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Spotlight on Nexus 1000V: Great Podcast and Learning Lab for Your Enjoyment

June 24, 2011 at 11:54 am PST

Today, I wanted to point out a couple of great resources to develop a deeper understanding of Cisco’s virtual switch, the Nexus 1000V.

First, we were excited to have Prashant Gandhi, our Sr. Director of Product Management for the Nexus 1000V, be invited onto the latest Packet Pushers Podcast, hosted by Greg Ferro. If you aren’t yet familiar with the PP Podcasts, they are an entertaining technical dive into a wide range of networking concepts with guests from vendors as well as large IT organizations. Greg’s expertise lies in the data center and with all things networking, including virtualization and L4-7 application services. In this podcast, all about the Nexus 1000V, Greg, Prashant and the other co-hosts talk about the architecture and deployment issues. There’s an extensive comparison of Cisco’s 802.1Qbh virtual Ethernet bridge protocol with the 802.1Qbg proposal from HP, VEPA.  Listen to the full podcast here.

Greg had made an earlier plea on his blog that he wasn’t getting enough Cisco guests. We were happy to help out and enjoyed the interaction. We talked about having Prashant back on a future show to talk about vPath and the Virtual Security Gateway (VSG), the virtual firewall running on the Nexus 1000V. We look forward to that as well.

For a deeper, hand-on dive into the Nexus 1000V, nothing beats the Cisco CloudLab (http://cloudlab.cisco.com). We’ve set up an online workbench configured with all the tools and software to play around with the virtual switch yourself. Cisco Cloudlab is available to folks outside Cisco, but you will have enter the name of a Cisco employee sponsor to approve access. There are a number of lab exercises you can walk through to get a general overview, install or upgrade the Nexus 1000V, as well as VSG.

Cisco Cloud Lab

Of course, if you are really ready to test it out on your own, you can always download a trial version for your own system at the Nexus 1000V page (http://www.cisco.com/go/nexus1000v).

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Cisco UCS & Cisco Nexus – Making M&Ms and VMs Awesome!

Based on the positive feedback I received from my Cisco UCS videos, I decided it was time to tackle a slightly more complicated set of topics. While it’s fairly easy to come up with a set of keywords that spell out C-I-S-C-O, sometimes it’s valuable to take off the training wheels and go a little broader. So in today’s video, we combine the simplicity of M&Ms with the complexity of VMs. How do we take technology that provides tremendous value to customers and explain it in a way that’s fun and easy to replicate? Well, let’s see what happens… Read More »

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UNS Spotlight on VM-ready Security Solutions with VSG

May 19, 2011 at 4:12 pm PST

The Unified Network Services (UNS) portfolio of Layer 4-7 services (such as ACE and WAAS) also includes Cisco’s data center security solutions. A critical part of that security portfolio is our virtualization-aware firewall solution, Virtual Security Gateway (VSG). In a series of upcoming blog posts, I’ll be sharing a few use case scenarios that our customers are implementing with VSG.

For those of you new to VSG, I’ll point out that VSG’s role is to act as a virtual firewall between zones of virtual machines. Isolating traffic between VM zones has been very challenging prior to VSG because: 1) security policies have to be enforced between VMs running on the same server or same virtual switch (where there’s no place to put a firewall), 2) VMs move all around the network and the security policies (as enforced in the firewall) must follow the VM, and 3) the need to maintain segregation of duties for compliance purposes between the security and application server teams, where security is potentially enforced inside the virtual server.

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Microsoft SharePoint 2010 on FlexPod for VMware

Today we are publishing a new Microsoft SharePoint 2010 on FlexPod for VMware Cisco Validated Design. This solution highlights the key value of partner end to end integrated solutions.  This SharePoint 2010 Enterprise deployment on FlexPod for VMware design guide demonstrates how enterprises can apply best practices for VMware vSphere, VMware vCenter, Cisco Unified Computing System, Cisco Nexus family switches, NetApp FAS. Through this single package, FlexPod for VMware allows every component of a traditional SharePoint 2010 Enterprise deployment to be consolidated. 

SharePoint 2010 on FlexPod for VMware

SharePoint 2010 on FlexPod for VMware

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Avoiding “VMs Gone Wild” In Your Data Center [updated]

February 28, 2011 at 10:39 am PST

Last post I covered some of the basics around VM networking. But, as we all know, there is more to networking than just packet transport. One of the biggest challenges with VM networking is security policy enforcement. The fundamental nature of server virtualization introduces a new set of challenges for both network and security admin to ensure proper compliance with infosec policy because of things like VM mobility, VM sprawl and potential loss of transparency. With the introduction of the Nexus 1000V we gave network and security admins many of the security tools they were already familiar with with physical Cisco switches--this should not be a surprise, since the Nexus 1000V is a full NX-OS switch. Last summer, we built upon this functionality with the Virtual Security Gateway. This zone based firewall was specifically desinged to meet the unique challenges of VM environments. Click on the pic for a quick 3 minute tour of the VSG

To dig into this deeper,
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