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Cisco, VMware demo data center integration

By , Network World
September 12, 2007 02:05 PM ET

Network World - Cisco this week expanded its Data Center 3.0 vision by announcing the integration of its VFrame Data Center virtualization appliance with VMware Virtual Infrastructure.

Data Center 3.0 is Cisco’s next-generation data center virtualization strategy announced in July. It is designed to help customers better utilize data center resources, improve business continuance, optimize application performance and enhance data security through real-time, dynamic orchestration of infrastructure services from shared pools of virtualized server, storage and network resources.

VFrame DC is a key product in the Data Center 3.0 strategy. VFrame DC is an appliance designed to provision compute, networking and storage resources together as virtual services through a policy engine that automates resource changes in response to infrastructure outages and performance alterations.

Cisco acquired a 1.6% stake in VMware in July for $150 million. VMware went public in mid-August.

Integration of VFrame DC with VMware Virtual Infrastructure offers customers enhanced IT automation capabilities, including added VMware ESX Server capacity on demand, as well as orchestrated configuration of network services, Cisco says. Customers will benefit from increased IT agility and flexibility, faster coordinated provisioning of storage and network resources, and improved business continuance, the company says.

Cisco began the technical collaboration with VMware based on customer requests for tighter integration with Cisco Catalyst and MDS switches to scale VMware Infrastructure deployments.

VFrame DC adds “service orchestration,” the ability to provision all network services for Internet-facing applications running on VMware Infrastructure, including firewalls, content load balancing, switch and server trunks, and access control lists, from a single GUI-based service template, Cisco says.

This integration enables network, storage, and security IT groups to collaborate using a common interface for dramatic provisioning, the company says.

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 also configures the storage-area network back-end, including the SAN fabrics and the shared logical unit numbers, based on design templates that are predefined by the storage and network staffs.

Automating the addition of new VMware ESX Server instances based on demand, capacity, facilities and high-availability policies can bring up servers in minutes, Cisco says, with all of the virtual networking services configured.

Cisco and VMware will be demonstrating product integration at this week’s VMworld exhibition in San Francisco.

Read more about data center in Network World's Data Center section.

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