& cplSiteName &

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        ADD A COMMENT
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.
From The Founder
Cisco's Conrad Clemson, recently promoted to head up the company's Service Provider Apps & Platforms developments, talks to Light Reading's Founder and CEO Steve Saunders about how he's bringing cloud video, mobile and virtualization together to empower network operators.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
Charting the CSP's Future
Six different communications service providers join to debate their visions of the future CSP, following a landmark presentation from AT&T on its massive virtualization efforts and a look back on where the telecom industry has been and where it's going from two industry veterans.
LRTV Custom TV
4.5G Evolution: Peter Zhou on Advanced MIMO Technologies & 5G Business Prep

2|25|17   |     |   (0) comments


In the process of service transformation, operators need to catch three major opportunities and start deploying in 4.5G networks, such as video, household broadband access and digital transformation of vertical industries. 5G is coming. Operators don't need to wait for it to happen but should progressively deploy 4.5G networks by introducing 5G-oriented ...
LRTV Custom TV
What WTTX Can Deliver

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


Mohamed Madkour explains the benefits of WTTX while Dimitris Mavrakis discusses the challenges of delivering home broadband access.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei on Mobile Broadband

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


Mohamed Madkour shares his vision on MBB for the next three years.
LRTV Custom TV
Analysys Mason Talks About the Future of Digital Operations

2|23|17   |     |   (0) comments


The future of digital operations has three key aspects: 1. Highly automated operations for both service and network; 2. Highly converged BSS/OSS for business and resources; 3. Highly merged management and control for real-time cloud native operations.
LRTV Interviews
Software Trends in the Telecom Sector

2|23|17   |   03:40   |   (0) comments


Heavy Reading senior analyst James Crawshaw talks with Telecoms.com Editorial Director Scott Bicheno about trends and developments in the telecoms software sector and what to expect at MWC 2017.
LRTV Custom TV
Huawei's Pre-MWC Analyst Briefing 2017 Highlights

2|22|17   |     |   (0) comments


Huawei shares its vision for this year's MWC.
LRTV Interviews
MWC17: 5G, Cloud RAN & More

2|21|17   |   04:35   |   (0) comments


Ovum Senior Analyst Julian Bright talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about all things MWC, including Cloud RAN, Huawei's pitch to the industry and the road to 5G.
LRTV Interviews
MWC 2017's Key 2-Letter Terms

2|20|17   |   08:29   |   (1) comment


5G, AI, VR... these are just some of the two-letter terms that will dominate show-floor chat at MWC 2017 in Barcelona, according to these two blow-hards (a.k.a. Scott Bicheno of Telecoms.com and Light Reading's Ray Le Maistre). And then there's PB...
LRTV Interviews
Key Trends for Mobile Operators in Developing Markets

2|20|17   |   06:37   |   (0) comments


Ovum's Matthew Reed talks to Scott Bicheno from Telecoms.com about the challenges and opportunities facing mobile operators in the developing markets of Africa and the Middle East.
LRTV Documentaries
YouTube Takes on Facebook Live-Streaming

2|17|17   |     |   (0) comments


Popular 'YouTubers' will be the first to get the new service on their smartphones. You have been warned.
LRTV Custom TV
Open Source NFV/SDN Automation

2|17|17   |   05:54   |   (0) comments


AT&T ECOMP (Enhanced Control, Orchestration, Management and Policy) code is transitioning into the Linux Foundation for placement into open source. In this video, Carol Wilson provides an update on the maturation of open source ECOMP and meets with industry leaders from AT&T, Bell Canada, Orange, Linux Foundation and Amdocs to discuss what this means for the ...
LRTV Documentaries
Uber & NASA Collaborate on Flying Car Project

2|16|17   |     |   (0) comments


Is Uber for real? Well, it's hired NASA engineer Mark Moore to lead the project, and he wouldn't come cheap.
Upcoming Live Events
March 21-22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
March 22, 2017, The Curtis Hotel, Denver, CO
May 15-17, 2017, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
May 15, 2017, Austin Convention Center - Austin, TX
June 6, 2017, The Joule Hotel, Dallas, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
With the mobile ecosystem becoming increasingly vulnerable to security threats, AdaptiveMobile has laid out some of the key considerations for the wireless community.
Hot Topics
Uber's HR Nightmare: Company Investigates Sexual Harassment Claims
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 2/21/2017
Broadband Has a Problem on the Pole
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/21/2017
Verizon to Start Fixed 5G Customer Trials in April
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/22/2017
Cloud Rains on HPE Earnings
Mitch Wagner, Editor, Enterprise Cloud, 2/24/2017
Verizon Fixed 5G Tests to Top 3Gbit/s?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/23/2017
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders chats with Sportlogiq CEO Craig Buntin about sports data analysis.
Eyal Waldman, CEO of Mellanox Technologies, speaks to Steve Saunders, CEO of Light Reading, for an exclusive interview about the 100 GB cable challenge, cybersecurity and much more.
Animals with Phones
No One Likes This Click Here
Take a hint!
Live Digital Audio

Playing it safe can only get you so far. Sometimes the biggest bets have the biggest payouts, and that is true in your career as well. For this radio show, Caroline Chan, general manager of the 5G Infrastructure Division of the Network Platform Group at Intel, will share her own personal story of how she successfully took big bets to build a successful career, as well as offer advice on how you can do the same. We’ll cover everything from how to overcome fear and manage risk, how to be prepared for where technology is going in the future and how to structure your career in a way to ensure you keep progressing. Chan, a seasoned telecom veteran and effective risk taker herself, will also leave plenty of time to answer all your questions live on the air.