Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Cisco Ups its Nexus Data Center Game

Cisco is rolling out its next generation of Nexus data center switches, including a new Nexus 9000 model based on its custom ASIC and a Nexus 3000 model based on Broadcom's Tomahawk silicon.

The refreshed portfolio aims to transition the market from 10G and 40G ports to 25/50/100 Gbps at the same density of interfaces as existing systems. Cisco said it will now be able to deliver 25G at the previous price of 10G, and 100G at the previous price of 40G -- effectively 2.5x bandwidth at the same price.

In terms of network architecture and software programmability, Cisco is supporting three choices: its own, full-bore Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) architecture, running on the APIC controller in its Nexus 7K and flagship 9K switches, a programmable fabric vision that could also be supported on the new Nexus 3000 switches with Broadcom silicon, and a lighter Programmable Network architecture running on any of the Nexus switches and featuring NX-OS enhancements for DevOps, automation and segment routing.

With the new Nexus 9000 switches, Cisco said it will achieve industry-leading performance for 100Gbps, with 25 percent more non-blocking performance, at 50 percent the cost of comparable solutions, plus greater reliability and lower power. The new Nexus 9K switches will support real time network telemetry at 100Gbps wire rate, enabling network security with pervasive NetFlow and fabric wide troubleshooting.  The switches will also scale up to 10 times in IP addresses and end points at cloud scale, and support over a million containers per rack. The new Nexus 9K is also designed to drive unique cloud services with adaptive capacity and congestion control, allowing customers to support lossless traffic for IP storage, hyperconverged and converged infrastructure on a single unified fabric that enables application completion times 50 percent faster than traditional competitive platforms.

In addition, Cisco is announcing a new Cisco Nexus Fabric Manager that automates the complete fabric lifecycle management with a point-and-click web interface, and offers automated configuration snapshots and rollbacks. Nexus Fabric Manager builds and self-manages a VXLAN-based fabric, dynamically configuring switches based on simplified user-based actions. An IT manager can fully deploy a VXLAN-based fabric in just three steps, complete with zero touch provisioning, and can upgrade all fabric switches to a new software release in "only four mouse clicks."

Cisco also announced several new ACI ecosystem pioneers: Infoblox, which automates network configuration and change; N3N, which extends ACI visibility beyond the network to the entire data center; Tufin, which provides visibility, control and security change orchestration across heterogeneous environments; vArmour, which provides application-aware micro-segmentation with advanced security analytics; and Veritas, which collects, protects, analyzes and optimizes customers’ global data.

http://www.cisco.com

Cisco's New HyperFlex Systems Take Aim at Hyperconvergence

Cisco is renewing its focus on hyperconverged infrastructure with the introduction of new HyperFlex Systems built on its UCS compute platform.

Compared with existing hyperconverged platforms, the new Cisco HyperFlex Systems aim to simplify policy-based automation across network, compute and storage for a wide set of enterprise applications. The systems promise plug-n-play setup within minutes, not days, with flexible, adaptive and independent scaling of compute, network as well as storage capacity. Cisco is offering data management capabilities, such as rapid clones and non-intrusive snapshots with always-on inline deduplication and inline compression, yielding up to 80% reduction in the data footprint.  The rollout includes:

  • Cisco HyperFlex HX220c M4 Node, 1 rack unit, up to 7 TB of storage, up to 2 processors per node
  • Cisco HyperFlex HX240c M4 Node, 2 rack units, up to 29 TB of storage, up to 2 processors per node
  • Cisco HyperFlex HX240c M4 Node with Cisco UCS B200 M4 Blade-Series Servers, max capacity and up to twice the compute, 2 rack units + 6 rack units, up to 29 TB of storage, and up to 4 processors per node


http://www.cisco.com

AT&T Selected by Defense Information Systems Agency

AT&T confirmed that it has been awarded a position on the Defense Information Systems Agency’s (DISA) Global Networking Services (GNS) contract. AT&T will provide services like global and regional transport services, software-defined networking, Ethernet and network integration services. DISA provides enterprise network and IT infrastructure to support the requirements of the Department of Defense’s more than 40 military services, combatant commands and support organizations worldwide.

DISA plans to spend $4.3 billion over 10 years to build a single global network that will work 10x faster than today’s.

“This award lets us do our part to help defend the nation,” said Kay Kapoor, president, AT&T Global Business - Public Sector Solutions. “It aligns with our long-standing commitment to use our innovative technology solutions to support our troops, national safety and freedom.”

http://about.att.com/story/defense_information_systems_agency_awards_contract.html


IBM Cloud Receives DISA Impact Level 5 Authorization


The U.S. Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) has authorized IBM Cloud services at the highest security levels – known as Impact Level 5 – for Controlled Unclassified Information as defined by the Department of Defense (DoD). This pavesthe way for DoD agencies seeking to take advantage of the innovations cloud can offer and manage sensitive data. DISA has granted the company a Conditional Authority to Operate IBM Cloud services hosted at the...

