Cisco 1000V Update
Early this month, Cisco made a major change to its pricing strategy for the Nexus 1000V virtual switch. Prior to the announcement, the cost of the virtual switch was $695 list price per CPU. It wasn’t a significant cost, but it was still a cost when you compare it to the no cost charge of using Open vSwitch (OVS). Thanks to Nicira, well I guess VMware now, for the extreme focus on the development and success of OVS in the cloud and open source community. Because of their work, it is now the standard offering in Citrix XenServer.
Going Beyond the Established Cisco Customer
This may very well open up the N1KV user community to more than those that are the “traditional Cisco customer.” Why not give it a shot at no cost? Do note that support for each N1KV deployed (even the free one) will still be a small added cost should you choose to opt for Cisco smartnet. Maybe this will lead to open communities of supporting Cisco freemium products.
Cisco made another interesting announcement yesterday at the OpenStack Summit. They launched the Cisco Edition of OpenStack. OpenStack itself is a collaboration of users and developers seeking to use open source, community-developed, tools to power public and private clouds of all sizes. While the Nexus 1000V is not open-source, it is clearly an Enterprise grade feature-rich switch based on NX-OS, which has over 6000 customers. With that said, the 1KV is now free, and it now supports the Quantum APIs, to be driven by OpenStack. Did Christmas come early?
There isn’t mention of the Nexus 1000V supporting the Quantum API in the screenshot above, but as with Xen, it wouldn’t make much sense if these weren’t being supported at no cost either. Maybe Cisco can verify for us.
What does it all mean?
The heck if I know, but when you take a step back and think, it could be genius getting software distributed at no cost, but then again, Cisco won’t be making money here, so what is their software strategy going forward? On positive note, if you're one of those new users of a free N1KV, you can now tap into the talent pool that has fully experienced 1KV deployments, which is another added bonus to learn from those who have paid already!
As always, we’ll have to wait and see how it all pans out. If anything else, it only adds fuel to the fire when discussing Cisco vs. VMware vs. Citrix vs. Open Source.
Maybe some things in life really are free.