These SDN platforms, being two of the leading solutions in the market, have often been positioned against each other as apples-to-apples competitors.
These two SDN solutions are not in fact identical though. NSX is a virtual solution that abstracts the network using a controller and overlays. It utilizes the underlying physical network as a backplane network hardware agnostic. ACI, on the other hand, is a hardware and software solution focused on policy-driven network infrastructure that runs across physical or virtual environments. Being a software-only platform, NSX does need a solid physical network infrastructure or underlying topology in place to realize the full potential of the product.
While NSX can leverage existing network infrastructure without the need for new hardware — there are some real benefits to being deployed alongside Cisco ACI. The clearest one being that NSX shines in environments that use spine and leaf physical architecture, which is the fabric that Cisco ACI and the Nexus family is built on. Spine and leaf is ideal for running east-west traffic through a network data center, which is well aligned to one of the most desirable features of NSX — micro-segmentation.
In addition to NSX benefitting from the well-engineered ACI network fabric, ACI can benefit from the proven network virtualization and security capabilities of NSX — able to run on any hypervisor, for any application, and with any cloud management platform.Scimex
In highly virtualized SDDC environments, customers can expect NSX to seamlessly manage the fluid, virtual networks for greater flexibility, manageability, and security for VMs and virtualized workloads. Every environment has different requirements and challenges. In some cases, NSX may be the best solution. In other cases, ACI may be the best solution. As with any large business decision, when looking to deploy SDN technology, it is important to understand what each product offers and also what limitations each may have.
Despite how NSX and ACI were positioned in the past, the industry is starting to shift and understand that they are not apples-to-apples product offerings. The best hardware, software, and cloud computing solutions are nothing without expert design and implementation. Our team becomes your team. We take the time to understand your business needs first, and tailor high performance systems specifically for you. Contact Clearpath — Subscribe to Email Updates.
VMware’s Tom Gillis On NSX vs. Cisco ACI, And AWS Outposts Future
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VMware recently published articles regarding this announcement and appear confused through inaccurately stating ACI capability. When we announced last month the 1. The first idea we must disagree with is about the scope of the vision of a Data Center.
As much as some vendors may dislike it, there are endpoints that are not Virtual Machines. And yes, even a server running ESXi is one of those. How can the NSX Micro Segmentation approach provide any lateral movement protection for the vmkernel itself?
Or for the physical filers that implement NFS shares? In our understanding and that of the customers and partners that we work with on a daily basis, Micro Segmentation is about having the possibility of setting up policies with endpoint granularity.
And they are asking for it because Micro Segmentation has many great use cases. It helps in minimizing the attack perimeter, complicating or even impeding lateral movement.
It can also be useful to help in containing attacks, by quarantining endpoints and in facilitating remediation. This is not true. We can definitely work with a perimeter of one for virtual and physical endpoints.
Since December with the ACI 1. The author seems to be surprised or confused about how we can accomplish this using the VDS. That is part of the reason why we developed and continue enhancing the Cisco AVS in the first place. But we can still work with the VDS to bring advantages to customers simplifying software lifecycle management by saving the customer from having to manage kernel modules on vSphere.
We have already clarified that the ACI policy model can block traffic that is not conforming to policy without a firewall. The author is comparing a set of physical firewalls with the NSX Distributed Firewall and assuming the inspection capabilities are similar.
Or certainly not when it is being compared to a security device that actually may terminate connections to look at application level-threats, or that looks deep into the packet i. NSX firewalls do not do that. Nor does the ACI fabric. This basically keeps state of TCP flow sessions as you implement port-level filtering. The ACI contract model also provides L4-port level security for east-west traffic. While the fabric does not keep TCP state, it also does not require the endpoints to dedicate any compute capacity to run a L4-port level packet filter.
Again, to compare a basic stateful packet filtering mechanism with the security provided by a Checkpoint, Cisco, Fortinet, or Palo Alto NextGen firewall only helps confusing customers and create wrong perceptions of security. And the truth is that a Next Gen Firewall may well be required between certain applications tiers.
