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Regular readers of our data center and cloud blog will probably recall the importance of vPath in enabling virtual services for virtualized multi-tenant cloud environments, and for allowing policy mobility along with VM mobility. The Cisco vPath architecture currently supports our own virtual services including Virtual Security Gateway (VSG), the ASA 1000V Cloud Firewall, and virtual WAAS for WAN optimization. vPath also boosts performance of service traffic paths and orchestrates service chaining so that VM traffic is processed in a ordered chain defined by policy.
After we announced the Free and Advanced Editions of the new Nexus 1000V release in October we were inundated with beta requests. Well, we are excited to announce that new version is now GA and available for download ahead of schedule. Note that this initial GA version currently runs only on VMware’s hypervisor, but versions for other hypervisors are coming.
Cisco’s newest release of the Nexus 1000V greatly improves the effort of installing, upgrading and managing the virtual switch fabric. New management features like the vCenter plugin and vTracker help monitor the virtual network by both the system administrator and the server administrator. The enhanced upgrade process and the intstaller app simplify deployments. Redundancy across datacenters is greatly enhanced by the introduction of support for virtual supervisor module (VSM) pairs in remote datacenters. Moreover, there is also an option in this release to extend the data center to branches, with support for branch virtual Ethernet modules (VEMs).
Nexus1000V is a feature-rich Cisco virtual switch that is now available in both Essential and Advanced editions. The Advanced version has the option of an annual technical support contract for $174 per CPU socket. The no-cost Essential edition has the option of a technical support contract for $39 per CPU socket. These support contracts provide excellent Cisco TAC help, 7x24, providing all the help and advice needed for maintaining your virtual network environment.
Existing customers of Nexus 1000V who have already purchased a license for the 1.x release will automatically upgrade to the ver 2.1 Advanced Edition (see my earlier Freemium Edition Q&A post). They can download the software from CCO and re-use their existing licenses. They will also be upgraded with the Virtual Security Gateway (VSG) license at no-cost.
In addition to these major benefits and new features, Nexus 1000V is the foundation for our programmable virtual network overlays within our Cisco ONE platform for network programmability. VXLAN, which we discuss a lot in this forum, forms the secure overlay tunnels, and the Nexus 1000V virtual supervisor module (VSM) will be programmable with OpenStack Quantum and other API’s in future releases as part of our SDN strategy.
As always, stay tuned to this space for more details, tutorials, tips and news on the Nexus 1000V virtual switch and Cisco’s virtual networking infrastructure.
The demonstration at Synergy showed the consistent deployment architecture for the Nexus 1000V distributed virtual switch, NX-OS feature-set, operational workflows, and port profile based provisioning of virtual Ethernet ports (vEths) via XenCenter. Two virtual workloads – Ubuntu server and Windows Client – were shown to interact with each other as in the diagram below.
We’ve had a great response to our announcement earlier today about the free Nexus 1000V Essential Edition. After seeing all the comments and questions, there are probably a couple of implementation details I should point out:
Existing Nexus 1000V Customers Will be Upgraded to the Advanced Edition
If you are an existing Nexus 1000V customer, you will be upgraded to the Advanced Edition in the next release, not the Essential Edition. One of the nice things about this is that Nexus 1000V customers that were not using the Virtual Security Gateway (VSG) firewall will get it for free as part of the Advanced Edition, along with the other new Advanced Edition features, at no charge.
VSG is Free for Existing Nexus 1000V Customers Today
In preparation for VSG to be included with the Advanced Edition, all new Nexus 1000V orders starting now will include VSG as well at no cost. Existing Nexus 1000V customers can contact their account managers to get a one-time free license for VSG to use with the current Nexus 1000V release prior to upgrading to the new 2.1 release. Read More »
[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).