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Virtuata and vCider: Next Steps to Building a World of Many Clouds

One of the things that has always been clear to us is that a pragmatic cloud and virtualization solution is going to need to embrace diversity.  There were going to be many paths to cloud and customers would want the freedom to choose to host workloads on physical infrastructure, any of the hypervisors available or one of the emerging number of cloud options.  This realization has been one of the factors that has shaped our strategy for delivering practical solutions for virtualization and cloud to the market.

Cloud Networking: Multi-Hypervior and Multi-Service

Initially, we focused on physical/virtual consistency and separation of duties.  We kicked this effort off with the Nexus 1000V, which was a fully functioning NX-OS switch rendered fully in software.  With L2 handled, we moved on to deploy virtual services consistent with this physical counterparts like the ASA 1000V, the Virtual Security Gateway (VSG) and vWAAS. Finally, we fleshed out the networking stack with the Cloud Services Router (CRS 1000V).

The network has always been a platform for enabling heterogeneous OS and heterogeneous applications to connect. Naturally, the next step was to take the capabilities we had built and extend them across multiple hypervisors so we could now deliver a consistent experience for customers with heterogeneous hypervisor environments.  We built on our success with over 6,000 enterprise and service provider VMware vSphere customers and are now extending those came capabilities to Microsoft Hyper-V environments as well for Xen and KVM open source hypervisors. With the recently announced shift to a “freemium” pricing model, with the Nexus 1000V-Essential Edition, customers are gaining these benefits with minimal cost and risk.

vCider and Virtuata: Opportunity for Secure Multi-cloud Networking

However, some of the most interesting progress has come from our two of our more recent acquisitions that have been centered on the concept of providing better operations and management of multi-cloud environments.  As customers more broadly adopt cloud and virtualization, security and isolation at the VM level become of paramount importance. To address this need we acquired Virtuata this summer. The Virtuata technology will give us (okay, you) the ability to have sophisticated and consistent security for VMs across multi-hypervisor and multi-cloud environments.

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VSPEX on the Fast Track…Microsoft Fast Track

Did you catch the announcement from EMC? 

EMC announced the new EMC VSPEX Private Cloud for Microsoft Windows Server 2012.  You can read the Press Release here

Cisco and EMC believe there are three distinct paths…or choices…on the journey to the cloud.  Build-your-own using best of breed products, a truly converged infrastructure product in Vblock from VCE, or VSPEX…a flexible reference architecture approach.  A picture says it all…see below.


VSPEX offers an unprecedented choice of industry-leading virtualization, server, network, storage, and data protection.  Accelerate your journey to the cloud with the EMC VSPEX proven infrastructure.

What was announced?  Microsoft Fast Track for VSPEX

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Cisco UCS Technology Innovation Drive OpEx and CapEx Savings for Microsoft Environments

It’s been a busy week as Cisco has been active with Microsoft’s Windows Server 2012 launch activities around the world. We’ve spoken with customers at events in Toronto and New York City with many more in person and digital events to go…

While the week’s focus was on Windows Server 2012 and the datacenter, I thought I would orient this post on how our UCS server family architecture is already benefitting customers in their own Microsoft focused environments. Below is a snippet of metrics, all from publicly available Cisco case studies, and they each demonstrate how Cisco UCS not only advances your data center forward technically but also drives efficiencies in OpEx and CapEx budget spend:

  • 97%Young America. Increased their server virtualization rate from 20% to 97%.
  • 80%National FFA – This nation-wide organization significantly per server reduced management time.
  • 70%Secure 24 – U.S. based service provider saw a tremendous reduction in datacenter cabling.  
  • 66%Microsoft – One of Microsoft’s Redmond, WA based datacenter achieved double digit power savings.
  • 40%Human Kinetics – Illinois based health and lifestyle firm recognized a large reduction in server acquisition costs.
  • 12 weeks to 10 minutesING Direct (Australia) – Large financial firm experienced a drop in the time needed to provision a new banking environment.
  • 2 Days to 2 hoursVolunteer State Community College – Tennessee based college improved the time required to deploy a desktop for students.
  • $1,575 to $80Slumberland – Mattress retail firm in the U.S. achieved a reduction in per server management cost.

Cisco’s UCS server family, as well as our other datacenter assets such as our Nexus switch family and Cisco Advanced Services, support the full range of Microsoft environments – Windows Server, Exchange, SharePoint, SQL Server, and VDI. For virtualization, we’re hypervisor agnostic, too so Hyper-V, VMware, etc. are equally supported.  Bottom line is  Cisco technology will help create a better datacenter for you while also being friendly to your OpEx and CapEx budget spend.

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Nexus 1000V Provides Cloud Switching to New Windows Server 2012 Platform

Windows Server 2012 logoToday marks the general availability of the eagerly-awaited Microsoft Windows Server 2012 platform.  According to Microsoft, “Windows Server 2012 redefines the server category, delivering hundreds of new features and enhancements spanning virtualization, networking, storage, user experience, cloud computing, automation, and more.”  Earlier Cisco blog posts discussed how Cisco has collaborated with Microsoft to achieve Windows 2012 certification for our UCS servers, as well as integrating our management tools into Microsoft System Center and PowerShell.

Microsoft Build Conference 2011 - Demo of Nexus 1000V virtual switchIn this post, I’d like to highlight the integration of the Nexus 1000V virtual switch into the Windows Server 2012 platform, and particularly the Hyper-V hypervisor. We have been working closely with the Windows Server 2012 team for the past few years towards this goal, and announced Nexus 1000V and VM-FEX support for it at the Microsoft BUILD conference last year.  Read More »

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Cisco Unified Computing System and Microsoft Windows Server 2012: Get the Most Complete Solution

Microsoft Windows Server 2012 is a huge step forward in Microsoft’s evolution and provides an industry-leading platform for virtualization that can provide the foundation both for on-premise private clouds and for host-provided public clouds in support of Microsoft workloads such as Exchange, SQL Server, and SharePoint.

The main new features of Windows Server 2012 include:

• Virtualization for a heterogeneous environment with industry-leading capabilities for Microsoft Windows and Linux workloads

• Enhanced manageability, supporting large-scale server management with the same simplicity as single-server management

• Capability to run any application in any cloud using a common feature set for both on and off-premises deployment.

Windows Server 2012 delivers tremendous server virtualization capabilities and a flexible cloud platform with enhancements in the Microsoft Windows Server 2012 operating system as well as many enhancements in Hyper-V. Our Cisco UCS server platform – which is certified for Windows Server 2012 – in combination with the Cisco Nexus 1000V Series and Cisco Data Center VM-FEX provides an optimal platform for Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V deployments, enabling organizations to take full advantage of the Microsoft Windows Server 2012 Hyper-V capabilities and also to extend them through integrated Cisco solutions.

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