Light Reading
Also, Cisco's not trying to crush VMware. Really it's not.

Cisco Integrates Virtual, Physical Networks

Mitch Wagner
5/16/2014
50%
50%

Cisco has unveiled tools for integrating its Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) virtual networks with physical networks.

The company also said ACI isn't an attempt to crush VMware Inc. (NYSE: VMW). Really. (See For Cisco, Is 'SDN' Code for 'Crush VMware?')

The new virtual-physical management software is designed to help customers make the transition to virtual networks while protecting their existing networks. "They've got this significant investment. At the same time, they see the compelling vision we laid out for ACI," says Craig Huitema, director of marketing for data center networking at Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). "They want to interoperate between the two."

Integrating ACI with the physical network provides consistency between the physical and virtual, Huitema says. It lowers cost and promotes flexibility. With consistent metrics, network managers get visibility into resource consumption. "By understanding the health of the underlying infrastructure, you can put the application elements where they are best suited," on physical or virtual networks, says Huitema.

Also, integrating physical and virtual networks makes it easier to apply policies consistency across the networks, he adds.

"Maybe you've got a database server sitting on bare metal, and a web server that's virtualized. It shouldn't really matter in terms of security policies... or if it moves from one hypervisor to another," Huitema says. If a workload moves from one server to another, security policies should go with it, and follow the workload when the application is decommissioned.

Cisco is integrating its Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) with Version 5 of its UCS Director, which will enable UCS Director to manage virtual and physical networks. Carriers and enterprises will be able to deploy ACI in existing data centers running Nexus 2000, 3000, 5000, 6000, and 7000 network switches, and ASR 9000 routers.

The announcement comes just ahead of the company's Cisco Live user conference in San Francisco.

Bragging about momentum
Cisco says ACI is getting significant momentum. ACI runs on Cisco's Nexus 9000, which has 1,000 customers either running or in the pipeline. These include communications service providers and enterprises.

Most of those customers aren't running ACI today; some 80% are using the server in its traditional mode, running NX-OS. "But they're all looking to go to ACI if they haven't already implemented it," claims Frank D'Agostino, Cisco senior director in tactical marketing and solutions engineering.

To what extent is ACI a maneuver for crushing VMware? That's how tech journalist Julie Bort characterized John Chambers's comments about SDN during Wednesday's earnings conference call for Cisco. (See Cisco Earnings Suffer From Carrier Weakness.)

D'Agostino says ACI isn't about crushing VMware. Rather, it's about giving customers choice of the operations model they want. "Customers want VMware for a lot of reasons and Cisco for a lot of reasons." According to D'Agostino, VMWare's SDN strategy relies on LAN emulation, which is impractical, and promotes vendor lock-in, while Cisco's approach lets network managers use multiple vendors' technologies, including VMware NSX.

[In other words: "We're not trying to crush VMware. We love VMware. They're so adorable, and they try so hard and they mean well. Bless their hearts. But we're better."]

Finally, Cisco today announced three new switches in the Nexus line: The 9336PQ is a small spine switch, with 36 40G ports in a 2RU chassis. Next is the 9396TX, a top-of-rack switch with 48 ports of 10GBaseT for server connectivity: It's a version of an existing fiber switch, with the new model supporting copper. The final product is the N9K-X9736PQ card for the 9500 modular switch, the equivalent of the 9336PQ.

— Mitch Wagner, Circle me on Google+ Follow me on TwitterVisit my LinkedIn profileFollow me on Facebook, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading. Got a tip about SDN or NFV? Send it to wagner@lightreading.com.


Want to learn more about SDN and the transport network? Check out the agenda for Light Reading's Big Telecom Event (BTE), which will take place on June 17 and 18 at the Sheraton Chicago Hotel and Towers. The event combines the educational power of interactive conference sessions devised and hosted by Heavy Reading's experienced industry analysts with multi-vendor interoperability and proof-of-concept networking and application showcases. For more on the event, the topics, and the stellar service provider speaker lineup, see Telecommunication Luminaries to Discuss the Hottest Industry Trends at Light Reading's Big Telecom Event in June.


(4)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/20/2014 | 1:28:42 PM
Cisco Integerates Virtual, Physical Networks
@Mitch, Interesting!  I think IBM and HP are a bigger threat!  They are each moving forward in forming more ecosystems that will pose a challenge to Cisco.
Mitch Wagner
50%
50%
Mitch Wagner,
User Rank: Lightning
5/20/2014 | 12:03:38 PM
Re: Cisco Integrates Virtual, Physical Networks
Here at CiscoLive, enemies #1 & #2 seem to be IBM and HP rather than VMware.
sam masud
50%
50%
sam masud,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/16/2014 | 4:13:26 PM
Disclosure, disclosure
Mitch,

I am sure Cisco is head-over-heels in love with VMware, but have they named names of any ACI customers? Or maybe they did, but I missed it--so much going on, phew...

