Cisco Promotes Network-Centric Utility Computing

Cisco is introducing an InfiniBand-based server fabric switch portfolio that, when combined with its VFrame 3.0 data-center-virtualization software, will bring a new approach to utility computing, says Stu Aaron, director of marketing and product management for the servers, networking, and virtualization business unit at Cisco.

"We're building capabilities that will plant Cisco as a player in the utility computing market that has been dominated to date by server manufacturers," Aaron says. "Enterprises have been hesitant to implement utility computing strategies in the past because they have used multiple [equipment] vendors and didn't want to narrow that scope."

The Cisco SFS product line utilizes InfiniBand technology to provide a unified fabric for connecting servers together into grids of computing resources. Coupled with SFS Ethernet and Fibre Channel gateway technology, businesses can connect server grids with shared LAN and SAN resources using Cisco Catalyst switches and MDS 9000 storage networking switches.

VFrame provides virtualization, orchestration, and provisioning services to address Cisco data-center resources, including switching, data network, load balancing, and security products. VFrame offers customers a single interface to provision Cisco-based data-center infrastructure elements, rather than having to address each Cisco product or technology individually, Aaron says.

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VFrame makes systemwide decisions and then marshals the appropriate infrastructure resources that are required to provision a new application on-demand with associated required performance and security attributes. VFrame supports applications on Linux and Windows operating systems.