Cisco Enables the Cloud Network with CloudVerse

New network management and positioning system debut for Cloud deployment.

By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Dec 6, 2011
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The cloud isn't just about server, compute and storage virtualization, it's also about the network. For networking vendor Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO), the network is the foundation for enabling the universe of clouds with a new effort called CloudVerse.

Pat Adamiak, senior director, Cloud Marketing at Cisco explained to InternetNews.com that Cisco's CloudVerse strategy is all about combining the unified data center and the cloud intelligent network.

"CloudVerse is a portfolio of products and services to help you build out a cloud, public, private or hybrid," Adamiak said.

A key part of the CloudVerse portfolio is a new set of management capabilities. According to Adamiak, one of the big challenges of deploying to the cloud has been the network configuration piece. The new Cisco Network Service Manager is designed to help solve that challenge.

"The Network Service Manager separates out the specific nitty gritty of how you configure the network gear from the bigger questions of what you want the security policies to be," Adamiak said. "It handles the interactions at the equipment level and then it in turn is directed to the higher level orchestration software to make policy based decisions."

The new Cisco Intelligent Automation for the Cloud solution is a management and orchestration solution. There is also a new Cloud Positioning System as part of the data center interconnect solution. With Cloud Positioning, cloud to cloud migration is possible and is supported on Cisco's CRS-3, ASR1000 and ASR9000 routers.

"What Cloud Positioning does, is it allows you to identify across a WAN where the best location is to place cloud workloads," Adamiak said. "We're going to be able to move the workloads in an intelligent manner between data centers."

The new cloud management capabilities layer on top of Cisco existing Cisco Prime data center network management capabilities.

"Cisco Prime is the network management piece in the traditional sense of fault detection, management and resolving failure events," Adamiak said. "Network Services Manager is the actual provisioning of the cloud network."

Today, many enterprises deploy their virtualization with VMware's solutions including the vCloud Director solution. Adamiak noted that Cisco is a close partner of VMware's and the new CloudVerse solutions are complementary.

"To my knowledge vCloud Director assumes that a lot of the stuff is already in place and it does a really nice job on moving the virtual machines around," Adamiak said. "They have some virtual networking capabilities, but the idea of how to handle the network configuration is not an area they go very deep into."

The CloudVerse strategy today includes network elements but does not currently include the OpenStack cloud layer which will likely be part of future Cisco cloud announcements. Cisco is an active participant in the open source OpenStack project. Adamiak said that there is no OpenStack news as part of the initial launch of CloudVerse, but he did hint that it was reasonable to expect some Cisco OpenStack news in the future.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at InternetNews.com, the news service of Internet.com, the network for technology professionals.

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