Cisco and VMware expand their partnership at VMworld 2011

Cisco and VMware this week expanded their 4+ year partnership by unveiling network virtualisation extensions designed to expand the mobility range of virtual machines across multiple data centers and cloud environments.

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Cisco and VMware this week expanded their 4+ year partnership by unveiling network virtualisation extensions designed to expand the mobility range of virtual machines across multiple data centers and cloud environments.

At VMworld 2011, the companies also announced enhancements to several desktop virtualisation and cloud infrastructure products designed to boost scalability, security and performance.

The new network virtualisation enhancement, called Virtual Extensible Local Area Network, or VXLAN, is intended to allow enterprises to access compute and storage capacity wherever it resides. It is also intended to scale across millions of logical networks required to run applications in the cloud, Cisco says.

VXLAN is a network encapsulation technique with segment identifiers for creating millions of logical networks and for enabling workloads to move across data centers and cloud infrastructures. The networking segments will support multitenant cloud infrastructures that require segmentation for security and compliance, Cisco says.

VXLAN supports applications running in hybrid public/private clouds, and has been submitted for standardisation at IETF, Cisco says. A draft of the VXLAN specification is on the IETF website.

The VXLAN technology will be supported in VMware vSphere 5, VMware vCloud Director 1.5 and Cisco's Nexus 1000V virtual switch to deliver, according to Cisco, an "on-demand" cloud infrastructure. VXLAN technology in Cisco's Nexus 1000V virtual switch will be available for beta in September.

In desktop virtualisation, Cisco and VMware extended Cisco's Virtualisation Experience Infrastructure (VXI), announced last November, to support VMware View 5. Previously, it supported VMware View 4.5.

The companies also integrated VMware View and other VMware products with Cisco's collaboration applications. The goal here is to offer a "collaborative workspace" that will include call control and increased scalability with VMware View 5, VMware vSphere 5, Cisco Unified Communications and the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS).

VMware View 5 on Cisco's Cius and Virtualization Experience Clients (VXC) 2100 and 2200 endpoints is intended to provide enterprises with secure, real-time access to business applications and content without compromising the collaborative user experience, Cisco says. And VMware View with Cisco's WebEx Connect 7 is designed to enable "click-to-call" communication between users running WebEx Connect inside VMware View virtual desktops.

Cisco said it also plans to integrate its Virtual ASA firewall with VMware vCloud Director to address security in multitenant cloud infrastructures. The companies also integrated Cisco's UCS 2.0 and UCS Manager with VMware vSphere 5 to ease and help automate deployment of vSphere nodes. This will accelerate IT service delivery and potentially reduce errors by enforcing server and network configuration policies with VMware vSphere images, Cisco says.

Integrated Cisco and VMware cloud infrastructure and desktop virtualisation products are available now. VMware View 5 is expected to be generally available later this quarter.

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