The networking industry has recently developed a renewed interest in virtual overlays, often wrapped in an “SDN as the controller” context. Amidst the promise, the hope and the hype, the following questions present themselves:
What exactly is an overlay?
What distinguishes an overlay from a VPN?
How decoupled can an overlay be from the underlay network and what are the tradeoffs?
What are the advantages of overlays and will they emerge as the new networking world order? Read More »
Talking to customers is always the best part of the show, hearing what their challenges are, and positioning our technology to fit their needs. On Wednesday, I met up with Paul O’Leary, an Infrastructure Specialist with the international law firm of King & Wood Mallesons. Paul is a big fan of the Cisco Nexus 1000V and shares why his networking team loves it so much, and how it consistently saves them time in managing their network policies.
We showed Paul some of the features coming out in our next release, like the vCenter plug-in, and vTracker for viewing statistics on the virtual fabric, et al., and he was really excited. Anyway, Paul was good enough to let us share his thoughts with you rather spontaneously, so without any further ado, let’s roll the video:
It is amazing how the data centre world has changed in the last few years. A Data Centre used to be a collection of network elements to interconnect static servers (and their associated storage), with traffic patterns that were highly predictable and mostly north-south. Cloud and virtualization have changed all of this: a data centre is now a collection of compute and storage resources which can be securely sliced up into virtual networks and placed anywhere according to real time needs, interconnected by a fabric. The virtualization of servers, network services such as firewalls and load balancers, and even network devices such as switches and routers, has created a very dynamic landscape in terms of how fast you could configure a virtual network, in a way where location shouldn’t really matter, and where compute and storage resources can be added on the fly, based on demand. Multi-tenant Data Centres, such as the one to deploy Virtual Private Clouds, need to support 10000’s of these virtual networks. And every one of these virtual networks needs a lot of different service instances to stitch together the virtual network across virtual servers, virtual switches, virtual firewalls, virtual load-balancers, and virtual routers. Traffic patterns have shifted to East-West, because of the new applications which spread processing across many hosts, and because of the ‘location freedom’ that virtualization allows. Network infrastructure needs to be cost-effective to handle all this traffic, while the increased lookup-table size caused by the any to any traffic patterns often led to increased cost. Read More »
Today marks the general availability of the eagerly-awaited Microsoft Windows Server 2012 platform. According to Microsoft, “Windows Server 2012 redefines the server category, delivering hundreds of new features and enhancements spanning virtualization, networking, storage, user experience, cloud computing, automation, and more.” Earlier Cisco blog posts discussed how Cisco has collaborated with Microsoft to achieve Windows 2012 certification for our UCS servers, as well as integrating our management tools into Microsoft System Center and PowerShell.
In this post, I’d like to highlight the integration of the Nexus 1000V virtual switch into the Windows Server 2012 platform, and particularly the Hyper-V hypervisor. We have been working closely with the Windows Server 2012 team for the past few years towards this goal, and announced Nexus 1000V and VM-FEX support for it at the Microsoft BUILD conference last year. Read More »
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.
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 »