Thursday, June 20, 2013

Cisco Offers Free Nexus 1000V Integrated Switch for Hyper-V

Hyper-V 3.0 on Windows Server 2012 offers a new feature called an extensible virtual switch.  This feature allows you to replace the Windows integrated virtual switch in Hyper-V with a third-party switch, such as the Cisco 1000V.  You can get a quick overview of Hyper-V extensible virtual switches here.

The Cisco 1000V virtual switch provides many advanced capabilities to Hyper-V VMs such as advanced switching (private VLANs, ACLs, PortSecurity, and Cisco vPath), security, monitoring, and manageability.


The following information comes from Cisco's Cisco Nexus 1000V Switch for Microsoft Hyper-V website:

Features and Capabilities

The Cisco Nexus 1000V Switch for Microsoft Hyper-V:
  • Offers consistent operational experience across physical, virtual, and mixed hypervisor environments
  • Reduces operational complexity through dynamic policy provisioning and mobility-aware network policies
  • Improves security through integrated virtual services and advanced Cisco NX-OS features

The following table summarizes the capabilities and benefits of the Cisco Nexus 1000V Switch for Microsoft Hyper-V.
CapabilitiesFeaturesOperational Benefits
Advanced SwitchingPrivate VLANs, Quality of Service (QoS), access control lists (ACLs), portsecurity, and Cisco vPathGet granular control of virtual machine-to-virtual machine interaction.
SecurityDynamic Host Configuration Protocol (DHCP) Snooping, Dynamic Address Resolution Protocol Inspection, and IP Source GuardReduce common security threats in data center environments.
MonitoringNetFlow, packet statistics, Switched Port Analyzer (SPAN), and Encapsulated Remote SPANGain visibility into virtual machine-to-virtual machine traffic to reduce troubleshooting time.
ManageabilitySimple Network Management Protocol, NetConf, syslog, and other troubleshooting command-line interfacesUse existing network management tools to manage physical and virtual environments
The Cisco Nexus 1000V won the Best of Microsoft TechEd 2013 award in the Virtualization category.

If you're interested in learning more about the Nexus 1000V extensible switch, I encourage you to view the following 2 hour session on CiscoLive365: BRKVIR-2017. - The Nexus 1000V on Microsoft Hyper-V: Expanding the Virtual Edge (2013 London).  Free registration is required.  Bennial also posted the PowerPoint slide deck for this session on ScribD here.

Best of all it's free to download here!  The download itself is for a 60 day trial.  I received confirmation from Cisco that after 60 days you have to get a license, but it is free:

  1. Go to www.cisco.com/go/license 
  2. Select the License Wizard, Check Product Category, Select Nexus 1000v, Select Add a License to Rehost
  3. Enter the Nexus 1000v Serial Number (obtained from the virtual switch) or the existing PAK (Prod Auth Key)
  4. A license file (PAK) will be generated and emailed to you
  5. Just apply the new license file




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