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Cisco CSR 1000V Now Available on Microsoft Azure Marketplace

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Ed Cho is a Strategic Partner Marketing Manager at Cisco where he is focusing on Cisco’s partnership with Microsoft around the cloud and data center. Prior to joining Cisco in 2013, Ed has accumulated a diversity of experiences by working in the healthcare, technology, and media /entertainment space.

This is a guest post by Ed Cho.

Since the inception of our strategic partnership in 2014, Cisco and Microsoft have worked diligiently to combine our respective strengths in the data center and cloud services into game changing solutions that empower our joint customers and partners. True to this objective, we are proud to announce the availability of Cisco’s Cloud Service Router (CSR) 1000V within Microsoft’s Azure Marketplace, thereby providing our joint customers and partners with access to a ready made virtual routing solution that brings enterprise-class networking features to users of public cloud platforms such as Microsoft Azure.

Connecting to the Cloud Can Be a Road Filled with Bumps

Businesses such as yours understand the strategic importance of leveraging the cloud as a means to lower costs and to respond to customer needs and business trends in a fast and agile manner. As the case with many cloud users, you are most likely using your Internet connections to connect to public and hybrid cloud providers. However, as you seek to host more of your business critical data and applications in the cloud you may find that this traffic will be competing with non-business critical Internet traffic, making security and performance of WAN connections a top priority.

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Need an Express Lane to the Cloud? Check out CSR over Direct Connect…

Find yourself sitting in rush-hour traffic watching folks in the carpool lane whiz by? While it is often tempting to ‘cheat,’ it is against the law and you can end up with a rather expensive ticket. Alternatively, you could buy yourself a low emissions vehicle, and with an approved ‘clean air vehicle sticker’ plastered to your rear bumper,  drive in the carpool lane all day long. If you are lucky enough to live in an area of California where there are Express or ‘Hot Lanes’ then solo drivers are allowed to drive in the carpool lane during peak hours if they pay a fee.

Enterprises moving traffic across the internet to the public cloud may find themselves in need of an ‘express lane’ with the increasing number of applications being hosted in the public cloud. In fact the 2014 Cisco Global Cloud Index states that Global Cloud Traffic will triple by 2018. What does this mean for Enterprises?

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Expanded IWAN Management with LiveAction 4.1

LiveAction 4.1, shipped in late August, provides additional Cisco IWAN management features available with PfRv3 release, announced in July for ISR and ASR platforms. As Cisco’s preferred management solution for IWAN, LiveAction makes troubleshooting of performance routing issues easier through at-a-glance visual dashboards and simple workflows.

LiveAction 4.1 leverages the scalability enhancements provided in version 4.0 and adds several important functions allowing enterprises to take advantage of improved intelligent path control for Cisco Intelligent WAN and large-scale configuration and change management functions.  LiveAction 4.1 features provide the following customer benefits:

  • More robust PfRv3 dashboard and workflows enabling faster troubleshooting
  • PfR configuration and provisioning via Net LineDancer (NetLD) integration
  • 5X faster report processing than LiveAction 3.0
  • Full NCCM functions through integration with NetLD
  • Device grouping allowing common operations across multiple devices with ease
  • Easier to deploy device configurations to multi-vendor platforms
  • No more restrictions on single admin login and flexibility in Active Directory login

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New Nexus 1000V Virtual Switch Release 3.1 Now Available

There has been some seismic activity happening in Bay Area and the epicenter for all Virtual Networking shifts is right here at Cisco HQ in San Jose. (Our sympathies go to all those affected by the real earthquake further to the north.)  At Cisco, it’s all about the applications and the shift to dynamic network virtualization. Cisco pioneered virtual networking with Nexus 1000V virtual switch and recently incorporated it in the application aware Application Virtual Switch (AVS), for Cisco ACI-enabled networks. Cisco is excited to announce the availability of  Nexus 1000 Release 3.1 of Nexus1000V for vSphere (available for download here). We are showing the upcoming generation of the virtual switch at VMworld in San Francisco this week.

