NetApp, Cisco, VMware Pledge To Boost Virtualized Data Center Security

Vendors introduce new design architecture, back it with cooperative support effort.

February 1, 2010

D.H. Kass

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NetApp Inc., a maker of enterprise storage and data management products and services, said it will collaborate with Cisco Systems Inc. and VMware on new design architectures to help customers construct more efficient, dynamic and secure virtualized data centers.

The three companies said they will collectively deliver new architectures for enterprise data centers, through a framework they are calling the Secure Multi-tenancy Design Architecture (SMDA). Their aim is to boost security in cloud environments by isolating the resources and applications of different clients, business units or departments that share a common IT infrastructure.

SMDA is based on Cisco Nexus series switches and the vendor’s Unified Computing system, NetApp FAS storage with MultiStore and VMware vSphere and vShield Zones. The companies said that the design reference architecture has been tested and approved as a valid Cisco design.

Collectively, they promised to provide 24-hour cooperative support to provide quicker response time to customers in need of product or technology assistance.

NetApp, Cisco and VMware said that the SMDA design will help enterprise customers, system integrators and service providers to develop internal and external cloud services that enhance security across the computing, networking, storage and management layers of a unified infrastructure.

SMDA provides details about implementing and configuring the architecture as well as best practices for building and managing solutions from NetApp, Cisco and VMware, the companies said.

“Our visions are aligned around the concept of a dynamic data center that will be the foundation of cloud computing and that will enable enterprise, integrators and service providers to deliver IT as a service,” said Tom Georgens, NetApp president and chief executive.

“In this scenario, IT becomes a dynamic asset that is more efficient and can better adapt to changing business needs. This new era of IT has stringent infrastructure requirements that our companies are ready to meet today together.”

The agreement closely follows a pact announced in November by Cisco, VMware and EMC Corp. to combine their server, networking and storage gear into a series of pre-configured and pre-tested solutions called Vblocks under an alliance they termed the Virtual Computing Environment.

With the NetApp agreement, Cisco signaled that its storage thinking surrounding its Unified Computing platform is not confined solely to EMC and affirmed its open systems view on the data center.

“A unified architecture approach is more important than ever before,” said Tony Bates, Cisco senior vice president and general manager, enterprise commercial and small business.

“Our joint vision with NetApp and VMware centers on delivering a unified architecture for customers to design and build a complete, virtualized data center that will streamline operations and improve business resilience.”

An official said that the design architecture will help IT administrators to set the appropriate quality of service for each resource layer and to deliver consistent service performance levels.

“A validated secure multi-tenancy design architecture from these three industry leaders will be a necessity for companies looking to develop cloud services that isolate data across a highly a highly secure, shared virtualized infrastructure,” said Brian Denton, chief technology officer at ExamWorks Inc., an Atlanta, GA-based medical legal services company.

Channel partners important to collaboration

NetApp, Cisco and VMware said that they are working with a substantial number of solution providers that will use SMDA and associated services, including Eccom Network Storage System Ltd., ePlus Technology, Forsythe, Inx, Lockheed Martin, Logicalis, Long View Systems, MSI System Integrators, Presidio Inc. and World Wide Technology.

The unified computing, unified storage, networking and virtualization solutions that comprise SMDA are available now, the companies said.

TAGS: security,architecture,Cisco,NetApp,VMware

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