Cisco Systems has worked a deal with Microsoft to provide data center virtualization packages that will control Microsoft Windows Server 8 virtual environments on the Hyper-V hypervisor.
The virtualization of networking
functions is beginning to come up in more conversations involving IT managers,
network administrators, and their current or potential vendors.
Virtual networking is just as it
sounds. Ports, switches and routers are virtualized to work inside a hypervisor
with virtual machines in similar fashion to how physical ports, switches and
routers plug in to physical servers and storage arrays.
The two most common forms of virtual
networks are protocol-based virtual networks (such as VLANs, VPNs and VPLSs)
and virtual networks that are based on virtual devices (such as the networks
connecting virtual machines using the software noted above). Both forms can be
used inside the same system.
The Tier 1 networking providers are all
over this, and new companies are springing up around it. An example is Virsto
, a California startup that has virtualized
streams of data into storage to make the data movement process-which often
involves a large number of data chunks located in widely disparate locations-much
A little more explanation might be
required here. "The virtual port gets affiliated with a physical port when
the traffic comes out of a server and into the physical infrastructure,"
Prashant Gandhi, Cisco's senior director of product development for the Server
Access Group, told eWEEK
"That's when the physical binding
can occur. When a VM wants to talk to another VM on the same server, then it is
traffic that will move from one virtual port through a virtual switch to
another virtual port."
Got that straight?
Virtual Networking Project for Cisco, Microsoft
With all this as background, Cisco
Systems said Sept. 20 that it has worked a deal with Microsoft to provide data
center virtualization packages that will control Microsoft Windows Server 8
virtual environments on the Hyper-V hypervisor. All of its previous
virtualization software works on VMware's vSphere (now in v5.0) hypervisor
This new software, called the Nexus
1000V Virtual Switch, marks the first such virtual networking collaboration
project between Cisco and Microsoft.
Cisco announced only three weeks ago at VMworld 2011 in Las
that it is investing a great deal in virtual networking
hardware, software and services. The Virtual Switch for Hyper-V is a key part
of this research and development effort.
The Virtual Switch is available inside
the Cisco Nexus 1000V physical switch, which enables customers to create
virtual networks that scale to support thousands of virtual machines while
increasing application performance and security in multitenant private, public
and hybrid cloud infrastructures, said Soni Jiandani, senior vice president of
Cisco's Server Access and Virtualization Technology Group.
Don't get your checkbook out yet,
however; Windows Server 8 is due out in 2012, and the Virtual Switch will come
out the same day.