Sunday, August 24, 2014

Anniversary Reflection Chap 1: Nexus 1000V "Better Than Better"

I reached my anniversary at Cisco this month.:-)

Thanks to the amazing accomplishment of the 300+ talented engineers in my team, there is so much for me to reflect upon last year's journey.

The first installment of my reflection is on the Nexus 1000V (N1KV) product.  This product has a special position in my heart because I helped to build it up from ground up years ago when I was running the networking product team at VMware.  I will talk about other fantastic products from my team in the next few blogs.

N1KV has 10,000 customers already and last year my team gave a complete facelift for this product, mainly focusing on simplicity, scalability, and SDN functionality.

  • Awesome operational simplicity is achieved by abstracting out tons of traditional networking operational complexity into simple "container" like workflow.
    • Customers can now leverage Virtual Switch Update Manager (VSUM) to install or upgrade N1KV with a few mouse clicks without having to read pages and pages of manual, and better yet the new process is a lot less error prone.
    • Customers can also leverage Virtual Application Container Services (VACS) to set up application centric network policies with a few mouse clicks too, without having to learn all the Cisco product details including N1KV, VSG, PNSC, CSR 1000V, how all of them work together, how to install and configure them individually, etc etc..  Instead, admins can truly "do more with less" and have a peace of mind even when dealing with complex network add/remove/change requirements.
  • Scalability of N1KV has got a huge boost too. 
    • Some of the world's largest private cloud build-outs have already been leveraging N1KV but some of them want to run 1K+ ports on each physical server, and some want to have 10K+ ports per (VSM) controller domain.  We now have solutions to support this kind of scale.
    • More importantly, we support the above large scale while supporting full N1KV switching and security features.  This level of "full feature" scalability is unmatched by any other products in the market even though they might advertise similar or even higher scale numbers for the vanilla case.
  • Richer SDN functionality.
    • Customers can now extend ACI policies to vSphere hypervisor which is a big deal to many of the ACI adopters.  
    • When other products in the industry started to implement micro-segmentation in a virtualized environment, we have already advanced our product to the next generation so that the micro-segmentation applies to both virtual and physical workloads in a seamless manner.  
On top of the simplicity, scalability, and functionality, my team have also expanded the same vSphere N1KV product to cover KVM/OpenStack and Hyper-V land too so that customers can now manage the virtualized data center networking with heterogeneous hypervisor types under one consistent tool.  We are going to land N1KV in the container land next! :)

Exciting time for N1KV technology and exciting time for SDN industry as well!!

PS:  I'm looking forward to talking about this product family with customers, partners, and analysts this week at VMworld in San Francisco.