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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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Upcoming Cloud Computing Open Source Conferences

In case you missed it, Cloud Computing is hot right now. Has it peaked? That depends on who’s articles you read. Maybe along those lines, Gartner is arguing that cloud washing is coming to an end, and customers are now making more informed decisions. Regardless of if the hype cycle is over or just beginning, one thing which remains constant is the use of Open Source Software in Cloud Computing. Look no further than projects such as OpenStack, CloudStack, and oVirt to see the past, present and future of Open Source Cloud Computing platforms. If you’re serious about deploying these technologies as part of your infrastructure, you should note the following events coming up which can help you explore the technologies at a venue with the people who helped create each of them.

  • The OpenStack Summit is coming up the week of October 15 in San Diego, CA. This event will showcase both vendors and users of OpenStack technology. But the real treat for developers and DevOps folks is the design portion of the Summit. This allows developers of OpenStack the chance to plan features for the upcoming “Grizzly” release, slated for spring of 2013.
  • CloudStack will have it’s CloudStack Collaboration Conference November 30th to December 2nd in Las Vegas, NV. This event is a chance to get familiar with CloudStack and attend sessions detailing the technology underlying CloudStack, as well as user focused sessions detailing deployments of the Apache CloudStack project.
  • The upcoming KVM Forum will be collocated with the oVirt Workshop. The event takes place in Barcelona, Spain November 7-9. This event is a great chance to gather more information about oVirt, specifically about the future direction of the project, as well as sessions on deploying and using oVirt.

Each of the events listed above is a great way to get a better understanding of your Cloud Computing software of choice, and to engage with developers, users, and vendors around the software. What Open Source Cloud Computing events are you looking forward to attending?

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Cisco Acquires vCider

Cisco is pleased to announce that it has acquired privately-held vCider. Based in Mountain View, California, vCider has expertise in the development of virtual network overlay technology for secure data center infrastructure. vCider will be integrated into Cisco’s Cloud Computing organization, reporting to Lew Tucker, chief technology officer, Cloud Computing, and will play an important role in the Cisco Open Network Environment (ONE) strategy, particularly in support of OpenStack.

OpenStack is a key pillar of Cisco’s open, multi-hypervisor, multi-stack Cloud computing strategy. Cisco joined OpenStack 18 months ago and has been a significant contributor to the OpenStack Quantum API track ever since.

With Quantum becoming a core OpenStack service, it’s clear that programmable networking is quickly becoming an important component in large scale, multi-tenant, cloud computing environments. Cisco’s Quantum plug-in is designed to give application developers increased programmability of both virtual and physical networks linking the world of cloud computing to the advanced capabilities of Cisco’s Open Networking Environment (ONE).

So where does vCider come in? The vCider team has created a multi-tenant distributed virtual network controller. vCider’s code and technology will be integrated into our current development efforts of the OpenStack Quantum network service.

Mergers and acquisitions along with investments remain a key part of Cisco’s build, buy, and partner innovation framework and supports our strategy of providing best-in-class solutions for our customers. The vCider acquisition is well-aligned to our strategic goals to develop innovative virtualization/cloud technologies, while also cultivating top talent.

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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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More VMworld Redux: Customers Love Cisco Nexus 1000V

September 7, 2012 at 4:00 am PST

VMworld last week was a great success for Cisco (well, if you don’t count the #v0dgeball challenge). Leading up to the show we announced that the ASA 1000V cloud firewall was shipping, we announced a new major release of the Nexus 1000V virtual switch, and a new version of our Virtual Network Management Center.

Talking to customers is always the best part of the show, hearing what their challenges are, and positioning our technology to fit their needs. On Wednesday, I met up with Paul O’Leary, an Infrastructure Specialist with the international law firm of King & Wood Mallesons. Paul is a big fan of the Cisco Nexus 1000V and shares why his networking team loves it so much, and how it consistently saves them time in managing their network policies.

We showed Paul some of the features coming out in our next release, like the vCenter plug-in, and vTracker for viewing statistics on the virtual fabric, et al., and he was really excited. Anyway, Paul was good enough to let us share his thoughts with you rather spontaneously, so without any further ado, let’s roll the video:

But wait, there’s more…  Read More »

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