Home > Articles

Cisco Nexus 1000V Virtual Network Services: The Next Generation

Gustavo A. A. Santana, author of Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals: Understanding Techniques and Designs for Highly Efficient Data Centers with Cisco Nexus, UCS, MDS, and Beyond, highlights how Cisco's Nexus 1000V Layer 2 distributed virtual switch can unlock potential in server virtualization environments, boldly going where no switch has gone before.
Like this article? We recommend

As server virtualization advances in data centers, fulfilling promises such as dynamic workloads and cloud computing, the importance of virtual networking increases in these environments. Responsible for handling virtual machine (VM) traffic, this young branch of networking materializes the new perimeter of a data center network; therefore, it defines one of the more critical components of this structure.

In recent years, an even brighter spotlight has shone on virtual networking, simply because it can also be seen as another flavor of software-defined networking (SDN). Consequently, in addition to providing a centralized management point for thousands of virtual access ports, virtual switches can grant a programmable interface to multiple applications.

Cisco offered its first virtual networking solution in 2009 with Nexus 1000V, a Layer 2 distributed virtual switch that deploys the same features from physical Nexus platforms, consequently bridging the gap between physical and virtual network administration. Its success has demonstrated how visibility and control spanning two different management domains (server virtualization and networking) can help to solve problems that usually arise when these clusters scale.

As I have detailed in my book Data Center Virtualization Fundamentals: Understanding Techniques and Designs for Highly Efficient Data Centers with Cisco Nexus, UCS, MDS, and Beyond, Cisco's virtual networking portfolio has evolved in subsequent years with features such as the following:

  • Virtual Extensible LAN (VXLAN). Bridging domains that overcome VLAN limitations such as number of segments, data center Layer 2 extensions, and MAC address table sizes.
  • Virtual Services Data Path (vPath). Technology that transparently inserts virtual network services (such as firewalls, accelerators, and so on) in VM traffic.
  • Virtual Security Gateway (VSG). A firewall that deploys security policies between VMs from the same tenant.
  • ASA 1000V. A firewall that can provide edge protection for a tenant's VMs.
  • CSR 1000V. A fully functional IOS-XE router within a VM that can bring advanced routing services such as MPLS VPN and LISP to server virtualization clusters.

In addition to these features, Cisco has recently unveiled improvements and new solutions that further widen its virtual networking portfolio. This article explores these enhancements.

Nexus 1000V for Microsoft Hyper-V

First deployed with VMware vSphere, Nexus 1000V recently extended its capabilities to Microsoft Hyper-V. After one of the most popular beta programs in Cisco's history, Nexus 1000V can now deploy uniform network policies across heterogeneous hypervisor environments.

In such versions, Nexus 1000V relies on the deployment of Microsoft's System Center Virtual Machine Manager (SCVMM). Syncing its policies with this VM manager software, Nexus 1000V appears as an extensible virtual switch within a Microsoft Windows 2012 virtualization cluster.

Figure 1 depicts the main components from Nexus 1000V for Microsoft Hyper-V.

Figure 1 Nexus 1000V for Microsoft Hyper-V architecture.

Following the structure of its vSphere counterpart, Nexus 1000V for Microsoft Hyper-V consists of two main components: Virtual Supervisor Modules (VSMs), which deploy the virtual switch control plane; and multiple Virtual Ethernet Modules (VEMs), which deploy the control plane in each Windows 2012 physical server with Hyper-V service enabled. Together these modules form a single instance of Nexus 1000V.

The VSM can be deployed as a VM within a cluster, or a "virtual blade" on a Nexus 1110 Cloud Services Platform, whereas a VEM can easily be installed in each physical server by using a Microsoft Installer (MSI) file. Deploying an "installer app" for its installation, Nexus 1000V for Microsoft Hyper-V parallels the ease of installation from the VMware vSphere version.

The following table illustrates the main differences between Nexus 1000V for vSphere and Hyper-V at the time of this writing. Because more features and services will surely be added during product development, always check Cisco online documentation for updated information.

Nexus 1000V Version Comparison


VMware vSphere

Microsoft Hyper-V

VEMs per Nexus 1000V



Network requirements for VSM-VEM traffic

Layer 2 or Layer 3

Layer 3 only




Available vPath Virtual Network Services

VSG, ASA 1000V, Cisco Virtual Wide Area Application Services (vWAAS), Citrix NetScaler 1000V, Imperva SecureSphere Web Application Firewall (WAF)





InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information

To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.


Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.


If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information

Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information

If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information

Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents

California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure

Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact

Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice

We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020