Post Update 6/26/2013: Think about deploying multiple virtual firewalls, load balancers, and other virtual services in a given environment. How do you know where to put a particular virtual FW (which physical host)? How do you know if it should be moved? How do you instantly deploy another FW VM based on a certain trigger? You may be thinking of vCenter as a comparison, but what I was referring to above was a hypervisor-like manager specifically built for network resources (services/VMs). It may be similar to an existing hypervisor in reality, but this one could be dedicated to the network team because we all know the Compute/Network teams will be independent for the foreseeable future.
What to do next if you are Cisco?
- Purchase Embrane.
- Migrate to using KVM and use UCS servers to host network services. Embrane already requires dedicated servers (empowering the network engineer)
- Deploy Open vSwitch for the UCS servers (why? Because the Virtual Supervisors can be a service running on these servers and we don’t want the VSM controlling the vswitch it resides on. It also gets Cisco some production deployments of OVS.)
- Migrate off VNMC and onto Embrane ESM offering dynamic provisioning, open APIs, and host of other cool features. ESM is the only network specific hypervisor manager for network resources today.
- DVA-enable Cisco VSG, ASA 1KV, vWAAS, and every other Cisco service. Just like Cisco has partners getting vPath-enabled, they can offer getting DVA-enabled to partners like Citrix and Imperva.
- Cisco becomes extremely relevant in the world of virtual networking and SDN-based L3-L7 network services.
- This becomes one small step for Cisco, but one giant leap for the network industry from mid-market up to Service Provider.
Not sure where this leaves vPath, but that's for a different day.