Cisco puts a virtual router in the clouds, and a virtual server in a router, among other unnatural acts.
As we like it, Cisco this week rolled out the Cloud Connected Solution, software for its ISR and ASR routers that’s designed to enable enterprises to implement and access cloud networks and services.
Cloud Connected Solution also includes a Cloud Services Router (CSR), a virtual router that lets enterprises extend their VPNs into the cloud. Cloud service providers can offer CSR, which runs on a Cisco UCS server, as a “network-as-a-service” product, Cisco says.
Cisco made the announcement at the Cisco Live 2012 of Cloud Connected Solution for Cisco user.
According to Cisco’s Global Cloud Networking Survey for 2012, the majority of IT “decision makers” cite a cloud-ready network as the biggest requirement to foster the migration of business applications to the cloud. It is against this backdrop that Cisco developed the Connected Cloud Solution.
The Cisco Cloud Connected Solution is comprised of:
Cloud Connectors: new software embedded into the Cisco Integrated Services Router (ISR) G2 platform along with services that improve the performance, security and availability of cloud applications. The open architecture of the Cloud Connectors allows service providers and channel partners to develop third-party Cloud Connectors to help them deliver differentiated services to their customers.
Cloud-enabled platforms: the new Cisco Cloud Services Router (CSR) is a virtual router that enables customers to extend their virtual private networks (VPNs) into the cloud. Cisco is also expanding the Aggregation Services Router (ASR) platform with the Cisco ASR 1002-X router, and introducing the Cisco UCS E-Series Server Modules on the ISR G2, delivering lean branch solutions by hosting multiple third party services on a single branch platform.
Innovative cloud services: new capabilities added to existing routing and WAN optimization platforms to better support cloud computing, including the new Cisco Application Visibility and Control (AVC) technology integrated into the Cisco ISR and ASR platforms to optimize the delivery and troubleshooting of cloud applications on the network; and Cisco UCS E-Series Server Modules on the ISR G2. New Cisco AppNav technology intelligently clusters Cisco’s Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) physical and virtual appliances into a single resource pool managed by a central controller.
The Cisco Cloud Connected Solution is a foundational element of the Cisco Cloud Intelligent Network, which together with Cisco Unified Data Center and Cisco Cloud Applications and Services enables the world of many clouds. In addition, Cisco is introducing enhancements to existing routing, security and WAN optimization solutions, as well as new features and models on the ASR, ISR G2 and WAAS appliances.
The following includes additional information on the featured new products in the Cisco Cloud Connection Solution portfolio:
Cloud Services Router (CSR) 1000v: This virtual router securely enables enterprises to extend and control various facets of their enterprise network to clouds while providing cloud service providers (CSPs) with increased revenue opportunities though an on-demand, flexible “network-as-a-service” model.
Cisco WAAS 5.0 with AppNav: Enables customers to virtualize WAN optimization resources by pooling them together into an on-demand resource that includes the best latency performance. Cisco WAAS 5.0 with AppNav provides an elastic “scale-as-you-grow” application deployment model that enables enterprise-wide application acceleration and performance visibility. Cisco AppNav can be installed as a hardware module on existing Cisco Wide Area Virtualization Engine (WAVE) appliances or as software on the new Cloud Services Router (CSR).
Cisco ASR 1002-X router: Enables organizations to increase their WAN performance by up to seven times and enhance deployment agility with an easy “pay-as-you-grow” performance upgrade model that delivers up to 36 Gbps performance with services turned on for the WAN Edge, Internet Edge and Managed Services environments. Cisco is also introducing the ESP-100G, a forwarding processor for the ASR 1000 Series in cloud edge deployments, in addition to FlexVPN on ASR 1000, for highly secure IPsec site-to-site and remote access VPN.
Cisco is also introducing Cloud Connectors for Cisco Hosted Collaboration Services (HCS) survivability, Cisco ScanSafe Web security service and the third-party CTERA Cloud Storage Connector on the Cisco Unified Computing System (Cisco UCS) E-Series.
Praveen Akkiraju, senior vice president and general manager, Cisco Services Routing Technology Group: “As businesses are driving the rapid adoption of cloud based services, routing platforms and the WAN have become a strategic control point to provide an optimal user experience across the cloud. The Cisco Cloud Connected Solution redefines the WAN architecture with key innovations that leverage the network intelligence as a critical link in cloud deployments by putting more functionality into traditional enterprise routing, allowing customers to connect to the cloud with an optimal user experience.”
Gartner: Bjarne Munch, Principal Research Analyst: “Network infrastructure must rapidly adapt to fully support future enterprise communications systems, which will be highly virtualized, intelligent and application-aware. The impact of new infrastructure and application strategies on the network cannot be overstated. To prepare for these changes, the enterprise network must be modernized, and enterprises must plan for the retirement of legacy technologies.” (“IT Market Clock for Enterprise Networking Infrastructure, March 2012″)
NOTE: All products are currently available, with the exception of the CSR 1000v, AppNav on the CSR, and Cisco UCS E-Series on ISR G2, which are scheduled to begin shipping in the fourth quarter. The ASR 1002-X router is scheduled to begin shipping in September 2012.