As VMware NSX gains broader adoption, we have heard many customer requests for guidance to help them run NSX on top of the latest Cisco infrastructure, namely Cisco UCS and Nexus 9000 series switches.

With customers choosing the benefits of VMware NSX along with the Software Defined Data Center (SDDC), the underlying hardware (Ethernet fabric, x86 compute, etc) provides reliable, resilient capacity, but the configuration, state and advanced features move to faster, more flexible software. The requests were for deploying NSX with Cisco infrastructure running in a standard IP-based fabric with the Nexus 9000’s in standalone mode (NX-OS Mode), as opposed to the proprietary ACI Mode. As with any IP fabric, VMware NSX works great with Nexus 9000 as the underlay. The combination of VMware NSX and Nexus 9000 in standalone mode enables the benefits customers have chosen to embrace with the SDDC.

We had previously put out a design guide on deploying VMware NSX with Cisco UCS and Nexus 7000 to help deploy NSX in current environments. Today we are putting out a new reference design for deploying VMware NSX with Cisco UCS and Nexus 9000 infrastructure, providing an easy path to the SDDC while incorporating the latest Cisco hardware.

The reference architecture along with the VMware NSX for vSphere Network Virtualization Design Guide provides guidance for network virtualization architects interested in deploying VMware NSX for vSphere for network virtualization with Cisco UCS blade servers and Cisco Nexus 9000 Series switches. It discusses the fundamental building blocks of NSX with VMware ESXi, recommended configurations with Cisco UCS and connectivity of Cisco UCS to Nexus 9000 switches.

VMware NSX on Nexus 9000

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VMware sees these requests as a clear indication that customers have voted clearly for the software-defined data center. Along the way, we have had many customers adopt and deploy NSX to virtualize their networks, such as Columbia Sportswear, WestJet, IlliniCloud, Synergent, JOIN Experience, TradeStation, USDA, NTT communications, PayPal, eBay, McKesson, Medtronic…I think you get the picture.

And whether the underlying network is old Cisco, new Cisco, or no Cisco, we will continue to help with valuable resources such as this to help customers succeed.