Level 3 Wins for DISA's Global Network Services Contract


The Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA) selected Level 3 Communications for a multiple-year competitive contract known as Global Network Services (GNS). The contract allows Level 3 to bid on and provide communications services to support DISA's goal of providing a single global network including both wired and wireless technologies by 2020. The contract has a five-year base period and five one-year option periods. Level 3 is Authorized to...

NTT Com Rolls Out Enhanced Enterprise Cloud Services

NTT Communications is rolling out a number of enhancements to its Enterprise Cloud portfolio, first in Japan and followed in the UK, Singapore, US, Australia, Hong Kong and Germany this year.

Some highlights of the new capabilities:

  1. Hosted Private Cloud for Traditional ICT - dedicated bare-metal servers with the automation, pay-as-you-go flexibility and options of a multi-hypervisor environment, including VMware vSphere and Microsoft Hyper-V. It also provides a highly flexible internal network, which facilitates the re-use of on-premises network architecture in the cloud. 
  2. Enterprise-class Multi-tenant Cloud for Cloud-Native ICT - a secure and highly reliable, enterprise-class multi-tenant cloud based on the OpenStack architecture, which therefore gives customers an industry-standard open API to control the Enterprise Cloud in an automated manner. In addition, by incorporating Cloud Foundry, an open source Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS) software, the Enterprise Cloud provides PaaS for agile application development and operational efficiency. 
  3. Seamless Hybrid Cloud Environment - the enhanced Enterprise Cloud's multi-tenant cloud and hosted private cloud are connected at Layer 2 with SDN, which gives customers the power to flexibly and seamlessly configure the network components (virtual server, bare-metal server, firewall, load balancer) running on a complex on-premises environment in the same network segment. As a result, customers can reduce approximately 30% of the workload required for the network and server re-configuration that usually comes with cloud migration.
  4. Free and Seamless Connection between Cloud Platforms - the enhanced Enterprise Cloud platform is connected with a 10Gbps best-effort closed network, which is free of charge. In addition, connectivity between Enterprise Cloud platforms and data centers is provided at competitive prices globally, utilizing NTT Com's infrastructure as a telecom carrier. 
  5. Cloud Management Platform (CMP) for Full Visibility and IT Governance - providing efficient management and unified control of both Enterprise Cloud and third-party providers' clouds, including Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Microsoft Azure. CMP also enables customer management and operation of hybrid clouds and meets the IT governance, cost control, security management and automated ICT operational requirements needed to successfully execute a cloud-first digital transformation strategy companywide.

NTT Com said it will continue to enhance its capabilities in areas such as SDx-enabled unification of cloud, world-class data centers and global network assets. The OpenStack-based micro service architecture of Enterprise Cloud enables NTT Com to incorporate the latest technology advancements coming from both open source communities and its technology partners. Some of the new functions NTT Com plans to launch for enterprises include SAP HANA, virtual private PaaS and enhanced cloud management capabilities, to further support the digital transformation journeys of its enterprise customers.

"As enterprise businesses move towards digitalization, globalization and cloud, NTT Com will continue to help customers innovate business processes and create new business models with Enterprise Cloud, which has been enhanced to meet requirements of both secure and reliable ICT and flexible and agile ICT," said Motoo Tanaka, Senior Vice President of Cloud Services at NTT Com.

http://www.ntt.co.jp

Cisco to Acquire CliQr for Cloud Orchestration

Cisco agreed to acquire CliQr Technologies, a start-up offering an application-defined cloud orchestration platform to model, deploy and manage applications across bare metal, virtualized and container environments. Cisco will pay $260 million in cash and assumed equity awards, plus retention based incentives.

The CliQr platform provides a broad variety of application profile templates and an integrated service library to make it easier to model new or existing, simple or complex applications in a way that is cloud agnostic. CliQr already integrates with Cisco ACI to enable application portability for on-premise and cloud environments. The company cites several key benefits:

  • Profile once, deploy anywhere: CliQr’s solution allows customers to create a single application profile that is simple and secure to deploy across any data center, public or private cloud.
  • Ensure consistent policies: CliQr automatically applies a customer’s access control and security policies to an application, and then ensures that those policies move with the application.
  • Optimize applications across hybrid cloud environments: CliQr will measure both price and performance of applications on any cloud environment, helping users to make informed decisions about the best place for their application on any data center or cloud.
  • Manage with one-click: CliQr provides a single management interface to give customers complete visibility and control across applications, cloud environments and users. 
Cisco said it will integrate CliQr across its data center portfolio. 1The CliQr team will join Cisco’s Insieme Business Unit reporting to Prem Jain, senior vice president and general manager. The goal is to make it simpler for customers to automate and manage application policies across the entire data center stack.

