Digital transformation has accelerated over the last two years. With it followed the need to build and operate infrastructure for the distributed enterprise. IT teams are looking for tools to help them manage their infrastructure during the transformation and offer users a cloud service experience.
According to IDC research, 55% of organizations operate a hybrid cloud (a mix of on-premises and public cloud) and use it as a framework to deploy applications where it makes the most sense. Another 29% reported not having a hybrid cloud, but they planned to create one within a year.* And by 2025, 70% of organizations will modernize their applications based on drivers like data security, organizational flexibility and agility, and productivity gains versus drivers like IT cost savings.**
Cisco is addressing the growth in hybrid cloud networks, providing IT with a much-needed operational tool to configure and manage multisite and multicloud deployments with a single view. This tool enables IT to gain deeper network visibility for troubleshooting and compliance, boost storage area network (SAN) performance, transition to new cloud environments and operational models, and take advantage of higher performance 400G switching platforms.
Cisco Nexus Dashboard – Expanded Capabilities
Cisco Nexus Dashboard is the solution that IT has been looking for to operate hybrid cloud networks.
With a unified view of network infrastructure and operations, distributed teams can manage on-premises, virtual edge, and cloud sites. Cisco Nexus Dashboard consolidates multiple operational views for various user personas and provides real-time insights and automation services to operate complex hybrid cloud network environments (Figure 1).
Let’s look at the latest cloud networking innovations across the full stack that give enterprise IT departments a lot to get excited about.
Extended Hybrid Cloud Reach with New Google Cloud Support
Cisco Nexus Dashboard (release 2.1.2) includes support for Google Cloud Platform (GCP) sites in addition to the existing capabilities for AWS and Azure cloud sites (Figure 2).
Included in the new release is the support for Multi-Factor Authentication (MFA) using Okta as the MFA provider and Cisco Duo as the MFA client.
Enhanced pre-upgrade Checks and Regular Conformance Reports
Both Cisco Nexus Dashboard features are part of the Insights capability. Pre-upgrade checks help operators to assess the risk before starting an upgrade and provide guidance on how to execute a successful upgrade. Conformance reports provide a regular snapshot of the hardware and software “age” of the infrastructure and improve network lifecycle planning.
Data Broker Support for Cisco Nexus Ultra Low Latency and Cisco Catalyst switches
Data Broker is another Cisco Nexus Dashboard capability that enables operators to generate customized data feeds for various analytics tools without overloading the production network. The support for Cisco Nexus 3550 Fusion and Catalyst devices enables IT to have a single data broker solution across campus and data center environments.
Multi-Site and Multi-Cloud Connectivity and Policy Management
The Cisco Nexus Dashboard Orchestrator capability simplifies interconnecting separate Cisco Nexus data center and cloud fabrics. It also provides a single point for consistent policy management to support granular segmentation.
The latest Cisco Nexus Dashboard release added support for GCP “sites”. Many other features are also available for partial mesh connectivity and proxy support for cloud sites.
SAN Performance Boosters
With enterprise Storage Area Network (SAN) traffic increasing, IT can’t afford unpredictable performance and congestion. The recently released Cisco MDS 9700 64G Fibre Channel Switching Module delivers predictable 64-Gbps 48-port Fibre Channel switching for Non-Volatile Memory Express (NVMe) over fibre channel and flash memory storage.
With all great hardware, you need great software. Meet the Cisco Dynamic Ingress Rate Limiting (DIRL) SAN Congestion feature. This software feature quickly identifies and prevents SAN congestion. DIRL is a standard feature on new MDS 9000 Series directors and switches and is available as a software upgrade for existing MDS 9000 installations. Operators can leverage the new SAN Controller capability of Nexus Dashboard to manage their SAN fabrics.
Ultra-low latency and ultra-fast
Our Cisco Nexus 3550-T provides the lowest latency routing in the market. We ported the widely deployed NX-OS to this platform to give network operators a common experience across all their Nexus platforms.
Our Cisco Nexus 9332D-GX2B is now shipping. This switch delivers 32p of 400G in 1 RU while retaining the rich capabilities our customers are used to in the Nexus 9000 product family.
Delivering the Best Cloud Networking Experience
As you can see, Cisco innovators have been busy. Our goal is to continue delivering for our enterprise customers the best hybrid cloud networking experience. Whether the use case is 8K ultra-high-definition video streaming, immersive virtual reality (VR), gaming applications, high frequency stock trading, or 5G-connected smart cities – Cisco Nexus and Cisco Nexus Dashboard play a critical role in delivering the best experience. Take control of your hybrid cloud network, manage with simplicity, and give IT something to love—You’ve Got This!
Read more blogs from Thomas Scheibe
Cisco Nexus Dashboard
Cisco Nexus Dashboard Orchestrator
Cisco Nexus 400G Networking
Cisco Nexus Ultra Low Latency Networking
Cisco SAN Networking
*IDC, Hybrid Cloud: An Inevitability for Most Enterprises, IDC #US48191321,October 2021
**IDC FutureScape: Worldwide Future of Digital Innovation 2022 Predictions, , IDC #US46844221 , October 2021