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The Next Evolution of Cisco’s Nexus 1000V Virtual Switch to be Featured at VMworld

Remote Active - Standby VSM pairs

VSM's across remote data centers

Nothing sits around and gets stale for long at Cisco (outside the break rooms anyway). On the heels of shipping our Nexus 1000V 1.5.2 release earlier this week (which you can download from here), we are ramping up to show the upcoming generation of the virtual switch next week at VMworld in San Francisco. This new major release 2.1 will be going into beta in October, and will represent a quantum leap in ease of deployment and management, as well as greater security for cloud environments.

Features of the new Nexus 1000V 2.1 Release:

  • vCenter Plug-in – Provides a holistic view of the virtual network to the server administrator from within VMware vCenter. A Nexus 1000V dashboard in vCenter shows the virtual supervisor module (VSM) and virtual ethernet module (VEM) details, such as VSM health status, license information, PNIC information, connected VM’s, et al.
  • Support for Cisco TrustSec – Extends Cisco TrustSec security solutions for network-based segmentation of users and physical workloads to virtual workloads, leveraging Security Group Tags (SGT) for defining security segments. Data center segmentation and consistent security policy enforcement can now be implemented across physical and virtual workloads.
  • Cross Data Center High-availability – Supports split Active and Standby Nexus 1000V Virtual Supervisor Modules (VSMs) across two data centers to implement cross-DC clusters and VM mobility while ensuring high availability. In addition, VSM’s in the data center can support VEM’s at remote branch offices. Read More »

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How Do You Describe So Much Awesome? Cisco at VMworld 2012

Each time so many technologists gather in one place, there’s an embarrassment of riches: technology, demos, know-how. So many people to meet, so much going on, how does one cut through the noise and let everyone know? This year’s VMworld 2012 in San Francisco’s Moscone Center is shaping up to be just such an event.

Last year, we took you on a day to day journey with a series of videos. But 2012 is the year of the infographic! And what do engineers like more than free event t-shirts? Whiteboards!

Cisco's Activities at VMworld 2012: Whiteboard Edition

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3 Paths to the Cloud (Workspace)!

I’ve been spending the last couple weeks with friends from EMC, discussing what’s top of mind re: desktop virtualization and capabilities that we agree are effectively attacking the elusive ROI of virtual desktops.  So it’s no surprise that when you put Cisco and EMC solutions together, (something we’ve done well, for a LONG time) towards the common goal of making virtual desktops and applications easier to deploy, with reduced cost and improved manageability, you end up with a very compelling end-to-end offer.

Essentially, our joint value nets-out as follows:  i) enabling implementers to balance costs, while meeting SLA’s, ii) making virtual desktops less complex and time-consuming , especially where rapid provisioning and recovery is key, and iii) addressing the desktop management equation with a simplified approach that eliminates what used to be multiple tools

In these areas EMC and Cisco are offering an industry-leading platform with best-in-class desktop hosting density and performance, engineered solutions that absorb I/O storms and dramatically improve boot times, rapid provisioning of server infrastructure using service profile templates and self-service data recovery, and simplified desktop creation with automated deployment capabilities.

Read More »

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VMware Mobile Secure Desktops – built on Cisco VXI

As I was preparing for a webinar recently, some stats came across my desk reinforcing what we’ve suspected for a while, namely that employees and the organizations they belong to, are increasingly embracing a cloud workspace – one that’s mobile and deliverable on any device, and that this imperative is a reality that IT managers are wrestling with not months from now, but now.

These nuggets are certainly no surprise:

  • Three of every five employees believed it was unnecessary to be in the office to be productive.
  • Two of every three employees surveyed expect IT to allow them to use any device – personal or company-issued – to access corporate networks, applications, and information anywhere at any time.
  • 69% of IT decision makers surveyed (by Forrester Consulting) advise that implementing a BYOD policy for smartphones/tablets is a top priority (study commissioned by Cisco, May 2012)

Read More »

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VMware’s SDN Strategy is No Threat to Cisco, says Mike Fratto

For those of you wondering about the impact to Cisco of Software Defined Networking and the combined SDN strategy of VMware and Nicira, I point you to a very rational and well-articulated article by Mike Fratto of Network Computing, that basically says Cisco doesn’t have much to worry about. (Enterprise Strategy Group had already said something similar, by the way).

Specifically, Fratto says:

Mike FrattoThe lack of programmability in existing networking hardware is certainly a problem, but VMware’s acquisition of Nicira does not mean that Cisco and its ilk will be marginalized… It does mean the role and management of the physical network is changing, and I think Cisco is further ahead than most of its competitors in creating a vision for the next phase of networking.

I couldn’t agree more. Since Cisco live! when we announced our Cisco ONE strategy for network programmability as well as the advances in our Nexus 1000V portfolio for virtual network overlays, I have been posting on many of the same points.

My take here was that the VMware-Nicira acquisition did not portend a strategic break with Cisco, and while there are some obvious overlaps in our product lines, there are still a number of areas of collaboration, cooperation and interoperability. The virtual network infrastructure is just one piece of a larger software stack and the differentiation will likely be decided in the orchestration, management and applications built on top of the newly programmable infrastructures sometime down the road. Read More »

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