Use Spare Router Cycles to Host Linux VMs
In this summer, Cisco introduced a capability that we quietly rolled out in a software release last November (IOS XE 3.17). You can now host your own custom or third party KVM lightweight applications directly on your ISR 4000 or ASR 1000.
Kernel-based Virtual Machines, the KVM, are the standard virtualization technology in the embedded Linux world. If you’re writing applications to be hosted across a network, odds are you’re already using it. The ability to virtualize across the network is a key aspect of Cisco DNA so this capability dovetails very nicely with the larger solution for enterprise environments.
Get the Most from Your Branch Router
Many lightweight applications and network functions needed in a modern network or branch office are available as virtual machines (VM). If you need to host some of these functions in the network, use your Cisco router to do it instead of deploying a dedicated appliance at your branch site.
You’ll reduce complexity and cost by making use of spare compute horsepower that’s already in your router. Very efficient.
Run the Apps You Need...
Use the Cisco 4000 Series Integrated Services Router (ISR) and ASR 1000 Series Aggregation Services Router to host not only Cisco apps, but also third-party and homegrown Linux-based apps. These routers’ Cisco IOS XE operating system supports the Kernel-based Virtual Machine (KVM), a virtualization infrastructure for the Linux kernel that turns it into a hypervisor.
Both routers use a customized high-performance data plane for forwarding and manipulating packets. The control plane is entirely Linux running on an x86 Intel CPU. We designed the routers with extra CPU capacity for hosting VMs.
You can also turn to the Cisco 4000 Series ISR and ASR 1000 Series to host other network functions that can be deployed as VMs, including:
• Windows domain controller
• Print servers
• Network analytics
• Network functions such as WAN optimization (Cisco WAAS), intrusion detection and prevention (Snort IPS), and visibility and security intelligence (Cisco Stealthwatch Learning Network License)
Hosting those VMs directly on your existing physical router makes a whole lot of sense.
...With the Performance You Expect
VMs are not hosted in the data plane of the router, so there is no performance impact on packet forwarding or feature processing. Critical control plane functions run at a higher priority than hosted VMs.
This is industry-standard Linux virtualization at its finest.
More Related Topics
You can relax when you have Cisco Aironet 3800 Series Access Points deployed and running.
Why? Cisco Aironet 3800 Series Access Points and Cisco Aironet 2800 Series Access Points support 802.11ac Wave 2, increasing bandwidth for more devices. Cisco goes beyond the industry standard to provide advanced innovation that self-optimizes your network in unpredicted times of high density, with a feature called Cisco Flexible Radio Assignment.
In addition to the device deluge, there are times when a lot of people moving in and out of your network can complicate a high-density network environment. A manual approach to recalibrating your wireless network every time there is an unexpected usage change isn’t practical. Flexible Radio Assignment automatically adapts to these temporary high-density environment changes.
Flexible Radio Assignment is a Cisco innovation designed to provide a better mobile user experience for high-density networks by automatically detecting when a large number of devices are connected to a network. Once the detection is made, Flexible Radio Assignment changes its dual radios in the access point from 2.4 GHz/5 GHz to 5 GHz/5 GHz to serve more clients. The access point performs this function while still monitoring the network for security threats and RF interference that may affect performance.
Flexible Radio Assignment has three different modes of operation:
• Default operating mode, which serves clients on both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz
• Dual 5-GHz mode, which serves clients on both 5-GHz radios
• Wireless security monitoring, which scans both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz for security threats while also serving 5-GHz clients
How do these features work in an everyday setting?
The best way to describe this feature is by returning to the original scenario of a large number of office workers expecting to hear a speech from the boss.
As the first group of workers trickles into the conference room, the Cisco Aironet 3800 Series Access Points automatically determine that there is ample 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz wireless coverage. During the minutes before the meeting, these access points use the wireless security-monitoring mode in the 2.4-GHz radio to continually scan both bands for RF interference or security threats. Cisco CleanAir Technology eliminates any detected interference while rogue detection and containment and wireless intrusion prevention systems (wIPS) rectify security threats.
