Cisco last week announced a new virtual switch type called the Application Virtual Switch (AVS). The AVS is designed to be part of the Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) range of products and services. In the ACI architecture, applications drive networking behavior, not the other way around. Pre-defined application requirements and descriptions (“policy templates”) automate the provisioning of the network – virtual and physical, application services, security policies, tenant subnets and workload placement. The switch will be made available for several hypervisor platforms: vSphere, Hyper-V and KVM/Xen.
In October, cloudcomputing.info reported about HP teaming with VMware, where HP announced that it’s busy federating its Virtual Application Networks SDN Controller with VMware NSX, raising questions on why Cisco didn’t announce any support for the NSX platform yet. With the announcement of the AVS it seems obvious that Cisco isn’t going to integrate with NSX at all, but prefers to push its own ACI using the virtual switch technology available for multiple virtualization platforms. This is bad news for VMware, since they need the support of big Network vendors in order for their NSX platform to succeed.
The AVS supports Application Network Profile (ANP) which is consistent with the Nexus 9000 series of physical switches. Its managed through the Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) and it enables optimal traffic steering between virtual and physical layers of the fabric.
Customers already using the Nexus 1000V Virtual Switch family can use migration tools to migrate to the AVS if they want to migrate to the Application Centric Infrastructure.