Cisco Announces 'DataCenter Fabric'

Cisco introduced a wave of data product announcements that covers a wide spectrum of needs within data center and cloud environments. New products include Cisco Nexus 6000 Series Switches, a high-density 40 Gigabit Layer2/Layer 3 fixed switch, and Cisco Nexus 1000V InterCloud for connecting private enterprise and service provider clouds. The vendor also says it is shipping a network- programmable controller as part of the expanded Cisco Open Network Environment (ONE) portfolio.

These products are part of Cisco's UnifiedDataCenter strategy, as well as its Cisco ONE strategy, intended to address emerging trends around open networking, programmability and software defined networking (SDN).

The Cisco Nexus 6000, a 96-port, line rate 40-gigabit fixed form factor switch with Ethernet and Fiber Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) and 1-microsecond latency across all ports. Cisco also added services modules to its Nexus 7000 Series, and 40-gigabit uplink extensions to its Nexus 5000 and 2000 product lines. With these extensions, Cisco’s Unified Fabric portfolio now delivers a 40-gigabit solution that provides design flexibility for virtual and cloud deployments of converged networks with 10G and 40G FCoE support, while enabling greater visibility in the network.

The Nexus 6000 Series brings 10GE/40GE density in a fixed form factor, running Cisco NX-OS with an integrated layer 2 and 3 feature set. The two Nexus 6000 models are the Nexus 6004, a high density switch with up to 96 ports of line rate 40GE (384 ports of line rate 10GE) in a 4 RU (rack unit) form factor; and the Nexus 6001, which offers line rate 48 ports of GE/10GE fixed ports with 4 ports of 40GE (or 16 ports of 10GE) uplinks in 1 RU form factor.

The Cisco Nexus 7000 Series Network Analysis Module (NAM), Cisco’s flagship data center switch, now includes a services blade. The NAM brings application awareness and performance analytics to the Cisco Nexus 7000, empowering IT with actionable visibility into the network, improving application performance, optimizing network resources and helping to more effectively manage services delivery in cloud and virtualized deployments.

Cisco Nexus 2248PQ fabric extender and the Nexus 5500 Series switch 40 gigabit Ethernet uplink capabilities provide investment protection and choices for an end-to-end 40GE solution. The new Nexus 5500 40GE module provides customer with the option of deploying 40GE uplinks in their existing Nexus 5500 to reduce over-subscription, while the new Nexus 2248PQ switch provides a 10GE top-of-rack fabric extender with 40GE uplinks.

Data Security

Security concerns regarding provider clouds, deployment complexity and the inability to easily manage both enterprise and provider clouds workloads through a single interface, have held back many businesses from taking advantage of cloud resources. Cisco solved this hybrid cloud challenge by developing the Nexus 1000V distributed virtual switch that allows enterprise workloads to be placed in service provider clouds, through a single point of management with a high degree of security.

Hybrid Cloud Deployments

The Nexus 1000V InterCloud orchestrates hybrid cloud environments by extending corporate enterprise environments into the provider cloud with simplicity and industry-leading security. The Nexus 1000V InterCloud preserves existing networking capabilities and L4-7 services while bringing manageability of the enterprise into the provider cloud to create a consistent, reliable, predictable environment for physical, virtual and cloud workloads, freeing IT management to run and move applications without compromise. The solution provides choice of provider clouds and operates in a hypervisor-agnostic manner.

Single Policy Point for Network Services

The Cisco Virtual Network Management Center (VNMC) InterCloud offers new capabilities including a single policy point for network services across both enterprise and provider domains; the ability to manage virtual machine lifecycle across multiple hypervisors in hybrid clouds; and the ability to manage multiple provider clouds via APIs.

A new Cisco ONE Software Controller supports an extensible architecture; multiprotocol interfaces with One Platform Kit (onePK) and OpenFlow; consistent management, troubleshooting and security features; and built-in applications that include network slicing functionality for enabling logical partitioning of network resources. The ONE Controller will interact with Cisco networking applications such as Custom Forwarding and Network Tapping.

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