It is amazing how the data centre world has changed in the last few years. A Data Centre used to be a collection of network elements to interconnect static servers (and their associated storage), with traffic patterns that were highly predictable and mostly north-south. Cloud and virtualization have changed all of this: a data centre is now a collection of compute and storage resources which can be securely sliced up into virtual networks and placed anywhere according to real time needs, interconnected by a fabric. The virtualization of servers, network services such as firewalls and load balancers, and even network devices such as switches and routers, has created a very dynamic landscape in terms of how fast you could configure a virtual network, in a way where location shouldn’t really matter, and where compute and storage resources can be added on the fly, based on demand. Multi-tenant Data Centres, such as the one to deploy Virtual Private Clouds, need to support 10000’s of these virtual networks. And every one of these virtual networks needs a lot of different service instances to stitch together the virtual network across virtual servers, virtual switches, virtual firewalls, virtual load-balancers, and virtual routers. Traffic patterns have shifted to East-West, because of the new applications which spread processing across many hosts, and because of the ‘location freedom’ that virtualization allows. Network infrastructure needs to be cost-effective to handle all this traffic, while the increased lookup-table size caused by the any to any traffic patterns often led to increased cost. Read More »
A Unified L2/L3 IP Based Overlay for Data Centres: another use-case for The Location Identity Separation Protocol
Is networking really cool again? Obviously, all of us at Cisco think so. Judging by the hype around a few networking start-ups, and moves by major IT vendors to add networking capabilities, we’re not alone.
The activity and innovation in our category validates something we’ve always believed: the intelligent network is the most strategic asset for our customers, partners, and even our competitors.
And we expect to see new competitors. As we often say at Cisco, if you don’t have good competitors, then you’re probably in the wrong markets.
Now the question on many people’s minds is whether the current transition in the market – a transition defined by terms such as Software Defined Networking and network virtualization -- represents a threat or an opportunity for Cisco. As you might expect, Cisco has a strong point of view on this.
First, SDN, network virtualization and overlay networks (choose your favorite descriptor) are not going to commoditize the underlying networking infrastructure. These architectures actually place more demands on the core infrastructure to enable network virtualization securely, with high performance, at scale.
Why? Because customers expect their core infrastructure to be seamlessly integrated with servers and fabric interconnects. They want a common management framework across all switches (physical and virtual), and they want the ability to support heterogeneous server and hypervisor environments. Our experience is that they expect their networking vendor to fulfill those needs.
We’ve talked a bit before about Cisco’s revolutionary network Virtualization technology or “nV.” In case you aren’t familiar with it, nV technology on the ASR product family intelligently blends the network edge, aggregation and access layers into a single system. This can deliver up to 70 percent operational expense savings, increase network capacity and accelerate IPv6 service deployments (very important since we’ve got the World IPv6 Launch next week). nV therefore addresses some of our customer’s most important business concerns by:
- Lowering capital costs by simplifying the network
- Lowering operational expenses by scaling the network operational efficiencies
- Increasing revenue by enabling them to better leverage network intelligence
But don’t just take our word for it. ACG Research has developed a Read More »
For anyone who has ventured to a tech conference, flown into an airport or even driven down CA highway 101 this past year, it’s clear that cloud is still top of mind for many technical and business decision makers. We believe this means that enterprises are no longer just talking the talk, but are looking deeper into their networking infrastructure to see if they are ready to meet the challenges of cloud, virtualization and workload mobility. At Cisco, it is our job to help build clouds that can handle elastic demand and efficiently use the networking infrastructure at both a virtual and physical level. This week, we are announcing several key upgrades to the Nexus 1000V family that bring scalability and cloud readiness to the network.
I just got back from Carrier Ethernet World Congress 2011 in Amsterdam and it provided a great opportunity to meet many of our service provider customers from around the world. It also proved to be an ideal forum to share experiences as well as visions for the communications industry between different vendors and network operators. For the Cisco team, one of the highlights of the event was winning the “IIR Carrier Ethernet Vendor Award EMEA” in the “Best Carrier Ethernet Aggregation Product” category with the Cisco ASR 9000 System. Now deployed with over 750 customers worldwide, this was another great endorsement of our Carrier Ethernet strategy and the cost benefits associated with Cisco Network Virtualization (nV) technology.