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Evolving Your Organization with Software Defined Networking

Software Defined Networking (SDN) is an exciting evolution in IT.  Today, connections throughout a network are made by directly connecting to routers to control them.  This is a process that can be time-consuming and prone to error, depending upon the size of the network being managed.  Furthermore, the effort involved in making changes across large networks can slow the pace of innovation within an organization.

SDN moves control to the application layer.  This provides numerous benefits to IT:

  • Unified point of automation and management
  • Consistent deployment of policies throughout the network
  • Improved operational efficiency
  • Rapid deployment of new features like security and QoS
  • Simplified network management overall

Many people think SDN is the future of data center networking.  Cloud provider OneNeck, for example, is investing in developing the expertise to lead the market in transitioning its customers to SDN.  In their blog, Leading the Market with Software Defined Networking (SDN), OneNeck describes how they are working with Cisco to bring SDN to market.

OneNeck’s SDN lab, for example, is a great example of how our partners add value to Cisco technology.  SDN introduces a whole new management framework for networking.  By working with real-world SDN applications in their lab, OneNeck is developing the skill sets and expertise required to enables its customers to evolve with confidence.

Learn more about Cisco’s SDN solutions, including the Cisco Nexus 9000 series switches, Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) and Cisco Intercloud Fabric.

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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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Unleashing IT – Microsoft Special Edition

UIT Cover Image

Bill Kehoe, CIO for King County, is taking a new approach to IT and building a progressive government to benefit citizens

The Lineup: Microsoft, Cisco, and Intel

It’s no secret that tested and tried solutions will lead to a faster time to production, allowing you to stay at the forefront of innovation and, most importantly, stand out from the competition.

The latest in our series of deep-dive examinations, our Microsoft-focused edition of Unleashing IT shows you how three industry leaders are creating integrated solutions to achieve better business outcomes. Read More »

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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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New Cisco innovations at Cisco Live Milan 2015

Cisco Live at Milan is an exciting place to be at this year. There are many new innovations and technology being showcased by teams from all across Cisco.

Below is a list of  interesting sessions to attend about the latest innovations at Cisco Live Milan 2015

Whisper suites Demos– New innovation demos. Please stop by to watch the live demos and get goodies:

Whisper suites : one on one meetings and presentations.

Breakout sessions :

  • BRKAPP-2032 – Introductory – Integrating Citrix Netscaler into Cisco Data Centers : Jeff Ostermiller
  • BRKDCT-2333 – Intermediate – Data Center Network Failure Detection : Arkadiy Shapiro

New RISE blog : Remote Integrated Service Engine at Cisco Live Milan

New ITD blog : Intelligent Traffic Director @ Cisco Live Milan

Nexus 7702 announcement : Nexus 7702 has a sweet spot in being a “services chassis” with RISE and ITD.

Nexus 5k/6k : RISE and ITD are planned  for Q1 CY 2015. Currently available for EFT.

 Nexus 7k/7700 :  Most recent NX-OS 6.2.10 has the following new features:

  • Weighted load balancing
  • L4 port based load balancing
  • Sandwich mode Node-State sync between two ITD services in  a VDC
  • DNS probe
  • Start/Stop/Clear ITD statistics collection
  • Show ITD statistics have % traffic distribution
  • Node-level standby
  • VRF support for ITD Service and Probes
  • Number of ITD services scaled up : 32 ITD services per VDC
  • Number of VIPs scaled up : 16 VIPs per ITD service
  • DCNM support using DevNet