News Release

Cisco Continues to Deliver on Data Center 3.0 Vision by Integrating VFrame Data Center with VMware Infrastructure

Cisco VFrame Data Center Virtualization Solution Integrates with VMware Infrastructure to Improve IT Agility and Business Continuance
Sep 12, 2007

VMworld - SAN FRANCISCO, Calif., September 12, 2007 - Cisco® today announced the integration of Cisco VFrame Data Center with VMware Virtual Infrastructure, a key solution for the Cisco vision of next generation data centers, called Data Center 3.0. The solutions and services that support Cisco Data Center 3.0 are designed to help customers better utilize their data center resources, deploy more robust business continuance, and enhance data security. Cisco's integration with VMware Infrastructure 3 offers customers enhanced IT automation capabilities, including added VMware ESX Server capacity on demand, as well as orchestrated configuration of network services. Customers will benefit from increased IT agility and flexibility, faster coordinated provisioning of storage and network resources, and improved business continuance.

"Cisco and VMware share a joint vision for driving and supporting a service-oriented approach for the data center," said Krish Ramakrishnan, vice president and general manager, Server Virtualization Business Unit, Cisco. "Together our efforts support the IT collaboration that will be required across organizations to streamline operations and take advantage of the data center technology advancements to come."

Cisco began the technical collaboration with VMware as a result of customer feedback requesting a tighter integration with Cisco Catalyst® and MDS technologies to support the scaling of their VMware Infrastructure deployments. By adding service orchestration, Cisco VFrame DC can provision all the network services for Internet-facing applications running on VMware Infrastructure, including firewalls, content load balancing, switch and server trunks, and access control lists; all from a single GUI-based service template. This integration enables network, storage, and security IT groups to collaborate using a common design interface for dramatic improvements in real-time provisioning agility.

"VMware customers are used to being able to rapidly provision and configure virtual infrastructure," said Brian Byun, vice president of global partners and solutions, VMware. "Now, with Cisco's integration of VFrame DC, customers can also get similar benefits for their physical infrastructure. VFrame DC enables coordinated provisioning of physical resources (network, storage and server) to complement their virtualized infrastructure."

Through the joint integration efforts, VFrame Data Center dynamically loads VMware ESX Server onto bare-metal computer hardware, configures the physical server I/O to utilize Cisco data center switches, and offers a two way policy API with VMware VirtualCenter to coordinate the configuration. VFrame DC can load VMware ESX Server onto physical hardware from a storage area network (SAN) in under 10 minutes. VFrame DC automatically configures the SAN back-end, including the SAN fabrics and the shared LUNS, based on design templates that are predefined by the storage and networking teams. Automating the addition of new VMware ESX Server instances based on demand, capacity, facilities, and high-availability policies enhances IT agility because servers can be brought up in minutes, automatically, with all of the virtual networking services configured.

"As customers increasingly leverage the live migration capabilities in their virtualization software, they will need to dynamically reconfigure the network as VMs move from one host to another," said Lucinda Borovick, Director of Data Center Networks, IDC. "Dynamic reconfiguration such as that provided by Cisco VFrame DC will help close the security holes associated with live migration today and sets up a strong foundation for the next generation data center."

"Cisco and VMware are clearly viewing the data center as a set of virtualized resources all orchestrated together," said Vince Conroy, Chief Technology Officer, FusionStorm. "Cisco VFrame Data Center is one of the first products to be released that begins coupling these together, including the integration of VI3 servers, with virtualized networking services. We are very interested in working with customers to help integrate these two very exciting products together."

In booth #429 Cisco will showcase the results of its collaborative efforts with VMware in a series of demonstrations.

  • Cisco VFrame DC and VMware VirtualCenter - Automating Virtual Infrastructure Provisioning
    Cisco will demonstrate access provisioning for storage area networks (SANs) and local area networks (LANs) for VMware ESX Server environments, as well as automated failover for physical servers hosting VMware ESX Server. The Cisco bi-directional VFrame DC API communicates with VMware VirtualCenter's VI API to orchestrate the provisioning of SAN and LAN networking requirements defined in service templates. This new version of VFrame DC being demonstrated will be available for customer evaluations later this year, with general availability in early 2008.
  • N Port ID Virtualization (NPIV) and Cisco SAN Device Virtualization (SDV)
    NPIV allows a single F-port to communicate with multiple virtual host bus adapters (HBAs), allowing logical unit number (LUN) assignment, zoning, and QoS to be managed similar to separate physical servers, while still maintaining the cost advantages of virtualized server technology. Cisco SDV creates virtual SAN devices to accelerate swap out or failover to a replacement disk array, and to minimize downtime when replacing host bus adapters or when re-hosting an application on a different server.
  • Virtual Network Services in VMware Environments
    Service-oriented provisioning of network resources, such as firewalls and content load balancing, enables centralized network resource consolidation to complement server consolidation and provide compelling cost reduction across the data center.

Cisco VFrame DC

VFrame DC is designed to reduce application deployment times, improve overall resource utilization, and offer greater business agility. With VFrame DC, customers can link their compute, networking and storage infrastructures together as a set of virtualized services. This services approach provides a simple yet powerful way to quickly view all the services configured at the application level to improve troubleshooting and change management. VFrame DC has four modular components: design, discovery, deploy, and operations, which are integrated together with a robust security interface that allows controlled access by multiple organizations. Information on Cisco VFrame DC can be found at:

Data Center 3.0

The Cisco vision for Data Center 3.0 entails the real-time, dynamic orchestration of infrastructure services from shared pools of virtualized server, storage and network resources, while optimizing application service levels, efficiency and collaboration. Cisco and its partners are helping organizations to design and build virtualized, self-defending and efficient data center infrastructure for delivering superior application performance and user experience.