Product Announcements

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.