News Release

Cisco Accelerates Innovation in Data Center Virtualization with Microsoft

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Sept. 20, 2011 – Today Cisco announced it
Sep 20, 2011

SAN JOSE, Calif. – Sept. 20, 2011 – Today Cisco announced it is collaborating with Microsoft to deliver data center virtualization solutions designed to provide improved scalability and operational control of Microsoft Windows Server "8" virtual environments.  The Cisco Nexus® 1000V distributed virtual switch and the Cisco Unified Computing System™ with Virtual Machine Fabric Extender (VM-FEX) capabilities will work with the Windows Server Hyper-V hypervisor to provide customers with advanced Cisco networking features that are constant across both virtual and physical networks while supporting customers' existing IT management processes.

Key Highlights:

Cisco Nexus 1000V Virtual Switch Offers Enhanced Visibility, Control and Operational Flexibility for Hyper-V Environments:

  • The Cisco Nexus 1000V distributed virtual switch adds the dynamic provisioning and management capabilities of Cisco NX-OS Software to Windows Server Hyper-V to simplify the operations of virtual networking infrastructures as extensions of physical networks. It also provides full VM-level visibility, security controls in a virtualized environment that are consistent with their Cisco physical network.
  • Cisco's policy enforcement, automated provisioning and diagnostics features are available through Cisco Nexus 1000V, and will help IT administrators to rapidly deploy virtual workloads in Windows Server Hyper-V environments and scale to very large data centers.
  • By working with Microsoft System Center Virtual Machine Manager (VMM) management tools, the Cisco Nexus 1000V will help network, virtualization and server administrators gain efficiency in collaboratively managing multi-tenant and mobile virtual environments.  It also helps them to obtain accurate, real-time data for troubleshooting of virtual environments.
  • Through integration with Cisco's security software (Virtual Security Gateway and Virtual ASA), application optimization software (Virtual Wide Area Application Services) and network monitoring software (Network Analysis Module), the Nexus 1000V provides granular virtual-machine-level security and application acceleration for multi-tenant environments, as well as actionable VM-to-VM activity monitoring and reporting.

Cisco Unified Computing System VM-FEX Offers Operational Simplicity and Performance in Virtualized Environments:

  • The Cisco UCS™ with VM-FEX capabilities, helps IT administrators to provision, configure, manage, monitor, and diagnose virtual machine network traffic from within one unified infrastructure that manages compute, network and virtualization resources.
  • VM-FEX also makes use of the Microsoft's SR-IOV capabilities in Windows Server 8 Hyper-V to provide near "bare metal" virtual machine I/O performance.
  • By collapsing the physical and virtual networking layers into one virtual infrastructure, VM-FEX reduces the number of management points that the network administrator has to monitor, and offers the same consistent feature-set for both virtual and physical infrastructures.  This also improves traffic engineering, visibility and troubleshooting capability for VM traffic, so IT administrators can architect a holistic virtual and physical network infrastructure.
  • Application deployments will be faster with the automation of virtual machine creation through policy-based network configurations that are supported by both companies' virtualization management tools.

Supporting Quotes

"Cisco Unified Computing System scalability and memory density make it an ideal system for customers as they explore the many new virtualization features of Windows Server 8 and Hyper-V," said Jackie Ross, vice president of Server, Access, and Virtualization Technology Group for Cisco.  "Together, Nexus 1000V and VM-FEX with Windows Server Hyper-V will provide the advanced controls and consistency with simplified management to help accelerate customers' journey to the cloud."
"Today's announcement of the Cisco Nexus 1000V and VM-FEX  working together with Microsoft Hyper-V aligns with our strategy of delivering advanced components so that customers can deploy an end-to-end virtualized data center and simplify how they deliver and manage IT services to their clients," Mike Schutz, senior director of Windows Server and Virtualization for Microsoft.


The Cisco Nexus 1000V and VM-FEX solutions for Hyper-V will be available when Windows 8 Server is released to the market.


About Cisco          

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