SUP1010: Cisco and VMware Innovating Together

This session was a ‘super session’ which is basically a vendor touting their wares and how well they integrate with VMware. To that end Cisco went through a number of announcements and innovations that are really industry leading. High points of this session were:

  • Policy based┬ámanagement is key to deploying clouds. Policies can include security, storage, network, and compute resources.
  • Clouds must be multi-tenant per-server, elastic, and automatic.
  • Network, compute and storage have now finally converged
  • Key tenants to clouds are: Open management, mixed vendor environments, industry standards and partner solutions.
  • Datacenter designs must have a 10-15 year design life
  • Policy driven management is fundamental and Cisco has implemented this via service profiles
  • 2011 Cisco achievements: Virtual ASA (firewall), #1 in VMmark 2.1 performance, enhanced VMdirectPath for VM mobility
  • Cisco UCS has a 21% performance advantage over same-core configurations from other vendors (tested in 4 node, 4 socket config)
  • New virtual interface card has dual 40Gbps ports and supports upto 256 PCIe interfaces for high-density VDI, multi-tenancy where you can link virtual ASA policies to a service profile.
  • vCloud Director now has integration with UCS for automated provisioning and configuration
  • VXLAN is a game changer for the networking industry. The Nexus 1000v will support VXLAN in beta in September 2011, and vCloud director will support VXLAN as well.
  • VXLAN supports up to 16 million interfaces, up from the 4096 VLANs.
  • VXLAN is the next generation “VLAN” concept and enables VM mobility across the cloud regardless of physical location.
  • VLANs are end of life!
  • VXLAN has been submitted to the IETF as a standard
  • Virtual ASA firwall appliance was announced yesterday
    • For multi-tenant datacenters
    • Uses the Nexus 1000v vPath technology
    • Same features as the physical ASAs
  • VM live migration across datacenters
    • Maintain security policies during and post-migration
    • Workload mobility
  • In 2011 Cisco and VMware
    • Integrated the Nexus 1000v with vCD
    • Enhanced UCS autodeploy with service profile integration
    • Overdrive network API
    • Integrate vCD and vShield manager with OverDrive
    • vShield Edge and N1K beta in Sept 2011
  • Future integration: OverDrive for network management, virtual ASA for security, N1K: a complete stack
  • 44 vendors have written products for the UCS XML integration API
  • Cisco UCS is now the #2 US blade manufacturer, after just 2 years in the market
  • Cisco is working on a virtual WAAS
  • ASA will provide tenant-level security down to the VM

In short, I think Cisco is leading the way with unified computing and the other major players (HP, IBM, Dell, etc.) have a lot of catching up to do. No solution stack is perfect, but looking at the currently shipping products and their integration roadmaps, I think Cisco “gets it,” It will be interesting to see how the other vendors respond since they are arguably lagging in both vision and shipping products.

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