Cisco teams with VMware on network automation

Cisco has integrated its VFrame Data Centre virtualisation appliance with VMware's Virtual Infrastructure to help network managers allocate physical resources for virtualisation.

Cisco has integrated its VFrame Data Centre virtualisation appliance with VMware's Virtual Infrastructure to help network managers allocate physical resources for virtualisation.

VFrame Data Centre links computer and network resources as virtualised network services and allows automated physical changes to be made in cases of outages, for example. Changes can also be controlled by external monitoring systems.

The integration enables VFrame to load VMware ESX Server onto bare metal computers and configure network and storage connections that ESX needs.

According to Cisco, VFrame can now provision all network services from a single graphical user interface-based template. This includes firewalls, content load balancing, switch and server trunks and access control lists.

"Because the network is uniquely positioned to be the platform for the datacentre, we are investing in innovations to help our users transform their datacentre for improved efficiency and increased business productivity," said Cisco CEO John Chambers.

"VMware users are used to being able to rapidly provision and configure virtual infrastructure," said Brian Byun, vice-president of global partners and solutions at VMware. "Now, with Cisco's integration of VFrame Data Centre, users can also get similar benefits for their physical infrastructure."

According to research from Gartner, 70% or more of IT budgets are now dedicated to maintaining existing infrastructure rather than funding new projects. The analyst firm has also forecast that from 2006 to 2008, as many as 50% of all large datacentres will need to undergo a major overhaul to address this growing challenge.

"IT organisations must improve the operational efficiency and utilisation of datacentre resources, while releasing funds for new projects that generate revenue," said Gartner research vice-president, Will Cappelli.

"At the same time, datacentre managers need a resilient infrastructure that protects applications and services against disruptions, while not introducing more risk into the equation."

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