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VSG: Vive la difference! A Tutorial for HP

July 27, 2011 at 11:06 am PST

One of the things I admire about Cisco marketing, and I think generates a lot of respect for us from our customers, is how we approach competitive marketing. Most importantly, we hardly ever do it. Sure, we arm our sales teams with specific comparison data, but it’s rare we feel the need to compare ourselves publically or to bash competitors. When you bash a competitor, it really only serves to give them credibility, and highlights that they must be doing something important to occupy your mindshare, or that of your customer’s.  Occasionally though, we are faced with not only having to take the gloves off a little more, but responding to the inevitable FUD that gets thrown our way.

This brings us to a blog post written by HP about Cisco’s Virtual Security Gateway (VSG), which unfortunately contains a number of inaccuracies and misrepresentations of our product that we have to clear up.

Let’s start with this example:

Cisco has a product called the Virtual Security Gateway (VSG) for the Nexus 1000V Series. It is a virtual firewall that lets you enforce policy and segmentation virtual environments. All associated security profiles are configured to include trust-zone definitions and access control lists (ACLs) or rules. They also support VM mobility when properly configured. If there’s one thing the company is good at, it is those good-old ACLs developed back in the early 90s!

The strength of VSG’s firewall capabilities is its awareness of the virtual machine environment, and specifically the ability to write firewall rules based on the attributes of the virtual machine, attributes such as the NAME of the VM. This gives tremendous power to establish policies in virtual environments, such as logically isolating tenants running on the same machine, or separating VMs based on operating system or application type in virtual desktop environments, a use case I wrote about earlier. To imply VSG is enforcing good-old ACL’s from the 90’s is disingenuous at best. Read More »

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A Journey to Reach Your Cloud, Securely

October 21, 2010 at 11:00 am PST

Clouds are popular. It’s not just because of cloud computing, you know. I was amazed to see people in St. Cloud, Minnesota talk about how much they enjoyed a new kind of cloud beds. In the computing world, businesses and organizations are fully embracing virtualization.  Customer deployments show that you can easily install ten (10) or more virtual machines (VMs) on a physical host. For example, Drilling Info, Inc, a fast growing company in Texas, is currently running about 70 VMs on 3 Cisco UCS blades. Such dramatic footprint reduction plus business agility and additional energy, administration and networking savings are powerful reasons to drive IT data center consolidation. The City and County of San Francisco, for instance, has a distributed infrastructure consisting of 40 data centers and server rooms. They are currently in a process to consolidate into a fully virtualized data center.

Since virtualization is widely considered to be a precursor to private cloud computing, does the success so far mean that the road to cloud computing is free and clear?
Read More »

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