Cisco and VMware demo datacentre integration

Collaboration will result in better performance, the companies say

Cisco Systems has expanded its Data Center 3.0 vision by announcing the integration of its VFrame DC datacentre virtualisation appliance with VMware’s Virtual Infrastructure.

Data Center 3.0 is Cisco’s next-generation datacentre virtualisation strategy, which was announced in July. It is designed to help customers better utilise datacentre resources, improve business continuance, optimise application performance and enhance data security through real-time, dynamic orchestration of infrastructure services from shared pools of virtualised 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 computing, 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, shortly before VMware went public.

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, according to Cisco. Customers will benefit from increased IT agility and flexibility, faster coordinated provisioning of storage and network resources, and improved business continuance, the company says.

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.

Through the joint integration efforts, VFrame DC dynamically loads VMware ESX Server onto bare-metal computer hardware, configures the physical server I/O to utilise Cisco datacentre 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.

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