In my life, I had the honor of working on some of the most bleeding edge virtualization technologies of their day. My first was IBM’s VM, VSAM and a host of other v-words. My last was at XenSource (now Citrix) and Cisco, on what I still think is the most complete hypervisor of our age, true to its theoretical foundation in the Math paper I just mentioned.
Though Xen is arguably the most widely used hypervisor in the Cloud or sum of all servers in the world today, I actually think its most interesting accomplishment lies in what its founders just announced this week. Therefore, I want to extend my congratulations to my good friends Simon Crosby and Ian Pratt for the admirable work at Bromium with vSentry.
I think it is remarkable for two reasons. It addresses the missing part of what hypervisors are useful, which is security; for those of you that actually read Popek & Goldberg’s paper, you would note that VMM’s are very good at intercepting not just privileged but also sensitive instructions, and very few people out there, until now have focused on the latter, the security piece. But there is one more reason, in fact the key point of this paper, the necessary and sufficient conditions for a system to be able to have a VMM or hypervisor, and I am hoping the Xen guys who have done so well articulating that for real (not fictional or hyped) hypervisors, can also help sort our the hype from fiction in what is ambiguously called nowadays a “network hypervisor”.
Could this approach be what is actually missing, to sort out truth from hype in what we call SDN today? Is this the new age of hypervisors? Or is this just another useful application of an un-hyped hypervisor?
Programmability, application aware environments, and software defined networks are popular topics in the industry right now. Network operators see the revenue opportunities to deliver services which can dynamically utilize network infrastructure while meeting application specific requirements. This thought process dominated at this year’s Carrier Ethernet World Congress in Barcelona, and Cisco was helping lead the way.
It was a pleasure to watch some of our thought leaders share their unique and innovative ideas and direction with the larger service provider, vendor and analyst community – starting with Software Defined Networking (SDN). SDN wasn’t the only topic, we shared ideas around mobile trends such as 4G/LTE and small cells and the resulting network impact, the increasing need to marry the IP layer with the underlying transport layers, and strategies around moving legacy TDM services onto a packet infrastructure. I love watching the cross-industry creativity flow as we collectively solve today’s challenges posed by the growth of new user trends.
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.
The communications industry has come a long way from fixed, inflexible telephone service optimized for voice to dynamic IP-based connections offering converged voice, data, and video capabilities. Now, both residential and business users are increasingly more mobile and distributed, as are the cloud-based services, applications, and content they want to utilize. Service providers must therefore support a more diverse customer base with more distributed content and applications across multiple geographies, yet still maintain a secure, reliable, and consistent quality of experience regardless of device and physical location.
In the face of greater traffic demands and the risk of becoming lower-margin “commoditized pipes,” network operators must react to three key challenges: Read More »
Last week during VMworld in San Francisco, I had the chance to sit down with Steve Kaplan (@ROIdude), VP of Virtualization and Cloud, at Presidio, one of Cisco’s largest reseller partners. Steve is an author and industry speaker, especially on financial and ROI impacts of technology. He gives us a great perspective on how his firm is working with customers to get them cloud ready, and some of the virtualization trends he’s seeing with customers and in the industry.
For those of you that think all of our Cisco video productions are tightly scripted, well rehearsed, finely edited affairs, this will convince you otherwise. We tried to keep it pretty interactive and we had a lot of fun doing it. I think you’ll find the insights valuable.