Nexus 1000V: New Pricing Model

Today, October 1st, Cisco announced on its blog the release of a new pricing and packaging strategy for its switch portfolio.

Nexus 1000V 2.1, that was released last month, is going to have two editions, one called Essential Edition and the second named Advanced Edition.

The Nexus 1000V Essential Edition would allow to connect virtual applications to the network integrating into VMware environments, this free version can count on Cisco standard technical support and would permit cloud providers to offer base networking services,

The Advanced Edition, that would cost $695 per CPU, would contain the Cisco Virtual Security Gateway (VSG), a virtual firewall, and logical trust zones between applications. This multi-hypervisor (Hyper-V, KVM and Xen) would be able to simplify VM as well as tenant migration from one hypervisor to another. Furthermore it would include support for advanced capabilities.

Among the features of the Nexus 1000V 2.1:

  • Support for Cisco TrustSec — Extends Cisco TrustSec security solutions for network-based segmentation of users and physical workloads to now virtual workloads connected to Nexus 1000V, leveraging Security Group Tag (SGT) for defining security segments. (Available only in the Advanced Edition)
  • vCenter Plug-in – Provides a holistic view to server administrator of the virtual network from within VMware vCenter
  • vTracker – Offers VM-level & host-level visibility to network administrator added visibility into virtual and physical networks (such as VM name and vMotion events)
  • Cross Data Center High-availability – Supports split Active and Standby Nexus 1000V Virtual Supervisor Modules (VSMs) across two data centers to implement cross-DC clusters and VM mobility while ensuring high availability
  • Enhanced Installer App – Simplifies the entire installation process via single pane of glass
  • Simplified upgrade process – Allows flexibility to schedule upgrades on a per-host basis, thus enabling incremental upgrades even during short maintenance windows.
Gary Kinghorn, Cisco’s Product Marketing Manager for Data Center Virtualization and Network Services provides some reasons for offering a tiered Nexus 1000V licensing model:
First, this new two-tier pricing structure nicely aligns with a common virtualization industry model of offering baseline functionality to rapidly seed the market and, for additional value add, advanced capabilities and future innovations.
Second, customers are making architectural choices for their cloud infrastructures and many prefer end-to-end Nexus consistency for physical, virtual and cloud networks.  With the Nexus 1000V Editions, Nexus customers can immediately and broadly realize the benefits of end-to-end Nexus architecture with Essential Edition while comforted by the fact that innovations will continue to occur on the Advanced Edition to which they can upgrade as and when their use cases demand.  Also, these customers can leverage best-in-class Cisco TAC support for their troubleshooting needs across Nexus (and NX-OS) based physical/virtual/cloud networking environments.
Finally, many cloud providers would like to build price-tiered public clouds, with multiple hypervisors (including open-source) and OpenStack cloud orchestration.  With the Nexus 1000V’s upcoming support for multiple hypervisors (Hyper-V, KVM and Xen) as well as for OpenStack networking, the no-cost Essential Edition enables cloud providers to offer base networking services at a competitive price for broader market adoption, along with Cisco advanced networking capabilities at an additional price for higher-margin revenue generation. The multi-hypervisor Nexus 1000V simplifies and accelerates VM as well as tenant migration from one hypervisor to another while ensuring consistent policies, security, operational workflows (respecting separation of duties) and management/trouble shooting tools.