“Customers today have to manage a massive number of complex and different applications across many clouds,” said Rob Salvagno, vice president, Cisco Corporate Development. “With CliQr, Cisco will be able to help our customers realize the promise of the cloud and easily manage the lifecycle of their applications on any hybrid cloud environment.”

http://www.cisco.com
http://www.cliqr.com


  • CliQr was founded by Gaurav Manglik and Tenry Fu, both previously from VMware. 
  •  Investors in CliQr included Foundation Capital, Google Ventures, Translink Capital, and Polaris Partners.

MEF Appoints CTO, Launches Layer 3 IP Project

The MEF has appointed Pascal Menezes as its first-ever Chief Technology Officer. Menezes formerly was Principal at Microsoft Skype for Business. In this new role, he will lead the MEF’s technical strategy and align key work programs internally and in conjunction with the open source and SDO partners.

The MEF also announced an expansion of the scope of its work to accelerate the transition to agile, assured, and orchestrated Third Network services.

The new Layer 3 IP project will create a standard set of service attributes that can be used to define IP services delivered over a single provider network or over multiple interconnected networks. Having standardized service attributes – consistent and compatible with the globally adopted CE 2.0 services framework – will allow Layer 3 providers to leverage LSO definitions work and the new LSO Reference Architecture to create agile, assured, and orchestrated IP services.

"The new MEF project on IP Service Attributes is the first step in incorporating IP Services into the MEF LSO framework,” said David Ward, CTO of Engineering and Chief Architect, Cisco. “It enables the definition of standard LSO APIs and Yang modules at the service layer for managing and monitoring IP Services - including inter-provider services -  that are consistent with the LSO Reference Architecture used for Carrier Ethernet services.  Enabling automation of inter-provider IP services is a key pain point for our Service Provider customers today, which this work will help address."

The MEF now has more than 30 ongoing projects and initiatives, including a new project on Layer 3 IP service attributes that is a key step toward enabling multi-operator orchestration of IP services using MEF LSO (Lifecycle Service Orchestration).

http://www.mef.net

Splunk Leads Adaptive Response Initiative

Splunk is spearheading an Adaptive Response Initiative to connect with a community of best-of-breed security vendors to improve cyber defense strategies and security operations. The idea is to combine alert and threat information from multiple security domains and technologies.

Splunk said this collective insight enables security teams to make better-informed decisions across the entire kill chain, especially when validating threats and applying analytics-driven response directives to their security environment.

Founding participants of the Adaptive Response Initiative include Carbon Black, CyberArk, Fortinet, Palo Alto Networks, Phantom, Splunk, Tanium, ThreatConnect and Ziften.

“The mission of the Adaptive Response Initiative is to bring together the best technologies across the security industry to help organizations combat advanced attacks,” said Haiyan Song, senior vice president of security markets, Splunk. “Modern cyber threats are dynamic, and attackers are constantly finding new ways to get in and exploit networks and systems. This new challenge goes well beyond preventing individual stages of an attack. Adaptive Response aims to more effectively connect intelligence across best-of-breed technologies to help organizations improve their security posture, quickly validate threats, and systematically disrupt the kill chain.”

http://www.splunk.com

SanDisk and IBM Team on Software-Defined All-Flash Storage

SanDisk and IBM announced a collaboration focused on next-generation, software-defined, all-flash storage solutions for the data center.

The partnership brings together SanDisk’s InfiniFlash System—a high-capacity and extreme-performance flash-based software defined storage system with IBM Spectrum Scale filesystem, which a software-defined, distributed, parallel filesystem, for high performance, large scale workloads on-premises or in the cloud. Featuring the ability to automatically tier data based on application needs, the Spectrum Scale software-defined storage solution provides file, object, and integrated data analytics for:

  • Compute clusters (technical computing)
  • Big data and analytics
  • Cognitive computing
  • Hadoop Distributed File System (HDFS)
  • Private cloud
  • Content repositories

“Our initiative with IBM brings the best of both worlds to data centers: breakthrough economics compared to traditional all-flash array deployments, and dramatically higher performance, improved reliability and lower power consumption compared to hard disk drive-based arrays,” said Ravi Swaminathan, vice president and general manager, System and Software Solutions, SanDisk. “These offerings enable customers to economically deploy flash at petabyte-scale, which drive business growth through new services and offerings for their end-customers.”

http://www.sandisk.com

See also