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Monthly Archives: September 2008

More buzz around vNetwork and Cisco Nexus 1000V

The customer reaction to our networking announcements at VMworld has been fabulous. People really seemed to understand and see the relevance of our push toward greater manageability of the virtual network through our vNetwork Distributed Switch and how we are further embracing the "network team" and traditional network administration policies and boundaries through third party virtual switch support with the Cisco Nexus 1000V.

Last week I was guest on the VMware Communities Roundtable podcast where we discussed VDS and the Cisco Nexus 1000V. You can download the mp3 podcast here or stream/listen to it here (51 minutes).

Cisco, of course, has posted a great deal of information on the Nexus 1000V on their datacenter site. Be sure to clisk on the video where Doug Gourlay from Cisco interviews me in the Cisco studios about the new features. :-)

vNetwork Distributed Switch – a demo to explain it all

There is nothing like hands on or a demo to get the hang of a new concept or new feature. For those of you who didn’t get some hands on time at VMworld with our vNetwork Distributed Switch (VDS), there is a great flash demo showing the configuration process of DVS.

While you are there, take a look at the newly posted information on our direction toward the "Virtual Datacenter OS" that will transform the data centers into an cloud of computing capacity.

And, if you are in the mood for a few more instructional videos on new features, take a look at the flash demos of Storage VMotion, Fault Tolerance, and Virtual Center.

September 16: A big day for virtual networking

Yesterday was a huge day for virtualization and virtual networking. Jacob Jensen, accompanied by Paul Fazzone from Cisco, started the day with a tech preview to

VDS is a major step forward in easing the administration burden of large virtual networks. VDS enables the configuration of "data center" level distributed virtual switches with corresponding distributed virtual port groups. The actual switching is still done locally on the individual vswitches, but the administration and control plane function is raised up into virtual center (VC). Now, when VMs migrate using VMotion, the actual port state will also migrate from vswitch to vswitch, maintaining consistency for statistics, security functions and other features.

The Cisco Nexus 1000V takes this a step further. A Virtual Supervisor Module (VSM) on a VM or separate appliance administers a number of Virtual Ethernet Modules (VEMs) that replace the vswitches on the ESX hosts. It resembles a modular switch with a supervisor (VSM) and linecards (VEMs). So what does this mean? It means a full cisco feature set with ACLs, QoS, TrustSec, Netflow v9, etc and of course a Cisco command line interface. To a network admin, it means he or she can administer and monitor the network to individual VMs in the same way and with the same control as was possible to physical servers before virtualization. This is a big deal and should be of particular interest to enterprises with distinct network and server/VI administration teams.

Anyway, back to the day’s activities …

Jacob’s session was followed by a Platinum Keynote from Ed Bugnion (CTO for Cisco’s Server Access & Virtualization BU and co-founder of VMware). Ed’s session was enormous with standing room only. Ed’s mention of the two year partnership between Cisco and VMware and the announcement of the Nexus1000V drew thunderous applause. It was great validation that this was the right thing to do.

I’ve quickly scoured a few blogs for mention of yesterday’s announcements. Here are just a few from Colin McNamara, Data Center Knowledge, and Light Reading. And, of course, Omar Sultan’s take on yesterday from a cisco perspective.

Anyway, what do you think? How will these technologies affect your environment? I welcome your comments.


My VMworld networking session hitlist

VMworld is the biggest event on our calendar and it will not be short of exciting announcements in the world of virtualization and networking. If you’re interested in networking and are going to VMworld here’s my hitlist of "must attend" sessions (in chronological order):

  1. Tuesday, Sep 16, 9:30am – TA2280 – Tech Preview: Virtual Switching Extensibility with VMware Infrastructure (Jacob Jensen, VMware & Paul Fazzone, Cisco) – Delfino 4102
  2. Tuesday Sep 16, 11:00am – Cisco Keynote: Designing the next generation Data Center – Cisco and VMware (Ed Bugnion, VP/CTO, Cisco) –
  3. Wednesday, Sep 17, 11:30am – TA3720 – Designing Data Centers with VM level Granularity (Paul Fazzone & Omar Sultan, Cisco) – Zeno 4609
  4. Wednesday, Sep 17, 3:00pm – TA2275 – Tech Preview:  VMware Infrastructure Virtual Networking – Future Directions (Andrew Lambeth, VMware) – Delfino 4005

If you want to get an understanding of the concepts and best practices of virtual networking then attend my session (TA2441) on Thursday at 11:00am in Titan 2203 or the repeat at 3:30pm in Marcello 4405. Shameless plug.

One of our senior engineers, Srinivas Neginhal, is holding an advanced network configuration and troubleshooting session on Thursday Sep 18 at 2:00pm in Zeno 4708.

Note that Ed Bugnion, the Cisco keynote speaker (#2 in the list above), is a co-founder of VMware and ex-CTO. He is now the CTO of Cisco’s Server Access and Virtualization BU. Ed is a great speaker and uniquely positioned to speak about the converging topics of networking and virtualization.

As a Platinum Sponsor of VMworld, some of my friends at Cisco are posting a few blog entries in anticipation of next week.   

Hope you all enjoy the conference! Should be fun.