Cisco Virtual Switch moves to Hyper-V

The creator of the hardware behind the Great Firewall of China has teamed up with a convicted monopolist to link virtual switches.

Cisco is collaborating with Microsoft to bring its virtual switch to Hyper-V next year when Windows Server 8 is released.

At the moment, Cisco’s Nexus 1000V distributed virtual switch runs on VMware software, however it can’t work in Hyper-V in Windows Server 2008 R2.

According to a Cisco statement, support for Hyper-V will only apply to the forthcoming Windows Server 8. This is because it is better at integrating third-party modules than its predecessor.

Hyper-V customers can use a virtual switch included with Microsoft’s hypervisor, and connect to Cisco physical switches and other Cisco products like the Unified Computing System.

Even so, if the code works it means that the Cisco virtual switch software can be brought to the hypervisor layer.This will create greater visibility into virtual machines and better provisioning and management capabilities, Cisco claims

Cisco’s policy enforcement, automated provisioning and diagnostics features can be used on the Nexus 1000V, and will help IT administrators rapidly deploy virtual workloads in Windows Server Hyper-V environments and scale to large data centres.

The networking giant boffins are adapting Cisco’s Virtual Machine Fabric Extender (VM-FEX) technology to support Hyper-V in Windows Server 8, providing IT administrators the same type of management interface and capabilities for both physical and virtual networking.

From Vole’s perspective expanding the ability of Cisco’s networking tools to work with Hyper-V could help Redmond convince punters that its server virtualisation software is a viable alternative to VMware.

Hyper-V technology is not bad and Vole can provide management tools that are familiar to Windows administrations. So far, it has failed to convert large enterprise customers from VMware to Hyper-V.