Cisco RISE can be used to tightly integrate the Cisco Nexus 7000 series switches with the Cisco Prime NAM to provide VDC awareness and SPAN traffic across multiple VDCs without burning slots on the switch. RISE overcomes the limitation of applying SPAN configuration only in the VDC to which the management cable is attached by intelligently managing the movement of NAM data ports and SPAN configuration to other VDCs as needed. The integration includes the following main features:
NAM appliance acts as a module on Nexus switches
One NAM appliance can receive traffic from multiple Nexus VDCs without re-cabling
One NAM appliance can collect interface statistics for multiple VDCs
Dynamic vdc-aware SPAN configuration on Nexus switches using NAM GUI
Up to 4 NAM ports can be automatically assigned to Nexus VDCs using NAM GUI
Graph of per-interface ingress and egress statistics for multiple VDCs
Auto-discovery and bootstrap of NAM appliance from Nexus switch
Health monitoring of NAM appliance
Visibility to multiple VDCs from one NAM appliance with ongoing VDC configuration updates
Configurable timer intervals and VDC list for interface statistics collection
User-friendly error handling for SPAN creation/deletion/modification
Order of magnitude OPEX and CAPEX savings: reduction in configuration, simplified provisioning and data-path optimization
Figure 1. RISE Physical and logical topology
Cisco RISE supports attachment to the NAM appliance in the following modes:
Direct Attach mode with single NAM: The appliance has a management link that is directly attached to the Nexus switch. Up to 4 data links on the NAM can be attached to one or more VDCs on the Nexus switch to send SPAN traffic (Figure 2).
Figure 2. Direct Attach Mode with single NAM
Direct Attach modes with multiple NAMs: The appliance has a management link that is directly attached to the Nexus switch. Up to 4 data links on each NAM can be attached to one or more VDCs on the Nexus switch to send SPAN traffic (Figure 3).
Figure 3: Direct Attach mode with multiple NAMs
Indirect Attach modes with multiple NAMs: The appliance has a management link that is attached via an L2 network to the Nexus switch. Up to 4 data links on each NAM can be attached to one or more VDCs on the Nexus switch to send SPAN traffic (Figure 4).
Cisco RISE with NAM provides the following key features that allow the solution to provide traffic and performance analysis across all the VDCs on the Nexus switch without changing the wiring connections.
Dynamic VDC-aware SPAN Configuration
Configure SPAN sessions for up to 4 NAM dataports from NAM GUI.
Create, edit, delete SPAN sessions, select destination ports and source ports for the SPAN sessions.
SPAN sessions can be configured in other VDCs by selecting VDC and data ports from NAM GUI. Dataport will be automatically moved to required VDC.
The options of SPAN configuration available to N7K CLI users are available via NAM GUI using RISE.
Provides visibility to all VDCs from one NAM.
Multi-VDC Interface Statistics
Retrieve interface statistics of all VDCs on N7K via RISE
Set short term and long term polling intervals for getting interface statistics
Set the interested list of VDCs from which statistics needs to be retrieved
Statistics can be viewed on per interface basis as a graph or data points
Enhanced application availability via simplified provisioning and efficient manageability.
Data path optimization: ADC off-load, low latency policy engine.
Dynamic VDC-aware SPAN configuration: Create SPAN sessions on any VDC
Multi-VDC awareness: Deliver traffic and performance reports in multiple VDCs
Cisco RISE provides significant savings in capital expenditures (CapEx) and operating expenses (OpEx) through simplified provisioning and data-plane optimizations:
Dramatic OpEx savings: Reduction in configuration time and ease of deployment
Dramatic CapEx savings: Reduced wiring, power, and rack-space needs
The solution provides enhanced business resiliency and stickiness to Cisco products.
Cisco RISE is supported in Cisco NX-OS Software Release 7.1(0) and requires the Enhanced Layer 2 Package license. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you are interest in an EFT.
If you recall from my earlier posts here and here, RISE is the new protocol in the Nexus 7000 and 7000 Series switch that allows integration of a remote service appliance like NAM or an application delivery controller with the same functional capability as if it was attached to the switch backplane like an embedded services blade. Devices can actually be connected over any layer 2 network, and not necessarily directly connected to the Nexus switch ports, although that is the usual configuration. RISE-enabled ports are configured on the Nexus 7000 and up to 4 dedicated ports per appliance can be configured for maximum throughput to connected devices.
It’s a great benefit for appliance vendors to not have to develop specific network-embedded modules of their products to install inside the chassis, as well as saving valuable slots while providing the same degree of traffic visibility and optimization for the appliance. In this video, I had a chance to sit down with Praveen Chandra, Director of NAM Engineering at Cisco, to talk about the first Cisco service appliance to support RISE and what it means for Prime NAM customers:
It’s been a busy week at Interop in Las Vegas so far, and we’re getting a lot of interest in our new Remote Integrated Services Engine (RISE) technology for the Nexus 7000 Series switches, which Cisco unveiled earlier this week. RISE integrates service appliances attached to Nexus 7000 Series switches as if the appliance was directly connected to the switch backplane, as if it were a dedicated service module. Cisco RISE establishes a communication path between the network data plane and the service appliance, simplifying deployments and optimizing data paths with better traffic visibility within the data center.
Recently, I had a chance to sit down with Steve Shah, Citrix Senior Director of Product Management to talk about why they were the first to integrate with RISE technology, and what benefits it has for their NetScaler customers.
Remote Integrated Service Engine (RISE) is a new protocol being added to the Nexus 7000 and 7700 platforms through NX-OS (software upgradeable to existing devices), that integrates service appliances to be attached to Nexus 7000 Series switches with the same benefits as if the appliance was directly connected to the switch backplane, as if it were a dedicated service module. Cisco RISE establishes a communication path between the network data plane and the service appliance, simplifying deployments and optimizing data paths with better traffic visibility within the data center.
RISE allows a physical services appliance to be connected to the Nexus 7000 switch as if it was directly connected to the chassis backplane, providing greater traffic visibility and optimization, with simplified connectivity
The service appliances (e.g., Citrix NetScaler and Cisco Prime NAM) are directly attached by standard network cable to RISE-configured ports on the Nexus 7000 Series switches in a typical virtual Port Channel (VPC) deployment. Appliances can also be attached in indirect mode through any switched (Layer 2) network. Either scenario (direct or indirect connection) allows for device and data path redundancy for fault tolerance.
There are several management advantages to connecting service nodes through RISE. First, RISE can be configured through the Nexus management console or management platform. However, the specific service appliance features are still configured using the existing device management tools. This ensures separation of duties between the networking and security or application teams, as well as eliminating any additional management complexity from the RISE connection.
“RISE offers a unique ability to tightly couple Nexus 7000 Series switches and Service Appliances within the Data Center. We believe that this integration will provide the business agility from an operational and deployment perspective that Data Center engineers have been looking for to reduce the time it takes to instantiate new or modify existing services. Data-path optimization through the use of Auto-PBR (Policy Based Routes) will relieve the need for manual modifications during add/moves/changes and improve network traffic visibility for the Security/Server administrator.” — Joe Weber, Technical Solutions Architect, World Wide Technology