.2 release. This release incorporates a number of new features and functionalities to build virtual data centers (VDCs) with various network topologies. Follow this link to download the software and documentation.

Designed for multi-tenant cloud deployments, Cisco Prime Network Services Controller offers scalable, and automation-centric management for virtualized data center and cloud environments.  The Cisco Prime Network Services Controller is a virtual appliance that provides centralized device and policy management of virtual networking services. It provides a unified northbound API (XML payload over HTTPS) to allow the creation of dynamic data center that includes switching, routing, fire-walling and load-balancing functions.

Cisco Prime Network Services Controller is built on an information-model architecture in which each managed device is represented by its subcomponents (or objects), which are parametrically defined. It also uses Services profiles for model-based configuration of virtual devices policies. A service profile is a collection of device policies and configuration templates that can be predefined and applied on demand at the time of virtual appliance instantiation or later. Cisco Prime Network Services Controller enables

  • Flexible and simple mechanism to managing virtualized infrastructure using Cisco VSG, Cisco ASA 1000V, Cisco CSR 1000V virtual services as well as Citrix’s NetScaler virtual load balancers (NetScaler VPX and NetScaler 1000V)
  • Cisco InterCloud for virtual machine (VM) workload management and migration between the enterprise data center (private cloud) and public clouds
  • Cisco VSG, Cisco ASA 1000V, Cisco CSR 1000V, NetScaler VPX and NetScaler 1000V services in Dynamic Fabric Automation (DFA) solution

Read More »

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Ready for a virtual router in the cloud? Cisco CSR1000V joins AWS

Cisco WebinarsThe 2013 Cisco IT Impact Survey found that 40% of IT professionals stated that moving their applications to the Cloud as one of their key IT challenges over the past 12 months with 50% of respondents highlighting security data protection and guaranteeing the reliability of applications in the cloud (SLA’s) as the main reasons.

Talking with our Enterprise customers, it is clear that there has been significant gap in the solutions that provide enterprise-class secure connectivity from users and branches to public cloud providers like Amazon Web Services (AWS). As a result, IT departments have not been able to easily connect their private networks into AWS with the consistent security and policy management that they are familiar with – that is until now.

To help customers combat these challenges and accelerate their migration to cloud, I am proud to announce the availability of Cisco’s very first virtualized product now available on Amazon Web Services (AWS): Cisco Cloud Services Router (CSR) 1000V. Read More »

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