It’s about time! Well, that’s probably not fair..but I’ve been looking forward to this release since Cisco Live last year. I’ll be honest… Our engineers haven’t always been in love with the 1Kv. There were some early teething pains but it’s turned in to a mature product very quickly. Along with just being solid Cisco is now adding a lot of great extended functionality. Let’s look at the major updates on this new release that I call 1.4 as the full version is too long!
vPath – This is the big one. At Cisco Live last year Cisco announced the new Virtual Security Gateway and a little while back they announced a new virtual edition of WAAS (Guess the name. Yep. vWAAS). So why haven’t we seen these yet? Because we’ve been waiting on vPath. Basically, you can now plug Virtual Service Nodes (VSN) in to the 1Kv. These VSNs can provide additional functionality, such as a stateful firewall or application acceleration. Using vPath the 1Kv can “steer” packets to the right VSN, depending on your policies and the services you want to define. Very cool. I’m excited about this.
Installer Application Enhancement – The installation GUI continues to get better…thankfully. Now you can configure things such as Layer 3 configuration and Primary/Standby VSM configurations.
Feature Command – If you have configured a Nexus 5K or 7K you’re probably familiar with the Feature command. This is now used in the 1Kv. For those that haven’t, the physical Nexus switches don’t have some features enabled by default…things like LACP or FCoE (on the 5K). To enable them you type something like “feature lacp”. Before you do that the commands just aren’t available. You will need to do the same thing on the 1Kv as well…and this will make you smack your forehead when you spend 10 minutes trying to figure out why NXOS tells you that a command isn’t found and then you realize you didn’t enable the feature. For any feature being used on a previous version they will be enabled when the VSM is upgraded.
Capacity Maximum Upgrades – As usual when a new version hits they increase the maximums on some options. A nice one here is now that the maximum number of active VLANs is 2,048. This will be a huge help to some service providers. The maximum number of VEMs managed by an active VSM is still 64.
Good stuff! Expect to be reading some posts and watching some videos on the new Virtual Security Gateway and vWAAS soon.
Oh yeah, one more thing. Not a new feature but something really nice… Cisco now has videos going over different installation and configuration operations on the 1Kv. They are available here. Guess I need new ideas for videos… The documentation also continues to get better and better. There are now nice walkthroughs on how to configure VMware Update Manager to patch your 1Kv installation.