After all, customers no longer use only L4-port level security at the perimeter. The security posture for East-West in certain application environments does not differ much from the North-South.
Which leads to our final consideration. Definitely not. And on this point, I am sure we are in agreement with other vendors including VMware. Micro Segmentation helps in many ways. Increasing East-West security is one. And this is to name just two really basic examples. To provide protection for modern attacks you need a NGFW that can really inspect traffic.We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:.
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VMware NSX. Cancel You must select at least 2 products to compare! Cisco Nexus. Read 68 Cisco Nexus reviews. This product is made for lossless data, so it's a very high-performance switch. If there's one place you don't want to lose data, it's in the data Quickly create and deploy virtual servers to replace physical infrastructure. This solution has given us the ability to move from a physical to a virtual server estate with all of the expected VM benefits of decoupling Free Report: Cisco Nexus vs.
Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco Nexus vs. VMware NSX and other solutions. Updated: May Download now.
Quotes From Members. Use our free recommendation engine to learn which LAN Switching solutions are best for your needs. See Recommendations.Distributed Routing in a VMware NSX Environment
Ask a question Earn 20 points. Read all 6 answers. Read all 18 answers. Read all 15 answers. Cisco Catalyst Switches vs. Arista Networks Platform vs. Juniper QFabric vs. Dell PowerConnect Switches vs. Cisco ACI vs. Nutanix Flow vs. Cisco Tetration vs. Juniper Contrail Networking vs. Learn More. Top Industries. Company Size. Cisco Nexus is rated 8.We asked business professionals to review the solutions they use. Here are some excerpts of what they said:. See our list of best Network Virtualization vendors.
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Compare Cisco Nexus vs. VMware NSX
Cancel You must select at least 2 products to compare! Cisco ACI. Read 64 Cisco ACI reviews. Prior to ACI, a network upgrade or network change would be much more complex than it is now. Reducing complexity means that it is faster to make Find out what your peers are saying about Cisco ACI vs. VMware NSX and other solutions. Updated: September Download now. Quotes From Members. Use our free recommendation engine to learn which Network Virtualization solutions are best for your needs.
See Recommendations. Ask a question Earn 20 points. Read all 6 answers. Read all 18 answers. Read all 15 answers. Nuage Networks vs. Cisco Elastic Services Controller vs. Nutanix Flow vs. Cisco Tetration vs.
Juniper Contrail Networking vs. Guardicore Centra vs. Learn More. Top Industries. Company Size.Goal of this document 4. Cisco ACI fundamentals. Cisco ACI policy model 8. Cisco ACI policy-based networking and security. VMware NSX fundamentals. NSX for vSphere. NSX for vSphere network requirements. Physically connecting ESXi hosts to the fabric. Obtaining per-cluster visibility in APIC. Securing vSphere Infrastructure.
VMware vSwitch design and configuration considerations. Option 1. Option 2. NSX transport zones. Providing visibility of the underlay for the vCenter and NSX administrators. Introduction to NSX routing. ESG routing through the fabric. ESG peering with the fabric using L3Out Bridging between logical switches and EPGs. All rights reserved. Any Internet Protocol IP addresses and phone numbers used in this document are not intended to be actual addresses and phone numbers.Because it now has software-based service-defined firewalls.
Because it has integrated policy. No one else in the industry can do the same. Cisco is fighting back with a move to bring ACI beyond the data center to the public cloud.
ACI for Microsoft Azure, meanwhile, is set for general availability in the third calendar quarter. That's a big difference compared to the NSX software-defined networking solution which is not tied to specific network switches and also works with other vendor offerings like Palo Alto Networks and Arista Networks, said channel partners.
VMware said it now has 10, NSX customers, including 82 of the Fortunewith sales climbing 50 percent in the most recent fiscal quarterended Feb. Gelsinger told analysts during the company's fourth quarter earnings call in February that an increasing number of customers -- including Switzerland-based telecom provider Swisscom -- are "embracing NSX as their networking and security platform to connect and protect multi-cloud application deployments.
