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Earlier this month, London played host to Cisco Live EMEAR where a key announcement was made from our switching team crossing data center, campus and service provider.  Cisco’s latest switching innovations are aimed at enabling our customers to address the megatrends of video, virtualisation, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and cloud, by delivering on their scale, services, and reduced total cost of ownership requirements.

With Cisco’s Cloud Index indicating that more than 50 percent of computing workloads in data centers will be cloud-based by 2014, and global cloud traffic will grow more than 12 times by 2015, to 1.6 zettabytes per year, this is clearly a trend that cannot be ignored and one that customers are often asking for support on.

To address the scale needs, Cisco announced it has updated its switching portfolio with 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) and 40 GE capabilities, the next speed limits for networking. In doing this, Cisco has just become the most extensive provider of 1/10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet and converged networking switching solutions.

According to Rob Soderbery, senior vice president for Cisco’s Enterprise Networking Group, “A strong network foundation is central to today’s evolving corporate IT strategies, and this period of rapid change is an exciting time to be in the enterprise network and data center switching business.   Today’s industry-leading performance and services innovations demonstrate Cisco’s leadership, as we transition our customers to cloud, video, mobility, big data and virtualized infrastructures.”

Last summer, we had discussions with a number of you around the latest supervisor for the Catalyst 6500 switching line.  With this latest news, Cisco is continuing to deliver investment protection to its customers by adding 40 GE performance options to its Catalyst 6500 switching line, and 40 GE and 100 GE capabilities in its Nexus 7000 portfolio for interconnecting data centers to service providers.  To expand its campus aggregation and data center top of rack switching, Cisco also announced two new fixed-configuration platforms that provide high-density 10 GE switching.

Making it easy to enable new services, Cisco announced simpler network virtualization functionality for its Catalyst 6500, 4500 and Aggregation Services Router (ASR) 1000 product lines with a new technology called Easy Virtual Network, as well as scalable virtual services with a new Nexus 1010-X appliance for the data center.

So, what do Cisco’s customers think?  According to Jeroen van Ingen of the University of Twente, We like the Catalyst 6500 platform because it’s a true workhorse with a wide range of features. With a tight budget and little advance notice of new requirements from our researchers or our administration, we prefer a flexible solution to increase performance. The new 40 Gigabit module for the Catalyst 6500 with Sup 2T supports both 10 Gigabit and 40 Gigabit Ethernet and provides a seamless upgrade from 10 Gigabit today to future 40 Gigabit to meet the growing bandwidth demands, without any network disruption and forklift infrastructure change – true to the investment protection capability 6500 is so well known for.”

Together, all of these enhancements will help businesses scale their networks, simplify operations, and continue to derive value from their existing Cisco switching investments – many of which have been deployed for a decade or longer. Next time you get asked about TCO, consider how many vendors you could say that about.  At Cisco, we say that TCO is about more than cost of acquisition and this latest announcement clearly shows our on-going commitment to delivering long-term value and business benefits for our customers.

We welcome your thoughts and feedback.  If you would like more detail on these announcements, additional resources are available below:

Announcement: http://newsroom.cisco.com/press-release-content?type=webcontent&articleId=657081
Shashi Kiran’s Blog: http://blogs.cisco.com/news/cisco-switching-leadership-and-innovations/#more-58670

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