Cisco Fleshes Out Data Center Vision

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VFrame, meanwhile, is a network-driven service orchestration provisioning platform. VFrame 1.2 offers integration with Cisco ACE and VMware ESX, including the ability to virtualize servers to ACE virtual devices, or to select a server out of a utility pool and configure it end-to-end with ESX.

Cisco has a $150 million stake in VMware.

On the professional services front, Cisco unveiled its Data Center Efficiency Assurance Program, extensions to the Data Center Assurance Program (DCAP) 4.0 and DCAP for Applications.

The Efficiency Assurance Program (EAP) is a Web-based tool designed to help customers better analyze data center power use and establish energy benchmarks across facilities and infrastructure. Cisco's Data Center Efficiency Services are intended to help customers apply appropriate power and cooling, and identify steps to make the infrastructure more accessible, efficient and sustainable.

Cisco has updated its Data Center Assurance Program (DCAP) to include large-scale data center validation, design and implementation guides, including an enhanced service provider section containing an updated baseline architecture and new overlays for video streaming and mobility services. DCAP also now supports Cisco ACE and Cisco MDS blade server fabric switches, Oracle 11i E-Business Suite, Microsoft Exchange 2003, Tibco Rendezvous and active-active disaster recovery.

Cisco has also extended its DCAP for Applications program by offering tested and validated implementations for Oracle 12i E-Business Suite and Microsoft Office Communications Server.

The services and product offerings are part of Cisco's strategy to become more of an all-encompassing data center vendor, says Zeus Kerravala, an analyst with The Yankee Group.

"They become a much more relevant IT vendor by tackling virtualization," Kerravala says. "It foreshadows a different type of Cisco, a different type of competitor. The network is the only thing that touches everything in the data center. They want to play a bigger role than just providing the plumbing and the pipes."

Cisco WAAS software release 4.1 is scheduled to be available for download in the third quarter. WAAS Live Video Streaming and WAAS Virtualization are separately licensed features with pricing starting at $2,500 per device. The other WAAS 4.1 features included in the WAAS Enterprise License are available at no charge to Cisco WAAS Enterprise License customers with Cisco SmartNet Software and Support with Upgrades Contracts.

Cisco ACE software release 3.1 for the ACE Appliance is also scheduled to be available in the third quarter and is offered at no charge for Cisco SmartNet customers; the additional Cisco ACE Appliance 2Gbps to 4Gbps upgrade throughput license is priced at $15,000. The Cisco ACE Appliance compression license is priced at $20,000 for a 2Gbps compression license, $10,000 for a 500M to 2Gbps compression upgrade license, and $5,000 for a 1G to 2Gbps compression upgrade license.

Cisco VFrame Version 1.2 is scheduled to be available on both primary and secondary appliances with a base starter kit of $59,995 list; VFrame 1.2 will be available in the third quarter.

Cisco EAP, DCAP 4.0 and DCAP for applications are available now.

This story, "Cisco Fleshes Out Data Center Vision" was originally published by Network World.

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