MMS logoAt Microsoft Management Summit 2013 in Las Vegas this week, Cisco is showing a host of new technology innovations and integrated solutions for the virtualized data center. By bringing Cisco virtual networking and UCS solutions together with Microsoft cloud solutions, we are expanding the market for our technology, while providing more technology options and flexibility for our customers.

Critical to our Microsoft infrastructure strategy is the Nexus 1000V virtual switch for the Hyper-V hypervisor in Windows Server 2012 and integrated with System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM). Cisco’s Microsoft-oriented data center architectures, rooted by UCS and Nexus 1000V are proven to save customers’ OpEx and CapEx.

Nexus 1000V for Hyper-V
Nexus 1000V for Hyper-V

Our new version of Nexus 1000V for Hyper-V has been in wide use for the last several weeks since we opened up the public beta to all volunteers. The availability of Nexus 1000V and these go to market initiatives with Microsoft are the culmination of 3 years of joint effort between the companies, including developing the ecosystem for completely integrated solutions. These fully integrated solutions include VSPEX, FlexPod (with EMC and NetApp) that enable channel partners to deliver value to end customers.

The feedback we’ve been getting from the beta users of the new Nexus 1000V has been really positive. If you missed the insights from Microsoft MVP, Damian Flynn, when he presented at one of our online webinars, you can hear him talk about his experiences here.

What we consistently hear from customers is the Cisco Nexus 1000V for Microsoft Hyper-V:

  • Offers consistent operational experience across physical, virtual, and mixed hypervisor environments
  • Reduces operational complexity through dynamic policy provisioning and mobility aware network policies
  • Improves security through integrated virtual services and advanced Cisco NX-OS features

How does the new Hyper-V version compare to the vSphere version?

The Cisco Nexus 1000V Virtual Ethernet Module (VEM) is a forwarding extension in the Microsoft Hyper-V extensible switch framework, and it is deployed on each Microsoft Hyper-V host managed by the Cisco Nexus 1000V. The Cisco Nexus 1000V Virtual Supervisor Module (VSM) communicates with VEMs as well as with SCVMM. All configuration policies defined on the VSM are automatically propagated to SCVMM, so the SCVMM administrator can use these policies when creating virtual machines.

The Microsoft SCVMM networking model introduces multiple user-defined constructs including logical networks, network sites, and virtual machine networks (or VM networks) to abstract the underlying physical network. New commands have been added to the Cisco Nexus 1000V Switch to define these constructs in the VSM.

Nexus 1000V SCVMM integration
Figure 1 shows the operating model for the Cisco Nexus 1000V Switch for Microsoft Hyper-V.

And what about all the great things we’ve learned to love about the existing Nexus 1000V?

Well, you can still count on them in Hyper-V. Namely:

  • Advanced switching features such as private virtual LANs (PVLANs), quality of service (QoS), access control lists (ACLs), port security, and Cisco vPath
  • Security features such as Dynamic Host Control Protocol (DHCP) snooping, Dynamic Address Resolution Protocol (ARP) Inspection, and IP source guard
  • Monitoring features such as Cisco NetFlow, packet statistics, Switched Port Analyzer (SPAN), and Encapsulated Remote SPAN (ERSPAN)
  • Manageability features such as Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), NetConf, syslog, and advanced troubleshooting command-line interface (CLI) features
  • Virtual services using Cisco vPath such as Cisco Virtual Security Gateway (VSG)

And, of course, we still count on vPath to tie in all the virtual network services and virtual security nodes into the fabric:

Cisco vPath is an innovative architecture that extends the Cisco Nexus 1000V platform to support multiple network services including firewalls, load balancers, and WAN-optimization services. If you aren’t familiar with how pivotal vPath is to bringing virtual services to the data center and cloud, it’s worth a few blogs unto itself (and in fact you can find a great one here).

Since a lot of people ask, our same Free-mium pricing model exists for Nexus 1000V on Hyper-V, namely a Free Essential Edition, and an Advanced Edition that includes Virtual Security Gateway for Nexus 1000V and other enhancements on per-CPU pricing model.

We’re really excited about bringing these new technologies and solutions to Microsoft-oriented data centers as it will really expand our customer reach and the opportunities for our expanding ecosystem of channel and technology partners. If you are looking for more details, start here.


Gary Kinghorn

Sr Solution Marketing Manager

Network Virtualization and SDN