 
DHagar
50%
50%
DHagar,
User Rank: Light Sabre
5/16/2014 | 3:56:04 PM
Cisco Integrates Virtual, Physical Networks
Mitch, this sounds like a very smart strategy that positions Cisco very well.  I believe that the companies that establish the platforms, and then provide a variety of network connection capabilities, as they are doing, will become the preferred networks.  It makes sense to the customer and makes their systems more seamless.

But I do believe that their condescension with VMWare will not mask their competitive drive to take business away (as opposed to crushing them), but with the same affect.

Sounds like Cisco is on a winning proposition.
Flash Poll
From The Founder
It's clear to me that the communications industry is divided into two types of people, and only one is living in the real world.
LRTV Documentaries
Paul Bunyan's Giant Gigabit Plans

12|22|14   |   03:26   |   (0) comments


Gary Johnson, the CEO and GM of Minnesota rural operator Paul Bunyan Communications, discusses the company's 5,000-square-mile gigabit network rollout.
LRTV Interviews
CenturyLink: Building the Case for NFV

12|19|14   |   02:14   |   (0) comments


At the 2020 Vision Executive Summit, James Feger, VP, Network Strategy & Development at CenturyLink, talks about how the US operator is approaching virtual network functions from an operational and business case perspective.
LRTV Interviews
Liberty Global Sees Business Goldmine

12|18|14   |     |   (0) comments


Steen Sorensen, VP of business services for Liberty Global, explains where the giant international MSO sees growth potential.
LRTV Documentaries
EE: The Road to 5G

12|16|14   |   16:02   |   (1) comment


Andy Sutton, the principal network architect at UK mobile operator EE, explains how his company is using Wembley stadium as a wireless test bed and how that's helping EE to plan the evolution to 5G.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Highlights of Huawei's NFV Open Cloud Forum 2014

12|16|14   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei hosted its inaugural NFV Open Cloud Forum during the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014 in Düsseldorf, Germany. The Forum brought together technology thought leaders, senior executives and telecom professionals from global carriers, industry associations, as well as other partner companies in the ecosystem, to exchange views on and collectively explore how ...
LRTV Custom TV
Realizing Operators' Digital Vision

12|16|14   |   5:23   |   (0) comments


Leveraging technology is fundamental to digital transformation but understanding customers and serving them really well is at the heart of digital businesses. TM Forum lists the following as the strategic pillars of the digital business: business agility and rapid innovation, operational agility and effectiveness, IT and data centricity, plus customer centricity. ...
LRTV Documentaries
US Cellular Injects Analytics Into LTE

12|16|14   |   2:57   |   (1) comment


US Cellular's Mario Vela explains how the operator uses analytics for network planning and what comes next as the carrier looks to eke more value out of its metrics.
LRTV Interviews
How Cox Biz Plans to Keep Growing

12|15|14   |     |   (2) comments


Steve Rowley, SVP of Cox Business, details how the third-biggest US MSO intends to boost its revenues to $2 billion and beyond over the rest of the decade
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Interview With Bill Zhang, Director of SoftCOM Product Management, Huawei

12|15|14   |   2:50   |   (0) comments


Bill Zhang elaborated on Huawei's open philosophy in NFV solution development and network architecture design at the SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Event Highlights: Huawei at SDN & OpenFlow World Congress 2014

12|15|14   |   3:43   |   (0) comments


Huawei joined the 2014 SDN & OpenFlow Congress as one of the key sponsors and contributors. At the event, Huawei reinforced the openness and flexibility of its network infrastructure strategies, and provided updates on its SDN and NVF innovations. Through participations at the exhibitions, forums and speeches, Huawei encouraged the industry to "think bigger and ...
LRTV Interviews
How Cable Biz Services Hit $10B Mark

12|12|14   |     |   (1) comment


Cable operators reached $10 billion in annual business services revenues by delving deeper into their vertical markets and expanding beyond the smallest firms.
LRTV Documentaries
Mediacom Aims to Test Connected Tractors

12|11|14   |   05:07   |   (3) comments


Cable business service provider is taking its services to the 'agribusiness' sector in partnership with farm equipment specialist John Deere and is getting involved in Gigabit Cities developments.
Upcoming Live Events
February 10, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
March 17, 2015, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 14, 2015, The Westin Times Square, New York City, NY
May 6, 2015, McCormick Convention Center, Chicago, IL
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
Hot Topics
T-Mobile, BlackBerry Flirt With Reuniting
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/17/2014
1-Gig: Coming to a Small Town Near You
Jason Meyers, Senior Editor, Gigabit Cities/IoT, 12/17/2014
Comcast Launches 4K Streaming Service
Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, 12/18/2014
US Carriers, You're Going to Cuba!
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 12/18/2014
T-Mobile Lights Up 27 Wideband LTE Cities
Sarah Reedy, Senior Editor, 12/15/2014
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive