Cisco, VMware Collaborate on Network Virtualization

Tuesday at the 2011 VMworld conference in Las Vegas, Cisco and VMware announced innovations resulting from a four year strategic relationship.

Network Virtualization: VXLAN

As a major step towards on-demand networks, VXLAN (Virtual eXtensible Local Area Network was introduced as a breakthrough in network virtualization. VXLAN is a collaborative effort for an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) draft as a framework for overlaying virtualized layer 2 networks over layer 3 networks. It is a networking group Internet draft released August 26th, with participating companies including Cisco, VMware, Arista Networks, Broadcom, Citrix and Red Hat. VMware CTO Steve Herrod discussed VXLAN in his VMworld keynote Tuesday and in a blog post described it as a “model that enables the efficient and fluid movement of virtual resources across shared cloud infrastructures both within and across datacenters.” VXLAN will offer a network encapsulation technique with segment identifiers for creating millions of logical networks and for enabling workloads to seamlessly move across datacenters and cloud infrastructures.

While Cisco’s Overlay Transport Virtualization was an interconnect technology extending Layer 2, VXLAN is for creating more logical networks in a cloud environment.  Cisco released this white paper for creating a Scalable Cloud Network with Cisco Nexus 1000V Series Switches and VXLAN.

“Together with VMware, Cisco has unlocked the power of the network to extend virtual machines beyond the confines of a single stack to the entire data center and cloud infrastructure from different locations,” said Soni Jiandani, senior vice president, Server, Access, Virtualization Technology Group for Cisco. “VXLAN will provide the ability to scale networking segments to millions of VMs to ease the deployment of applications in the cloud.  Also, by segmenting these VMs and applications via highly secure virtual networks, customers will be able to achieve the security required for multi-tenant cloud environments.”  VXLAN technology in Cisco Nexus 1000V will be available for beta in September 2011.

Desktop Virtualization expansion

Expanding on the 2010 Virtualization Experience Infrastructure (VXI) system and VMware vSphere 5, Cisco and VMware are expanding VXI to support VMware View 5 and the Cisco suite of collaboration solutions.  One such integration is click-to-call, where users running WebEx Connect inside of VMware View virtual desktops can use click-to-call communication. VMware View and Cisco UCS provide a a collaborative workspace and VMware View 5 will be available on the Cisco Cius and Cisco Virtualization Experience Clients (VXC) 2100 and 220 endpoints.

IT as a Service

Building a strong foundation for the cloud vSphere 5 and UCS 2.0 are enhanced to offer better cloud management capabilities to virtualize the most demanding business-critical applications and workloads. The VXLAN technology will be supported in VMware vSphere 5, VMware vCloud® Director 1.5 and Cisco Nexus 1000V virtual switch to deliver an on-demand cloud infrastructure to enhance the end-user experience. Cisco demonstrated a Virtual ASA firewall for Nexus 1000V and will integrate it with VMware vCloud Director.


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About the Author

John Rath is a veteran IT professional and regular contributor at Data Center Knowledge. He has served many roles in the data center, including support, system administration, web development and facility management.

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