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Cisco, VMware Partner on Datacenter Virtualization


LAS VEGAS, Sept. 16 -- Industry leaders in virtualization Cisco and VMware today announced that they are collaborating to deliver joint datacenter solutions designed to improve the scalability and operational control of virtual environments. The Cisco Nexus 1000V distributed virtual software switch is expected to be an integrated option in VMware Infrastructure. Cisco and VMware will also combine their expertise in networking and virtualization to introduce a new set of multidisciplinary professional services and reseller certification training in support of customers' datacenter virtualization strategies. In parallel, Cisco and VMware are collaborating on integrating VMware Virtual Desktop Infrastructure (VDI) solutions with Cisco Application Delivery Networking solutions to improve the performance of virtual desktops delivered across wide-area networks (WANs).

The Cisco Nexus 1000V distributed virtual software switch will simplify the operations of both physical and virtual networking infrastructures to help server, virtualization and networking administration managers accelerate datacenter virtualization. The Nexus 1000V will extend Cisco's security, policy enforcement, automated provisioning and diagnostics features into dynamic VMware environments that will be able to scale to thousands of live virtual machines. In this highly agile environment, the new Cisco Virtual Network Link (VN-Link) technology on the Nexus 1000V will integrate with VMware's vNetwork Distributed Switch framework to create a logical network infrastructure that will provide full visibility, control and consistency of the network. The solution will help network, virtualization and server teams to gain efficiency in virtual environments and obtain accurate, real-time data for stronger collaboration in troubleshooting.

"We are embracing server virtualization to help us save energy for cooling and to increase the efficiency of our datacenter space and resources. MIT has a variety of computing needs that require a consistent IT management model throughout our datacenter," said Theresa Regan, director of operations and infrastructure services for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. "What is cool about Cisco working together with VMware is that the service, security and operational ease of management policies in Cisco networking will be assignable across each virtual machine in VMware Infrastructure. This kind of innovation will help drive more use of virtualization in our campus."

"With today's announcement, VMware and Cisco have taken a significant step forward in enabling our customers to take advantage of an end-to-end virtual datacenter architecture to simplify how they deliver IT services to their clients," said Brian Byun, vice president of global partners and solutions for VMware. "We're excited to announce the Cisco Nexus 1000V and VMware Infrastructure integration, as this is a key building block in our strategy to partner with industry leaders to deliver to customers the deep federated management of physical and virtual server, network and storage infrastructure required in a fully virtualized datacenter."

The Cisco Nexus 1000V distributed virtual switch, with Cisco's VN-Link virtual-machine-aware network and storage services, will complement VMware Infrastructure, which is in use by more than 120,000 customers. Through this integrated virtual solution, information technology (IT) managers will be able to set and enforce connection policies for each virtual machine across a datacenter. Now the same policy-based configuration and operation of network services traditionally available in Cisco physical hardware switches will be easily applied to each virtual machine. These virtual capabilities will enable IT managers to more easily manage virtual machines as they migrate them across physical servers during routine hardware maintenance or to balance server workloads for optimized application performance and availability.

"Integrating the Cisco end-to-end datacenter networking capabilities into the VMware platform is a way for our customers to enjoy the Cisco networking, security, and storage services they have benefited from in our networking hardware," said Soni Jiandani, vice president of the Marketing, Server Access and Virtualization business unit for Cisco. "Also, with our expertise in assessment, planning and network design, we will be able to help our customers set up the right policies to gain the benefits of networking virtualization across their business."

Cisco and VMware also jointly offer virtualization consulting services to help customers create and deploy server, network and storage virtualization solutions across their datacenter that reduce costs by provisioning new applications quickly and more safely, while maintaining high levels of application performance. The Cisco and VMware Virtualization Assessment Service and Cisco and VMware Planning and Design Service identify and close gaps in customers' server, storage and network infrastructures to provide virtualized consolidated end-to-end architecture.

Cisco and VMware intend to work with alliance partners and customers to provide leadership in the use of virtualization technology for business advantage, and to scale this knowledge through industry-leading education and certification programs.

"Network virtualization is a key component of next-generation datacenters. With a focus on virtualization of services and assets across the network, Cisco will evolve its education and certification programs for the datacenter," said Jeanne Beliveau-Dunn, general manager of Learning@Cisco. "Cisco is working with VMware to develop training, education and career certifications for customers and resellers that align with architecture changes and new roles such as datacenter architect, datacenter builder, and datacenter technical operations professional."

In addition both Cisco and VMware will be proposing to the IEEE standards body a new protocol called Network Interface Virtualization, which will enable VN-Link technology to be delivered in high-performance hardware based solutions.

High-Performance Delivery of Virtual Desktops

Cisco and VMware are collaborating to accelerate the use of desktop virtualization by improving the performance of end users' virtual desktops across the WAN, enabling centralized and distributed printing for remote users, and enhancing backup and recovery automation. Cisco's Application Delivery Networking portfolio optimizes application availability, performance and security over the WAN. When it is combined with VMware VDI, customers are able to deploy a solution that provides an optimized remote desktop experience. Cisco and VMware collaborated on testing certain use cases to improve the experience of remote end users accessing virtual desktops. As published in the jointly developed whitepaper, the VDI architecture tested by Cisco and VMware illustrates up to a 65 percent improvement over native multi-user remote desktop protocol (RDP) in file and application access when using Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) and Cisco Application Control Engine (ACE) to optimize WAN protocols, with VMware VDI and Virtual Desktop Manager and backend infrastructure. Cisco and VMware are continuing to expand this architecture to optimize the remote-user experience and increase the adoption of virtual desktops.

The Cisco Nexus 1000V distributed virtual software switch with VN-Link capabilities supported in a VMware Infrastructure environment is expected to be generally available to customers in the first half of 2009. Cisco Wide Area Application Services and Application Control Engine for VDI are available now.

About Cisco

Cisco (NASDAQ: CSCO) is the worldwide leader in networking that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate. Information about Cisco can be found at http://www.cisco.com. For ongoing news, go to http://newsroom.cisco.com.

About VMware

VMware (NYSE: VMW) is the global leader in virtualization solutions from the desktop to the datacenter. Customers of all sizes rely on VMware to reduce capital and operating expenses, ensure business continuity, strengthen security and go green. With 2007 revenues of $1.3 billion, more than 120,000 customers and nearly 18,000 partners, VMware is one of the fastest growing public software companies. Headquartered in Palo Alto, Calif., VMware is majority-owned by EMC Corp. and on the Web at www.VMware.com.

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