Cisco, VMware make worlds collide

Cisco, VMware make worlds collide

Cisco and VMware plan to build a combined channel and certification programme for their joint, virtual data centre offerings.

The two vendors announced a partnership to deliver such combined offerings at VMware’s recent VMworld conference in Las Vegas, while regional executives revealed more details of the deal at Cisco’s Networkers 2008 conference in Brisbane last month.

Speaking at the Networkers conference Dylan Morrison, Cisco’s data centre general manager for Australia and New Zealand, confirmed the jointly developed products will be sold through joint partners. “Both our traditional partners will already have skills in both VMware and Cisco.”

Cisco and VMware will also combine their expertise in networking and virtualisation to introduce a new set of multidisciplinary professional services and reseller certification training, says Morrison. “Our partners are starting to build skills sets across both fields and we are seeing virtualisation teams in customers from the different [networking and virtualisation] groups.”

This convergence of networking and virtualisation skills will be similar to the combination of voice and data expertise, says Morrison, adding the data centre is one of the last bastions for convergence in the IT world. “Cisco has a history in convergence and for creating a common platform and unified fabric.”

The joint Cisco and VMware offerings are designed to improve the scalability and operational control of virtual environments and will bridge the gap between the physical and virtual worlds, says Morrison. “We want [the physical and virtual worlds] to be seamless from a diagnostic and management point of view.”

The first offering to launch under the agreement will be a Cisco virtual switch, slated for release in the first half of 2009.

The Cisco Nexus 1000V distributed virtual software switch is expected to be an integrated option in VMware’s Infrastructure data centre virtualisation product.

The companies claim the switch will help accelerate data centre virtualisation and simplify the operations of both physical and virtual networking infrastructures. “Users will be able to manage their virtual and physical data centres as a single network with a single interface,” says Morrison.

The Nexus 1000V is said to also extend Cisco’s security, policy enforcement, automated provisioning and diagnostics features into dynamic VMware environments, which will be able to scale to thousands of virtual machines.

As well, the two companies are also working together on integrating VMware’s Virtual Desktop Infrastructure offerings with Cisco’s Application Delivery Networking products, to improve the performance of virtual desktops delivered across wide-area networks, says Morrison.

Louis van Wyk attended Networkers 2008 in Brisbane as a guest of Cisco.

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