I’m not a car person and I don’t worry too much about what’s under the hood. That means that I’m just a car user, I only want to turn the ignition key and drive. In the Data Center world, the server team is typically a user of the network. Server guys don’t want to know how the network is implemented. They just want their VLANs to extend to the whole network so that they can connect their devices with no constraint, without having to worry about high availability, risk containment, link provisioning… network stuff. That’s precisely what FabricPath is designed to offer them: a network that looks like a single switch, the simplest networking entity. This “Fabric” offers efficient any-to-any connectivity with high bandwidth and low latency, all without having to understand how it works.
Of course, this user perspective is an abstraction. The following Figure 2 represents an example of the physical topology of the network, a Clos fabric, typical in Data Center environments. Note that this could just as well be a ring, a star, or even a network distributed across two sites. FabricPath turns an arbitrary topology into a Fabric and does not lock you into a particular model.
Over the last few days, I’ve been listening to some interesting conversations on the topic of “fabric” in the data center. To be honest, one of the common questions I get is if there is anything materially different about “Fabric” (our Data Center Fabric or anyone else’s), or is it merely the latest buzzword from bored marketing geeks. From what I have seen, many of the companies throwing around the term “fabric” are referring only to transport and are usually tying it to a specific product or technology. On these two points, Cisco’s view of fabric markedly differs. Read More »
What do you have when you combine over 20,000 IT professionals, the desert and gaming? No, not 20,000 broke, sweaty nerds…you’ve got two great conferences! Next week the city on the strip, Las Vegas Nevada, will be the host of Interop and EMC World. Both events will provide attendees with plenty of updates on the future of networking, storage, compute and of course cloud. Cisco will be present at both events here are some highlights: Read More »
Cisco recently shipped its one millionth Nexus 10Gb Ethernet port, bringing the total number of Nexus ports in customer production environments to more than 7,000,000. We have also surpassed 10,000 NX-OS customers and neared 4,000 Unified Computing Systems. Wow. Good times.
The linkage and capabilities continue to build and this show covers the next step on our very mature convergence storyline adding scale and intelligence to the mix.
Cisco’s foundation for delivering the service provider Cloud is our Unified Service Delivery (USD) solution, featuring tightly integrated, data center and IP NGN technologies to deliver a virtualized end-to-end infrastructure for cloud services. We thought it would be useful to share some new capabilities that Cisco has added recently to the solution:
MPLS in the Data Center: To streamline the end to end operation across the data center and IP NGN, Cisco announced, last week, that Nexus 7000 supports Multi Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) for Layer 3 virtual private networks (VPNs). This allows MPLS to be deployed at the data center core/aggregation layer rather than terminating at the data center edge. This capability enables Service Providers to greatly simplify L3 segmentation, especially for multi-tenant cloud offerings, depending on their scale and service needs.
Another key to the delivery of a data center built for Cloud requirements of scale, virtualization and multi-tenancy has been the use of a Unified Fabric. Unified Fabric provides the flexibility of high performance, highly available networks to support the needs of both LAN and SAN on a consolidated fabric. Cisco’s Unified Fabric announcements last week bring new capabilities which extend our already robust offerings to further build out a Service Provider Cloud foundation.