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OPEN: A Fundamental Part of the Network of the Future

Over the past several years, I’ve been lucky enough to be a part of two important trends in the networking industry -- the evolution of open standards and open APIs, and the definition of policy as the key interface to the network.

Open is an extremely important word to the future of networking. The simple dictionary definition for open means not closed or locked, allowing access to inside, and freely accessible.

The ultimate networking environment will allow a user the freedom to connect anything together in the cloud and to an existing environment. In order for this vision to happen, companies must work together to create a common language.

OpenStack has garnered a lot of interest in the development community and among our customers.  We at Cisco have been actively helping to shape the discussion around policy.  Working collaboratively with our partners and competitors, we helped create Group-Based Policy (GBP), an intent-driven policy API for OpenStack.

The Group-Based Policy initiative represents a significant innovation in how users conceive, manage, deploy, and scale their applications in OpenStack clouds.  And its now available as a 100% open source solution available to any vendor.  When coupled with Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure, we are able to offer our customers a completely policy-driven network.

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Evaluating Fixed and Mobile Networks for Cloud Readiness

Access networks are fundamental to superior cloud experiences

As a complement to the fourth annual update of the Global Cloud Index, or GCI (see media release), we’ve once again included the Cloud Readiness Supplement. According to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (or NIST), which is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, one of the five essential characteristics of cloud computing is broadband access.

  • Broad network access: Capabilities are available over the network and accessed through standard mechanisms that promote use by heterogeneous thin or thick client platforms (e.g., mobile phones, tablets, laptops, and workstations). See complete NIST Cloud definition.

The Cloud Readiness Supplement provides a recommended set of access requirements to support a range of cloud services (both individually and concurrently).

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Cisco Global Cloud Index (2013 – 2018): Data Center and Cloud Traffic for the Next Five Years

What do our GCI Forecast projections mean for you?

Today, Cisco released the fourth annual update of its Global Cloud Index, or GCI (see media release). For most people who follow cloud-computing, it’s no real surprise to learn that global data center traffic will nearly triple over the next five years or that cloud traffic is expected to nearly quadruple. Examining the trends within the top-line forecast projections is where we begin to see what this growth means for service providers, businesses, and consumers (and how data center networking is being transformed).

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For Service Providers and Data Center Operations:

GCI Highlight: The workload density (that is, workloads per physical server) for cloud data centers was 5.2 in 2013 and will grow to 7.5 by 2018. Comparatively, for traditional data centers, workload density was 2.2 in 2013 and will grow to 2.5 by 2018.

The Benefit: An important factor in the rapid expansion of cloud computing is increasing data center virtualization, which provides services that are flexible, fast-to-deploy, and efficient. Virtualized data centers require fewer physical servers and offer great scalability than traditional data centers. This can ease capex and opex pressures (allowing for investment in other areas).

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New Nexus 2348TQ Joins Nexus 2300 Series Fabric Extender Family

There is no doubt that the word transformation is being used to describe pretty much anything to do with the data center, but in all of this, it’s good to remember that little things can make a BIG difference in making day to day data center operations easier.

With simplicity as one of the key tenants, the Nexus 2300 Series Fabric Extenders continues on the same trajectory as previous Fabric Extenders by delivering a solution that, when coupled with Cisco Nexus parent switches, makes adding performance, scale, and operational simplicity to the network access simple.

Today, we add a new member to this 3rd generation fabric extender family – the Nexus 2348TQ, which together with the Nexus 2348UPQ, offers more connectivity options for data centers of different sizes with varying performance and application needs.

The Nexus 2348TQ is a compact, 1RU Fabric Extender that offers:

- 48 x  10G BASE-T host port interfaces

- 6 x 40 Gigabit Ethernet ports for parent switch connectivity

This makes the Nexus 2348TQ an ideal solution for data centers looking to upgrade their server access deployment from 1GBASE-T to 10Gbps speeds and from 10Gbps to 40Gbps connectivity.

 

 

As outlined in my previous blog, all members for of the Nexus 2300 Series Fabric Extenders support:

  • Larger buffers to absorb bursts of traffic for a wide variety of workloads such as multicast feeds, voice traffic, video traffic, and healthcare applications
  • Unified Ports support enabling a flexible LAN and SAN deployment through support for Ethernet, Fiber Channel and Fiber Channel over Ethernet connectivity
  • Support for Cisco’s 40G BiDi optics simplifying migration 10 to 40 Gigabit Ethernet speeds while reusing existing 10G cabling
  • Additional versatile TCAM which can be used for:
    • Advanced features such as ACL classifications and QOS
    • Hardware-capable local flow redirect for architectures that require intra-rack traffic to reduce bandwidth

Bringing Together Nexus 2300 Fabric Extenders and Cisco Nexus Parent Switches

The Nexus 2300 Fabric Extenders can be perfectly paired with Nexus 5600 and 6000s as well as Nexus 7000* and 9000* (*future) to provide a network access solution that combines the flexibility and simplified cabling of a top-of-rack (ToR) designs with simplified management and efficient utilization of an end-of-row (EoR) design. This flexible architecture where the parent switch manages all fabric extender configuration lets you deploy and re-deploy fabric extenders throughout your data center with minimal reconfiguration needed, not only helping reduce operational and capital expenditures, but also allowing your data center network to quickly adapt to application, traffic,  or business needs.

I invite you to learn more about the Nexus 2348TQ and other Nexus 2300s at www.cisco.com/go/nexus2000.

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Cisco and NetApp – Partnering for the Hybrid Cloud

Hybrid cloud is finally here.  Since cloud came on the scene a few years back, companies have had the choice of building a private cloud, which they managed on premises, or buying services from a public cloud provider.  Typically, companies had to pick one or the other for a given application.  With the Intercloud, IT departments can take advantage of the world of many clouds with all the associated benefits:  application mobility between the clouds, mapping the application to the best delivery model, and taking advantage of the cost benefits of cloud overall.

Cisco and NetApp began working together three years ago to deliver FlexPod, a portfolio of integrated infrastructure solutions optimized for private cloud deployments.  With the new capabilities NetApp is delivering today, customers can realize significant benefits in how NetApp storage, particularly as part of a FlexPod, can extend into the hybrid cloud.  These capabilities include the extension of data management into a cloud environment and the ability to move data between cloud models and providers.

Cisco’s UCS Integrated Infrastructures when paired with NetApp’s technology in the FlexPod portfolio delivers an important on-ramp to the Intercloud.  Through our partnerships with cloud providers and our delivery of industry-leading solutions, IT departments will get even more flexibility in how they choose to map the application to the best cloud model.

NetApp’s new hybrid cloud solutions complement Cisco’s cloud strategy, provide businesses with the flexibility to manage changing environments, and give customers a smooth on-ramp to the Intercloud.

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