Cisco to offer virtualised network switch

Software-based switch will help IT admins more easily manage virtualised systems, Cisco says.

Cisco is looking to simplify virtualised data centre network management by releasing a new virtual software switch.

The Nexus 1000V switch integrates with VMware's infrastructure, and is fhte first third-party ESX switch. It features Cisco's new virtual network link (VN-Link) standards. It will allow IT administrators to see both physical and virtual networking infrastructure for easier management, Cisco said at the launch at VMworld 2008 in Las Vegas this week. It is a piece of software embedded in VMware's ESX, and replaces VMware's own switch.

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In other words, the same policy-based configurations that IT admins apply to physical hardware switches can now be easily rolled out across virtual machines as well. "What you can see, you can manage," said Soni Jiandani, Cisco's vice president of marketing.

The Nexus 1000V is currently in beta and will be available in the first half of next year.

The two firms are also looking to bring the VN-Link technology to the IEEE standards association, they said. "We do expect that overtime other partners will take part, that's why we're submitting the standard to the IEEE," said Bryan Byun, VMware's vice president of global partner and solutions.

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