Cisco is more focused on the network. VMware has a more extensive strategy. Some other solution providers who also partner with both Cisco and VMware, said VMware's multicloud sales offensive has loosened Cisco's once tight grip on the corporate network.
In fact, a top executive for a global SP company that previously shunned Cisco network alternatives, said now he now views NSX as having a "leg up" over what he called the Cisco-centric ACI platform. ACI ties to the physical container of the physical hardware of Cisco. NSX, on the other hand, is multi-hypervisor so you can run it on multiple hypervisors.
Additionally, you can run it on multiple clouds. The CTO for a top regional solution provider, who did not want to be identified, said NSX has cracked the Cisco networking lockhold by being more open and extending into multi-vendor, multi-cloud environments.
Longtime Cisco partners are quick to point to the big return on investment advantages for customers who have invested heavily in Cisco's ASIC-based trusted network architecture. That ecosystem includes tens of thousands of highly skilled network architects in both the channel and at customer sites who are experts at driving secure network automation.
You probably have 20 people that have an NSX certification that can actually do that. The amount of knowledge out there and engineers out there who have NSX knowledge is limited. They have a much bigger ecosystem and a lot more engineers. What's more, Cisco partners said the networking behemoth has made big strides with its "ACI Anywhere" strategy, extending its software-defined networking platform into multi-cloud, hybrid environments. I think ACI is going to have a little bit less lock-in from that perspective.
Cisco has also made big strides in bringing down the entry-level price point for a Cisco ACI solution. Cisco has refined it so they can offer smaller entry points so they can get into that midmarket. We look at what the customer needs to get done and then we look at the capabilities of both platforms and see what maps best to those requirements.
Sometimes it's ACI. Sometimes it's NSX. Sometimes it's both. Both are selling well for us. From our advertisers.Rob Lloyd. I speak with customers every day and often hear they are confused by conflicting vendor claims, marketing hype and embellishments. This is especially true when discussing SDN, where both the technology and the market have evolved significantly over the past few years. We think that ACI and Nexus is the most complete solution on the market.
It does everything customers want from SDN, while offering more capabilities than NSX, and being two to three times less costly in typical customer configurations. Cisco also collaborates very closely with our customers on technology, and we work with a wide variety of industry leaders, including competitors, to offer the best level of technology integration and interoperability.
Take a look at our first video below, and then compare for yourself which solution makes the most sense from the perspective of cost, performance, scalability, and features.
As I understand it, Nicira started with Open vSwitch on Xen, centrally provisioned and managed using OpenFlow to support at-scale deployments in service providers. I believe VMware is falling into the same trap as Microsoft. Microsoft viewed everything from the point of the physical computer: the PC and the server.The birth of american culture read theory answers
Microsoft was blind to the rise of the hypervisor. Today, VMware views everything from the point of the hypervisor. Sure, it may say the hypervisor is being commoditized, and as a result it is moving upstack and targeting the adjacent markets of cloud management platforms CMPNFV, and other areas.
But it is still tied to the hypervisor. It is blind to the rise of containers, and the increasing enterprise interest in OpenStack. But if a customer uses OpenStack, vRealize is not a factor.
Four Recommendations Before Purchasing Cisco ACI or VMware NSX
Containers may be the most disruptive IT technology since server virtualization. And containers are most disruptive to traditional hypervisor vendors. Virtual networking and NFV for containers is a very different problem to solve than for VMs and hypervisors.
The IT application environment just got a whole lot more complicated with the rise of Docker containers. It is a difficult and broad task to develop the tools to support this environment. It will consolidate in a few years, but in between, the vendors who have the broadest strategy stand to win. Thanks Rob and Frank! Very good insight. As you are well aware,VMware is very aggressively going after us with their Zero-Trust security implementation. While there claims can be quickly de-bunked, we do have risk in the mid-market with customers that are not as high-touch who may be lured in by their marketing claims.
I went through several days of Nexus and ACI training, recently. They also said they would have support in the virtual appliance as well. Not sure if it will be the existing v, but they will have ACI support in a vm.
We look forward to reading your comments and feedback.
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