In a recent post, I previewed some new hybrid cloud market research from Forrester that spoke to the business drivers and technical hurdles to cloud integration, and Shashi Kiran  has recently posted about lowering the barriers to hybrid cloud adoption. Today, as part of a larger cloud technology launch, Cisco is announcing a new hybrid cloud solution, Nexus 1000V InterCloud.

One of the fundamental capabilities for the world of many clouds is the ability to link various cloud environments into a single extended fabric with consistent capabilities, operations and management.  While previous Unified Fabric innovation has focused on physical/virtual consistency of the DC fabric, this announcement brings that consistency to the cloud. This new technology from Cisco extends the existing networking capabilities, L4-7 services and manageability of your enterprise into public and provider clouds to create a single consistent, reliable, predictable environment for all your physical, virtual and cloud workloads. This secure and seamless degree of integration to the hybrid cloud frees you to run and move applications where it makes the most sense, on-demand, without compromise.

[Note: Join us for a Live Announcement Webcast February 5: Register Here]

Cisco Nexus 1000V InterCloud

Enterprises are increasingly moving to hybrid clouds to gain the benefits of public clouds – agility, on-demand provisioning, pay-as-you-go capability, and elastic scalability – along with the benefits of private clouds. Private clouds have some advantages, allowing enterprises to design and customize their infrastructure and control security. However, private clouds are usually less agile than a public cloud and may be limited in scale to meet peak capacity demands.

Cisco Nexus 1000V InterCloud is designed to provide the control and agility of a hybrid cloud to give you the best of both worlds while reducing costs and improving efficiency. It is a software solution deployed as virtual machines in the enterprise data center and public cloud, with three major components as seen in the above diagram:

  • InterCloud Switch, a Nexus 1000V “overlay” virtual switch that securely extends the enterprise data center with the cloud provider: The InterCloud Switch provides Layer 2 network connectivity across the entire system while providing end-to-end security by encrypting traffic between the two sites. It also provides local switching for the workloads in the cloud. This Layer 2 network connectivity allows full workload mobility between servers across locations while retaining the same IP address.  In other words, with InterCloud Switch creates a secure, Layer-2 “Virtual Private Cloud” (L2-VPC) within a shared provider cloud.
  • Simple, single-pane management across enterprise and cloud workloads: The Cisco Virtual Network Management Center (VNMC) InterCloud presents a consolidated view of virtual machines within a hybrid cloud, i.e. across both the enterprise data center and the cloud provider. In addition, it manages security policies and virtual services in the cloud, and provides northbound APIs to integrate with cloud orchestration tools.
  • Network services infrastructure that helps ensure consistent network and security policies across enterprise data centers and public clouds: Cisco Nexus 1000V InterCloud enables policies to be applied consistently to virtual machines as they migrate from the enterprise data center to the cloud provider. Cisco Nexus 1000V InterCloud uses Cisco vPath service insertion architecture to provide network services. This allows the hybrid cloud to seamlessly support Cisco cloud network services such as the Cisco Virtual Security Gateway (VSG), the ASA 1000V Cloud Firewall and virtual WAAS (vWAAS) across multiple cloud locations.

The design of the Nexus 1000V InterCloud differentiates itself from other hybrid cloud solutions in a number of significant ways:

  • Architectural flexibility and choice to work with a wide range of virtual infrastructures and cloud stacks in enterprises and cloud providers:
    • Multi-Cloud Connectivity: Public->Public, Public->Private cloud connections
    • Multi-Hypervisor: ESX, Hyper-V, XEN, KVM (and in some cases, their associated vSwitches)
    • Multi-Service: routing, firewall, network analysis, application controllers
  • The richest collection of product and technologies to deliver a no-compromise cloud environment:
  • For manageability, Cisco Virtual Network Management Center (VNMC) InterCloud offers new capabilities including:
    • A single management console for network services across hybrid cloud (across both enterprise and provider domains).
    • The ability to manage virtual machine lifecycle and mobility within hybrid cloud, as well as service assurance for awareness of problems before they affect access to your data.
    • A northbound API for integration with management and orchestration systems including Cisco Intelligent Automation for Cloud

In Part 2, we will discuss more about the management of the hybrid cloud environment across both the on-premises resources and at the cloud service provider.

Related: New Independent Research Study on Hybrid Cloud Business Trends and Technical Challenges

As a special added bonus, watch our introductory video of the Nexus 1000V InterCloud solution:



Gary Kinghorn

Sr Solution Marketing Manager

Network Virtualization and SDN