Q. What is Cisco announcing at Microsoft Build 2011?
A. Cisco is announcing new capabilities in our Cisco Nexus® 1000V Series Switches and Cisco® Data Center Virtual Machine Fabric Extender (VM-FEX) product offerings for Microsoft Windows Server 8 environments.
• The Cisco Nexus 1000V Series is a distributed virtual switching platform that provides virtualization-aware networking features and brings a transparent operation model to physical and virtual environments. With the Cisco Nexus 1000V Series, network administrators can rely on the same Cisco NX-OS Software command-line interface (CLI) and feature set, advanced switching and security features, and integrated network services for their virtual networks.
• Cisco Data Center VM-FEX collapses virtual and physical networking into a single infrastructure. With Cisco Data Center VM-FEX, network administrators can provision, configure, manage, monitor, and diagnose virtual machine network traffic and bare-metal network traffic within one unified infrastructure.
Q. What are the two new items being announced that support Microsoft Windows Server 8?
A. Cisco is announcing that it is developing a full portfolio of virtual networking products for Microsoft Windows Server 8 Hyper-V environments:
• Cisco Nexus 1000V product portfolio (includes the following products):
– Cisco Nexus 1000V Switch
– Cisco Nexus 1010 Virtual Services Appliance
– Cisco Virtual Security Gateway (VSG) ) on Nexus 1010
– Cisco Network Analysis Module NAM on Cisco Nexus 1010
• Cisco Data Center VM-FEX
– Cisco Data Center VM-FEX technology is included with the Cisco Unified Computing System™ (Cisco UCS™)
Q. Why are these Cisco announcements important to customers?
A. Customers and service providers with Microsoft-based data centers are asking Cisco to make these capabilities available for the Microsoft Windows platform. With these capabilities, customers can make use of the full portfolio of Cisco Virtual Networking technologies for their Hyper-V deployments. These technologies offer multiple advantages to customers:
• Virtualization-aware networking features
• Simplified operations through tight integration with Hyper-V management tools
• Consistent operation model for both physical and virtual networks
Q. Why are these two new solutions important for Cisco's partners?
A. Cisco global system integrators and channel partners will have more opportunities now to sell a broader selection of hosted services and private cloud solutions to Microsoft-centric enterprises and hosts. We believe that the next version of Microsoft's server operating system, Windows Server 8 with Hyper-V, will bring about wider adoption for server virtualization and can open up many new opportunities for our system integrators and channel partners in this space.
Q. Does this announcement change Cisco's relationship with Microsoft?
A. This announcement demonstrates that the two companies have worked and will continue to work cooperatively in the enterprise data center and virtualization spaces. The two companies have a longstanding strategic alignment with complementary solutions. Cisco research engineers and Microsoft development engineers continue to work together to enhance our joint customers' experiences with Microsoft and Cisco technologies.
Q. Will the solutions be available worldwide?
A. Yes. Cisco will roll out the Cisco Nexus 1000V Series and Cisco Data Center VM-FEX offerings through global system integrator partners and channel partners operating in all regions of the world.
Q. When will the solutions be available?
A. Cisco is working closely with Microsoft to time the release of the Cisco Nexus 1000V Series Switches and Cisco Data Center VM-FEX for Windows Server 8 when Microsoft makes this version available to customers. This announcement will occur sometime in 2012.
Q. Is Cisco developing a Cisco Nexus 1000 V and Cisco Data Center VM-FEX capability for the current versions of Windows Server 2008 and Hyper-V?
A. No. Cisco and Microsoft have decided to focus on the next version of Microsoft Windows Server, which will be released in 2012.
Q. What professional services are available to help customers plan, build, and run the new solutions?
A. Cisco offers professional and technical services to help customers design and implement virtualized data centers and private/public? cloud solutions. These services can be delivered directly by Cisco Advanced Services or through many of Cisco's channel partners.
Cisco's award-winning global technical support services help increase uptime, quickly resolve problems, and optimize solution performance.
Q. Are any other technologies and reference architectures available from Cisco for Microsoft applications and technologies?
A. Yes. Cisco has tested and validated other Microsoft applications, such as Microsoft Exchange and SharePoint, and critical Windows Server technologies, such as Hyper-V. Cisco refers to these architectures as Cisco Validated Designs.