Nexus1000V is the edge switch for virtual environments, bringing the network edge right up to the virtual machine, and connecting virtual ports to the physical network and beyond. The Nexus 1000V is the foundation for our virtual network overlay portfolio, including all of our virtual L4-7 application and security services, our cloud orchestration software, VXLANs and more. It is also at the heart of AVS, a purpose-built, hypervisor-resident virtual network edge switch designed for the Application Centric Infrastructure.

Release 3.1 is a new major release enabling enterprise and cloud provider customers running the vSphere hypervisor to leverage the distributed virtual firewall VSG, expand VXLAN footprint in the datacenter, improve secure isolation thru Cisco TrustSec and dramatically simplify updates through Cisco VSUM (Virtual Switch Update Manager).  Most of the new features are value add to the Advanced Edition.  New customers will need a Ver 3 specific license to use the full functionality of Ver 3.  Existing customers with support contract are automatically entitled to free upgrade to Ver 3. AVS incorporates Nexus 1000V capabilities with consistent application policy enforcement for virtual workloads and unprecedented end-to-end visibility for applications in your data center.

Features of the new Nexus 1000V Release 3.1:

  • Scale
    • Increased Scalability (Advanced Edition) – More than doubles the scale from the previous release. The virtual switch now supports 250 hosts/servers per switch with 10,000 ports per switch. In addition it supports 4094 active VLANs and  16 million VXLAN (6144 active VXLANs) per switch across 6144 port profiles.
    • VXLAN control plane: BGP based control plane across multiple virtual switches provide expanded Layer 2 domain footprint that can potentially support nearly 40,000 VMs in a single domain
    • Increased Resiliency – Supports headless Port bring up where Virtual Machines can be bought up on the host even if VEM is offline i.e. the VSM is not reachable by VEM. Both VSM headful and headless VM vMotion is supported.
  • Security
    • Cisco TrustSec 2.0 (Advanced Edition) – Continues to extended Cisco TrustSec solutions for network based segmentation of users and physical workloads, leveraging Security Group Tags (SGT) for defining security segments and SGACL support  (Enforcement) and Native(in-line) SGT tagging.
    • BPDU Guard – Keeps virtual network safe from misconfigured VLANs and strictly enforces VLAN boundries.  It prevents Misconfigured VLAN Rogue devices from flooding the network
    • Storm Control – Prevent network disruptions from a broadcast, multicast, or unknown-unicast traffic storm.
  • Simplification
    • Simplified Deployment, upgrade and visibility with Cisco VSUM – Cisco VSUM is a FREE virtual appliance that enables Server and Network administrators to Deploy, Upgrade and Monitor Nexus1000V and to Deploy and Upgrade Cisco AVS from within their vCenter web interface.
    • Customer Experience – Here’s what one of our Beta customers, Josh Coen says about Cisco VSUM. Josh is a Principal Cloud Architect with Varrow and has been working in the IT industry since 1999, with a heavy focus on virtualization and storage since 2008.

Nexus 1000V has already reached the 10,000 customer milestone with some customers purchasing 1000+ CPU licenses.  Nexus 1000V continues to provide the foundation for the most advanced virtual networks by supporting, 1) multiple hypervisor environments, such as VMware vSphere, Microsoft Hyper-V and Openstack KVM 2) the most extensive set of virtual network services, including ASA 1000V Cloud Firewall, distributed zone-based virtual firewall, vWAAS WAN optimization, the Cloud Services Router (CSR) 1000V, Cisco Prime Network Analysis Module (NAM) and advanced service insertion and chaining technology, vPath and 3) a true management control plane that provides greater policy and control features for richer networking functionality.

We’ll be showing a lot of these features this week. Come by our booth and check it out. If you are around #VMworld this week, give us a shout out on twitter using Cisco hash tag #ciscovmw. For those of you that can’t make it out to VMworld, listen to the review of these new features in Ver 3.1 in this webcast.

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Scaling NFV – The Performance Challenge

In the second part of my blog series I want to cover one of the main concerns that Services Providers are facing as they explore moving to NFV and that is performance and scalability. Common concerns I hear center around latency, throughput, queuing capabilities and security. These are valid concerns since SP’s have service level agreement (SLA’s) with the their customers which lead to penalties if performance drops below the SLA.  So will a virtualized network function perform at the same level as a purpose built networking device? Read More »

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