Details about the Nexus 1000V architecture emerge

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Cisco isn’t ready yet to call its virtual switch for VMware ESX 4.0, the Nexus 1000V, out of beta, but one of its employees already published a pretty detailed diagram of its architecture.


Besides the diagram, the entire blog post is really interesting as it details how the virtual switch will work:

  • The Nexus 1000V software on the physical server acts like a line card of a modular switch, described as a VEM (virtual ethernet module)
  • The Nexus 1000V VEM is a direct replacement of the VMWare vSwitch function
  • The Nexus 1000V VSM (virtual supervisor module) acts like the supervisor engine of a modular switch
  • One Nexus 1000V VSM instance manages a single ESX cluster of up to 64 physical servers
  • The form factor of Nexus 1000V VSM can be a physical appliance or a virtual machine
  • The network administrator manages the Cisco Nexus 1000V (from the VSM) as a single distributed virtual switch for the entire ESX cluster
  • Each virtual machine connects to its own Virtual Ethernet (vEthernet) port on the Nexus 1000V providing the network administrator traffic visibility and policy control on a per virtual machine basis.  Virtual machines can now be managed like physical servers in terms of their network connectivity

Thanks to Scott Lowe for the news.