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

October 12, 2012 at 11:53 am PST

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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Follow-up Q&A on Nexus 1000V Free-mium Pricing Model

October 1, 2012 at 2:13 pm PST

[See also: Detailed FAQ on New Nexus 1000V Editions]

We’ve had a great response to our announcement earlier today about the free Nexus 1000V Essential Edition. After seeing all the comments and questions, there are probably a couple of implementation details I should point out:

Existing Nexus 1000V Customers Will be Upgraded to the Advanced Edition

If you are an existing Nexus 1000V customer, you will be upgraded to the Advanced Edition in the next release, not the Essential Edition. One of the nice things about this is that Nexus 1000V customers that were not using the Virtual Security Gateway (VSG) firewall will get it for free as part of the Advanced Edition, along with the other new Advanced Edition features, at no charge.

VSG is Free for Existing Nexus 1000V Customers Today

In preparation for VSG to be included with the Advanced Edition, all new Nexus 1000V orders starting now will include VSG as well at no cost. Existing Nexus 1000V customers can contact their account managers to get a one-time free license for VSG to use with the current Nexus 1000V release prior to upgrading to the new 2.1 release.  Read More »

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New Nexus 1000V Free-mium Pricing Model

October 1, 2012 at 4:00 am PST

[See Also: Follow-Up Q&A on Freemium Pricing Model]

[Update 11/26/12: the free Nexus 1000V virtual switch is available for download from here.]

Following on the heels of the announcement of our Nexus 1000V 2.1 release last month, Cisco is today announcing a new pricing and packaging strategy for its flagship virtual switch portfolio. Starting with that new 2.1 release, which is now in beta, we will have two editions of the Nexus 1000V, an Essential Edition and an Advanced Edition. The Nexus 1000V Essential Edition will be available for free, plus a nominal annual support fee, in a move that we believe will encourage customers and our partners to proliferate what has already become the most popular virtual switch in the industry with over 6,000 customers to date.

The Nexus 1000V Essential Edition provides all the rich Layer-2 networking features to connect virtual applications to the network and integrate into VMware environments, including: VXLAN capability, Cisco vPath service insertion, integration with vCloud Director, and a plug-in for management and monitoring in VMware’s vCenter Server. This free version will enable rapid, low-risk adoption of Cisco’s virtual network technology environments.

The Advanced Edition, priced at $695 per CPU, the same price as the current 1.5 release, includes:

  • The Cisco Virtual Security Gateway (VSG) for Nexus 1000V, a virtual firewall with visibility to virtual machine attributes for building sophisticated compliance policies, and logical trust zones between applications (VSG was previously sold as a separate product).
  • Support for advanced capabilities, such as DHCP snooping, IP Source Guard, Dynamic ARP inspection and Cisco TrustSec Security Group Access (SGA).

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Imperva Announces Product Plans for Web Application Firewall on Nexus 1100 Virtual Services Appliance

September 27, 2012 at 9:52 am PST

Imperva on 1110 Virtual Services ApplianceCisco partner Imperva formally announced plans this week to deploy and host their SecureSphere Web Application Firewall (WAF) on the Nexus 1010 and 1110 Virtual Service Appliances. The SecureSphere WAF will be the first third party virtual service available on the Cisco virtual service appliances, joining Cisco virtual services such as the Virtual Security Gateway (VSG), the ASA 1000V Cloud Firewall, virtual Network Analysis Module (vNAM), Data Center Network Manager (DCNM), and the Nexus 1000V Virtual Supervisor Module (VSM).

In earlier posts, I have described how virtual services can be best deployed on a separate UCS-based appliance running NX-OS. The Nexus 1100 series are dedicated platforms for hosting virtual service nodes that run in a virtual machine, rather than taking up valuable resources on application servers, and allow for easier manageability by the networking and security teams (rather than the server team).  Read More »

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Cisco Announces New Nexus 1100 Series Virtual Services Appliances

September 17, 2012 at 12:00 pm PST
Nexus 1100 virtual services appliance

Nexus 1100 virtual services appliance

Cisco is unveiling a new beefed up line of virtual services appliances this week called the Nexus 1100 series, the next generation of our Nexus 1010 appliances. These virtual service appliances are integral to the deployment of scalable virtual security and management nodes in the data center, for offloading application servers from running virtual service modules, and for empowering the networking team to retain control of network and security policies in a platform that they manage.

Cisco customers deploying Nexus 1000V virtual switches as the foundation for their virtual networks and virtual overlays typically deploy the Virtual Supervisor Module (VSM), the virtual switch’s management plane, in the Nexus 1100, along with some combination of Virtual Security Gateway (VSG) firewalls, virtual Prime Network Analysis Modules (NAM), Data Center Network Manager (DCNM) for both LAN and SAN networks, and soon, even the  Imperva SecureSphere Web Application Firewall (WAF). The Nexus 1100 is a UCS-based appliance for hosting the service VM’s, but it runs the NX-OS operating system, so it can be managed like a network device and retains policy controls for the networking team.  Read More »

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