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Virtualization Key Enhancement To Cisco Data Center 3.0

Cisco rolled out a broad array of enhancements to its Data Center 3.0 this week as the networking company's CiscoLive! user group met in Florida.

"Virtualization" was the byword as Cisco said the new products and professional services will help its customers virtualize data centers for greater operational and energy efficiency.

The announcements covered new software releases for Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS), Cisco VFrame Data Center, and Cisco Application Control Engine (ACE). The other major announcement was for new Cisco Data Center 3.0 professional programs and services.

In noting that the data center virtualization technologies are aimed at helping businesses compete more effectively on a global basis.

"Real-time collaborative applications, energy concerns and the need to achieve greater efficiency from assets are driving IT managers to transform their data centers through new technologies," John McCool senior VP and general manager, Cisco Data Center, Switching and Services Group and co-chair of the Cisco EcoBoard said in a statement.

The VFrame Data Center software release 1.2 provisions Cisco's ACE technology and VMware's ESX enabling the virtualization of servers to ACE virtual devices while configuring with ESX. Cisco invested $150 million in VMware and the two firms have been cooperating on deploying virtual products and services.

Cisco's WAAS release 4.1 features virtualized application hosting service and video delivery for branch offices. The firm's ACE release 3.1 for the ACE application switch offers 4 Gbps throughput and 2 Gbps of compression capability. The new release also can utilize virtualized platforms for multimedia readiness. The company also updated its Data Center Assurance Program (DCAP). Most of the new enhancements will be available in the third quarter.

The new enhancements follow the prediction last July of Cisco CEO
John Chambers who said virtualization will first work in the data center. "The network is the platform because it's ubiquitous and vendor-agnostic," Chambers said at the time.

Cisco's current data center drive had its origins in 2002, when the company embarked on a data center strategy that involved providing local area network switches, network storage, and load balancers.