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Unified Fabric: Helping Partners Deliver Innovative Cloud and Data Center Solutions

February 5, 2013 at 7:21 am PST

As the saying goes, “Change is the only constant.” And as partners have seen, customers are constantly grappling with a love-hate relationship between applications and networking. As new applications appear, the infrastructure is required to evolve, which brings about a whole new wave of application innovation that then forces the infrastructure to evolve again and again. This endless cycle has played itself out as applications transitioned from mainframes to client/server to web and now to cloud.

Cisco is extending the capabilities of Unified Fabric to support a world of many clouds with the scalability and flexibility of the new Nexus 6000 series, the traffic insight of Nexus 7000 NAM, Nexus 1000V InterCloud and VNMC InterCloud hybrid cloud solutions and updates to the Cisco ONE portfolio including the new Cisco ONE Controller.

These upgrades will help your customers protect their investments because it can easily be extended to accommodate new applications and usage models as they emerge, allowing customers to shift from “infrastructure defining what apps can do” to “apps defining what infrastructure must do.”

Here are some highlights of the new offerings:  Read More »

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Cisco Launches Nexus 1000V InterCloud – Part 1

February 4, 2013 at 9:00 am PST

In a recent post, I previewed some new hybrid cloud market research from Forrester that spoke to the business drivers and technical hurdles to cloud integration, and Shashi Kiran  has recently posted about lowering the barriers to hybrid cloud adoption. Today, as part of a larger cloud technology launch, Cisco is announcing a new hybrid cloud solution, Nexus 1000V InterCloud.

One of the fundamental capabilities for the world of many clouds is the ability to link various cloud environments into a single extended fabric with consistent capabilities, operations and management.  While previous Unified Fabric innovation has focused on physical/virtual consistency of the DC fabric, this announcement brings that consistency to the cloud. This new technology from Cisco extends the existing networking capabilities, L4-7 services and manageability of your enterprise into public and provider clouds to create a single consistent, reliable, predictable environment for all your physical, virtual and cloud workloads. This secure and seamless degree of integration to the hybrid cloud frees you to run and move applications where it makes the most sense, on-demand, without compromise.

[Note: Join us for a Live Announcement Webcast February 5: Register Here]

Cisco Nexus 1000V InterCloud

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Introducing Nexus 6000 Series – Industry’s Highest Density Layer 2/3 40 Gigabit Fixed Switch

The evolution of the applications environment is creating new demands on IT and in the data center. Broad adoption of scale-out application architectures (i.e. big data), workload virtualization and cloud deployments are demanding greater scalability across the fabric. The increase in east/west (i.e. server-to-server) traffic along with the higher adoption of 10GbE in the server access layer is driving higher bandwidth requirements in the upstream links.

Following up on the introduction of 40GE/100GE on the Nexus 7000 Series, today we unveil the new Nexus 6000 Series, expanding Cisco’s Unified Fabric data center switching portfolio in order to provide greater deployment flexibility through higher density and scalability in an energy efficient form factor.  

The Cisco Nexus 6000 Series is industry’s highest density full-featured Layer 2 / Layer 3 40 Gigabit data center fixed switch with Ethernet and Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) – an industry first!In addition to high scalability, Nexus 6000 Series offers operational efficiency, superior visibility and agility 

Some say “Nexus 6000 Series is a red carpet platform that will turn heads”. We agree! It’s because of …

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Cisco VXLAN Innovations Overcoming IP Multicast Challenges

January 29, 2013 at 11:30 pm PST

At Cisco Live! in London this week, Cisco is demonstrating some enhancements to its Nexus 1000V virtual switch that greatly ease some of the challenges in deploying VXLAN in large scale cloud networks. VXLAN was designed to solve the problem of setting up traditional virtual networks (VLANs) in large multi-tenant cloud environments: the limited ID range for VLAN tags was quickly exhausted and a larger ID pool was needed for larger shared infrastructures. VXLAN thus becomes the foundation for a virtual network tunnel or virtual network overlays on top of physical networks. And unlike VLANs, VXLANs are designed to act as L2 virtual networks over L3 physical networks. For a more in-depth refresher on VXLAN, start here.

[Note: Join Cisco for a Live Announcement Webinar on Cloud Innovations on February 5: Register Here]

While VXLANs have certainly enabled a whole new level of scalability for virtual networks, one of the challenges in deploying VXLAN is its use of IP Multicast to implement the L2 over L3 network capability. Why is this? VXLAN is a MAC-in-IP encapsulation protocol in a UDP frame. The virtual switch that acts as the VXLAN termination (in Cisco’s case, the Nexus 1000V virtual switch) takes the L2 packet from the VM, wraps it in a L3 IP header, and sends it out over UDP. But the challenge is that there’s no way to determine which IP address should be used for the destination host (VXLAN termination point) at which the desired MAC address can be found. In other protocols, this can be accomplished within the network control plane and some MAC to IP mapping protocol, but the VXLAN specification indicates there should be no reliance on a control plane or a physical to virtual mapping table.

VXLAN frame

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Nexus 1000V Expands Cloud Network Services Ecosystem with vPath Integration in the Imperva Web Application Firewall

January 29, 2013 at 4:00 am PST

Nexus 1110 Imperva-2We are ramping up another news cycle around our Nexus 1000V and cloud network services portfolio this week at Cisco live! in London. Among the updates, business security solutions vendor Imperva is demonstrating integration of its SecureSphere Web Application Firewall (WAF) into the Nexus 1000V vPath service insertion architecture. This marks the first third party product to participate in the Cisco vPath architecture, which allows virtual services to be easily inserted and chained into Cisco virtual networks and virtual overlays.

[Note: Join Cisco for a Live Announcement Webinar on Cloud Innovations on February 5: Register Here]

Regular readers of our data center and cloud blog will probably recall the importance of vPath in enabling virtual services for virtualized multi-tenant cloud environments, and for allowing policy mobility along with VM mobility. The Cisco vPath architecture currently supports our own virtual services including Virtual Security Gateway (VSG), the ASA 1000V Cloud Firewall, and virtual WAAS for WAN optimization. vPath also boosts performance of service traffic paths and orchestrates service chaining so that VM traffic is processed in a ordered chain defined by policy.

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