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Italian Service Provider Transforms Virtualized Server Farm Management

March 19, 2012 at 2:26 pm PST

FASTWEB logoA key component of Cisco’s Unified Data Center and our virtual networking portfolio is the Nexus 1010 virtual services appliance. We were excited last month when we announced a more scalable version, the Nexus 1010-X. As I pointed out before, the idea of a virtual services appliance is to provide a dedicated hardware platform for running a wide range of network services, monitoring and security virtual machines rather than having them share server resources with key business applications. From an administrative point of view, these network services VM’s can be managed by the networking team, rather than the teams running VM’s on the application servers, which is the right division of labor. The Nexus 1010 platform runs NX-OS and basically looks like a network device rather than a VM host, helping the network admins manage the service policies.

Now we are releasing a case study of an Italian service provider, FASTWEB, who is using the Nexus 1010 to simplify the management of their virtual network, and network service policies. As part of a sustained and forward looking strategy, the Italian service provider has built a next-generation network for delivering converged voice, video, data and mobile services. This investment has enabled FASTWEB to accelerate the creation of new, differentiated offers for business and residential customers, while reducing operational complexity and overhead.

The Nexus 1010 supports network analysis down to the VM layer, giving FASTWEB’s network administrators granular visibility to virtual workloads, without having to trouble the storage and virtualization operations teams.

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Toyota Tsusho Deploys Cisco Virtual WAAS to Enhance Performance

February 24, 2012 at 11:41 am PST
vWAAS Bandwidth Reduction Chart

A key WAN optimization benefit is the mitigation on bandwidth consumption during the huge traffic burst on Mondays, when employees arrive at work and email attachments come to their mailboxes. This chart shows actual bandwidth consumption well below what applications would have required.

A few weeks back I highlighted a report from VCE about our virtual WAAS (vWAAS) WAN optimization solution running on the Vblock platform. Now comes a new case study of a vWAAS deployment at Georgetown, Kentucky-based Toyota Tsusho America, Inc. (TAI). For the Georgetown data center, TAI decided on vWAAS rather than WAAS appliances. The detailed case study is a compelling argument for virtualizing WAN optimization for improved high-availability and more streamlined operations.

“We were an early adopter of vWAAS,” says Chris Jones, TAI Manager of Infrastructure and Operations, “and we perceived value in placing WAN optimization close to the data rather than near the WAN edge. In particular, we felt we could have lower-cost high availability (HA) for WAN optimization by leveraging the Vblock HA. And we perceived operational simplicity in the event of failure, compared with replacing a physical appliance and rebuilding the cache.” Read More »

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Nexus 1000V Responding to Scale Requirements with 10,000+ Ports per Virtual Switch

February 16, 2012 at 10:45 am PST

At Cisco Live London 2012, we announced that the Nexus 1000V distributed virtual switch (DVS) architecture will scale to support 10K+ ports across hundreds of servers.  This is a multi-fold increase over our current support of 2K ports and 64 servers.  What is driving the need to scale?  Two reasons: More VMs and broader VM mobility.

The number of VMs is growing leaps and bounds in data centers and cloud computing environments, which in turn is driving the need to scale virtual switch ports.  Depending on who you ask, we have already reached or are about to reach the tipping point where 50% of enterprise workloads have been virtualized.  In most IT environments today, you get a VM by default for computing needs; to run an app on a bare metal physical server requires special approval.  And needless to say, Moore’s Law continues to drive dense multi-core CPUs with extended memory architectures – thus enabling many more virtual machines to be instantiated on a single physical server.  We have seen UCS customers deploy 10 – 30 VMs per server for production workloads, and 50+ (in some cases 100+) VMs per server for non-production workloads and virtual desktops.  Increased adoption of public cloud computing resources, as well as growing deployments of private clouds in enterprises is also rapidly increasing the VM count.  Also, customers often assign multiple vNICs per VM, e.g. a NIC for data traffic, another for management, a third for backup and so on.  These factors are contributing to increased demand for virtual Ethernet (vEth) ports on the Nexus 1000V DVS. Read More »

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Lippis Video Introduces Cisco’s Network Virtualization Portfolio

February 6, 2012 at 9:40 am PST

Nick Lippis of the Lippis Report sits down with Prashant Gandhi, Cisco’s Sr. Director of Marketing for Virtualization in our Server Access and Virtualization Business Unit, to discuss all things virtual in this new video podcast. Prashant does a great job showing why Cisco’s network virtualization stack is the most complete in the industry, including the Nexus 1000V virtual switch, the Virtual Security Gateway (VSG), the ASA 1000V Cloud Firewall, the virtual Wide Area Application Services (vWAAS) WAN optimization solution, Network Services Manager (NSM), Virtual Network Management Center (VNMC), and the Nexus 1010 and new 1010-X Virtual Services Appliance. When you include recently announced technologies like VXLAN and support for the Microsoft Windows Server 8 Hyper-V hypervisor later this year, a great overview video like this can help you keep up with all the recent innovations.

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CareCore National uses Nexus 1000V and VSG to secure virtual data center applications

February 2, 2012 at 1:32 pm PST

CareCore NationalCisco has just released a customer case study (PDF) of CareCore National, a 1200 person healthcare insurance company located in South Carolina. CareCore’s use case demonstrates how Cisco’s Virtual Security Gateway (VSG) for the Nexus 1000V can be used in a virtualized data center to logically isolate virtual machines running on shared application servers to meet compliance requirements. Read More »

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