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Will OpenStack Blend? Managing Legacy and Cloud Together

Photo courtesy of Breville, USA, Creative Commons license.

Photo courtesy of Breville, USA, Creative Commons license.

We talk to customers all the time that want to move to OpenStack, but the tools and processes they rely on just aren’t ready. Or the policies around their applications or data don’t support a true self-service cloud.

Not wanting to be stuck with VMware for the rest of their lives, we talk to them about what I call “cloud blending.”

Depending on what their tools and deployment processes look like today, some of the stateless, cloud-friendly components of their apps can be deployed to Cisco OpenStack Private Cloud, while leaving the scale-up or VMware-reliant (let’s call them “existing” instead of legacy), portions of their applications in the VMware environment.

An example might be to leave your SQL Server database in VMware, but move your web or content tier that’s going through a modern overhaul to a load-balanced, auto-scaling OpenStack environment–freeing up those costly VMware licenses for other purposes.

The response we often hear goes like this “Sure, but what about the processes I have in place to control my environment? Don’t those go away with OpenStack since everything is so self-service, where as today with VMware my teams control what happens?”

The answer is, as always, “It depends.”

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Deliver Services at Internet Speed

How quickly can your organization stand-up a new application or deploy new services?  Most customers tell me, “not fast enough!”   I am clearly hearing from them that the new standard expectation across the organization is to receive precise data center resources in “internet time,” easily and definitely on-demand.

But customers are not the only ones affected by these new expectation standards.  Application developers also expect to receive the resources they need to support their efforts within one hour — without a lot of process meetings and repetitive, slow paperwork.  They want what they want, when they need it, which is always now!  Can’t get it now?  Out comes the credit card and they go on a shopping spree to outside resources.

Developers don’t worry about security, governance or quality of service.  If you are in operations, or you’re a C-level executive, you care.  You need to meet compliance guidelines.  So how can you get everyone on the same team, working together so the organization can succeed, the old “win-win-win?”

At CiscoLive Milan in January, we introduced the Cisco ONE Enterprise Cloud Suite. Watch this replay of our live broadcast.

 

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OpenStack Podcast #22: Sirish Raghuram

This week the OpenStack Podcast’s guest rockstar was Sirish Raghuram. He’s the co-founder and CEO of Platform9 (www.platform9.com), and he’s also a former long-term VMware employee. From that unique vantage point, he was able to contribute terrific insights about why enterprises haven’t fully embraced the cloud yet and why VMware Integrated OpenStack is probably a net win for the OpenStack community. He also spoke about:

  • Why he founded Platform9
  • What Platform9 provides
  • How containers may change the meaning of PaaS
  • Why 2015 & 2016 will be the turning point for enterprise cloud adoption
  • Why his team uses Ansible for configuration management
  • Who he thinks has done mind-blowing work in the tech world
  • What the current monthly Amazon spending break point is, and how we might bring it down

For a full transcript of the  interview, click read more below.

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Announcing Cisco Nexus 1000V for VMware vSphere 6 Release

The Cisco Nexus 1000V has been supported in VMware vSphere hypervisor since 4.0 release (August 2009) up to the current vSphere release 5.5 update 2.  We are happy to announce that the Nexus 1000V will continue to be supported in the latest vSphere 6 release which VMware recently announced. Customers who are currently running Nexus 1000V will be able to upgrade to the vSphere 6 release and the new vSphere 6 customers will have the Nexus 1000V as part of their choices for virtual networking.

Cisco is fully committed to support the Nexus 1000V product for our 10,000+ Advanced Edition customers and the thousands more using the Essential Edition software in all future releases of VMware vSphere. Cisco has a significant virtual switching R&D investment with hundreds of engineers dedicated to the Nexus 1000V platform.  The Nexus 1000V has been the industry’s leading virtual switching platform with innovations on VXLAN (industry’s first shipping VXLAN platform), and distributed zone firewall (via Virtual Security Gateway released in Jan 2011).

The Nexus 1000V also continues to be the industry’s only multi-hypervisor virtual switching solution that delivers enterprise class functionality and features across vSphere, Hyper-V and KVM.

In the last major release of the Nexus 1000V for vSphere, version 3.1 (August 2014) we added significant scaling and security features and we continue to provide subsequent updates (December 2014) with the next release planned for March 2015. The recently released capabilities include:

  • Increased scale per Nexus 1000V:
    • 250 hosts
    • 10,000 virtual ports
    • 1,000 virtual ports per host
    • 6,000 VXLAN segments with ability to scale out via BGP
  • Increased security and visibility
    • Seamless security policy from campus and WAN to datacenter with Cisco TrustSec tagging/enforcement capabilities
    • Distributed port-security for scalable anti-spoofing deployment
    • Enhanced L2 security and loop prevention with BPDU Guard
    • Protection against broadcast storms and or attacks with Storm control
    • Scalable flow accounting and statistics with Distributed Netflow
  • Ease of management via Virtual Switch Update Manager (VSUM) – a vSphere web-client plug-in

One of the common questions coming from our customers is whether VMware is still re-selling and supporting the Nexus 1000V via VMware support?

VMware has decided to no longer offer Nexus 1000V through VMware sales or sell support for the Nexus 1000V through the VMware support organization as of Feb 2nd 2015.  We want to reiterate that this has NO IMPACT on the availability and associated support from Cisco for the Nexus 1000V running in a vSphere environment.  Cisco will continue to sell Nexus 1000V and offer support contracts. Cisco encourages customers who are currently using VMware support for the Nexus 1000V to migrate their support contracts to Cisco by contacting their local Cisco Sales team to aide in this transition.

For questions or help, please reach out nexus1000vinfo@cisco.com

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Automation is Unavoidable – But Painful Shift Isn’t

Private cloud – you hear it everywhere.  Industry analysts tell us that private cloud has become a core data center strategy  well on its way to becoming a core element in the formal IT portfolio.

Forrester research indicates that CIOs and IT departments are strongly drawn to private cloud as the on-ramp for their cloud journey.  What’s behind this interest and drive to shift?

Partially it is driven by the need to leverage existing data center infrastructure better.   But THE market driver responsible for the lion’s share of adoption is the need to accelerate application delivery.   We are talking about building applications faster and deploying them to the environment that has the right amount of elasticity, services and economics.

Yet for all the strategizing and trial steps, only a small number of enterprise companies have deployed a true private cloud.  Why? Without the right tools and methods, it is painful and chaotic. Read More »

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