Cisco Network Virtualization is designed to help companies and organizations adopting network virtualization (NV) in an effort to take advantage of the flexibility offered by software-based computing and storage resource. With software-defined networking (SDN) and network functions virtualization (NFV) promoting decoupling of the control and forwarding planes, more emphasis has been put on NV as of late.
How Does Cisco Network Virtualization Work?
Cisco network virtualization solutions address three important areas of NV:
- Access Control: Offers secure, customized access to protect the Enterprise LAN from external threats
- Path Isolation: Maps validated users or devices to the correct secure set of available resources
- Services Edge: Allows access to services for legitimate users and devices by utilizing centralized policy enforcement to minimize CapEx and OpEx, share service modules across the network, and quickly deploy services
Cisco’s Nexus 1000V Series Switch has two major components that add to its NV strategy. The first is the virtual Ethernet module (VEM), which runs inside the hypervisor, and the second is the external virtual supervisor module (VSM), which manages the VEMs. The VSM is constantly communicating with the virtualization management center and ensures that any configuration changes are always in sync between the network and the virtual parts of the data center.
Designed to use the Cisco NX-OS software, Cisco Nexus 1000V Series Switches were developed in close collaboration with VMware, and thus are compatible with VMware vSphere, vCenter, ESX, and ESXi, along with several other vSphere components. Cisco says its network virtualization also depends on VXLAN for additional scalability for workload mobility and large-scale multi-tenancy, allowing for the ability to create bare metal workloads and physical services through VXLAN-VLAN functionality.
For detailed SDN Controller Vendor and Open Source SDN Controller comparisons, checkout the 2016 Future of Network Virtualization and SDN Controllers Report also available as PDF Download
Cisco Network Virtualization Benefits:
The Cisco Nexus 1000V Series can manage your virtual machine connectivity, and is said to offer the following advantages:
- Make operations simpler and limit total cost of operation (TCO) by extending the capabilities of a proven infrastructure
- Deliver advanced applications and services for physical, virtual, and cloud environments alongside a fully integrated architecture
- Enable the network to become more agile and application-centric