As the meeting looms closer and the high-density scenario is realized, Flexible Radio Assignment adapts in real time, and the Cisco access point radios provide the precise amount of 2.4-GHz and 5-GHz coverage. Some access points will convert both radios to the 5-GHz band to serve the additional clients and provide better coverage and performance during the high-density event.
This availability of the larger band is extremely helpful, as a majority of the audience is following the video feed of the conference over their wireless devices too.
Following the meeting, the access points return to default operating mode, offering 2.4-GHz/5-GHz coverage while other access points transition to wireless security monitoring mode.
The most amazing thing about this scenario is that, as the network administrator, you didn’t have to do anything to facilitate the extra bandwidth. The Cisco Aironet access point is intelligent enough to do the entire thing itself. This allows you to concentrate on more pressing issues.
Flexible Radio Assignment isn’t strictly for workplace environments.
It can be used in nearly any instance where a large group of people gather. Whether it’s in an educational setting, a hotel lobby, or a hospital, Flexible Radio Assignment is a boon to any wireless network.
From bring your own device (BYOD) to Internet-of-Things (IoT) devices, the proliferation of wireless items brings a new host of challenges as bandwidth-intense applications grow. Flexible Radio Assignment rises to these challenges and augments your wireless network to do more without making your job difficult.
Now if only the Flexible Radio Assignment could give Bob from accounting some new jokes.
Cisco Unified Communications 11.x and 10.x licensing is here!
Cisco Unified Communications 11.x and 10.x licensing has three levels
Cisco Unified Workspace Licensing (UWL) Meetings Edition
This edition is a complete unified communications and video solution. It includes all features in the Standard Edition plus Personal Multiparty Plus unlimited video conferencing – including the new Cisco Meeting Server as well as Cisco TelePresence Server and Conductor, Cisco WebEx Meetings Server on-premises conferencing, session management, and contact center capabilities.
Cisco UWL Standard Edition
Built on the reliable Cisco Unified Communications Manager platform, this edition includes call control, voice messaging, Cisco Expressway, and soft clients. Instant messaging and presence are also included as a perpetual license on premises.
Cisco User Connect Licensing (UCL) Enhanced and Enhanced Plus
A per-user license for the following individual Cisco Unified Communications applications:
• Cisco Unified Communications (including instant messaging and presence and Cisco Jabber desktop and mobile clients)
• Cisco Unity Connection
• Cisco Business Edition
Licensing Options for the Way You Work
Your business isn’t like any others. That’s why we offer a variety of software licensing options to meet your needs, regardless of the size of your business, the way your employees work, and the tools you need.
Depending on the type and number of devices you require, UCL is available in Essential, Basic, Enhanced, and Enhanced Plus versions.
• Essential UCL and Basic UCL: User-based licenses for individual Cisco Unified Communications products. Each includes applications server software and user licensing for a single device supported by the Essential UCL or Basic UCL functions. These licenses also provide on-premises instant messaging clients and presence software for the entire organization.
• Enhanced UCL and Enhanced Plus UCL: User-based licenses for individual Cisco Unified Communications products that support Cisco’s entire portfolio of user devices. They each include a soft client, applications server software, and user licensing. Enhanced UCL covers a single device, and Enhanced Plus allows for two. The licenses also provide on-premises instant messaging clients and presence software for the entire organization. Table 1 describes the four levels of UCL.
What Is Cisco Unified Workspace Licensing? Cisco UWL provides the most popular bundles of Cisco collaboration applications and services in a cost-effective, simple package. Licensed per user, it includes:
• Application server software
• User license
• Soft clients
Cisco Software Support Service is required to access technical support, minor updates, and major software upgrades.
The requirements for Cisco UWL are as follows:
• UWL Meetings Edition licensing requires a minimum of 25 users; the Standard Edition has a minimum of 1 user.
• You can mix UCL with UWL Standard and Meetings Editions.
• A 1-year Cisco Software Support Service (SWSS) contract is required. These contracts can be coterminous upon renewal.
More Cisco Licensing Topics