For a very long time Cisco was in the enviable position of being the old school IBM of the networking world, with the paraphrased "nobody ever got fired for buying Cisco" ringing true. But those days are gone, and it now behooves Cisco to offer plenty of reasons why customers should select their products and architectures for their datacenters, especially for those customers who choose the Cisco vision of a unified datacenter.
With the mantra of flexibility, functionality, and usability (at least within the Cisco framework) seeming to come from the most recent Cisco announcements regarding their datacenter infrastructure products, Cisco takes the additional important step of adding flexible virtualized security to their existing virtual machine deployment and management tools.
As part of the announcement of the Cisco Unified Network Services architecture Cisco announced the Virtual Security Gateway; software that runs on the Nexus 1000V, giving it the feel of an appliance-like tool that manages the security of the virtualized server network at the level of the individual Virtual Machine.
The primary advantage of this device is that it offers very detailed, policy-level security control of all of the supported virtual machines, making it an important tool for environments with strict compliance guidelines or the need to assure the compartmentalization of server operations in a virtual environment where the physical location of rapidly deployable virtual servers may not otherwise be controlled.
While this level of security control may not be necessary in all environments, it's availability in the new Cisco architecture will make the UNS offerings that much more appealing to customers with this type of need, an appeal that Cisco must hope will make them the converged infrastructure vendor of choice for these high-end customers.