We had some sneak peeks at CiscoLive in London but as you probably know by now, this stuff was just formally announced last week. Several demos worth looking at give you the foundation for what is important. Shashi Kiran is leading this effort and you can always count on a good quote:
“Cisco takes Unified Fabric to the next level delivering compelling customer value in an evolutionary manner, we offer a switch with the industry’s highest 40GbE density per rack unit, the simplest solution for the hybrid cloud model, and the most extensible network controller.”
Interesting….tell us more…
Three areas of innovation: How we Scale (Nexus 6000), how we enable the Hybrid deployment model (Nexus 1000v InterCloud) and how we open it all up with Cisco ONE (Open Networking Environment)
I was really impressed with Cisco Live London..for those of you who took the time to shake our hand and say hello…THANK YOU! You make us feel like geek rock stars! Good thing the doors are really big at these conferences so my inflated ego could still make it through. I mentioned our Fundamentals of Converged Wireless and Wireless Access yesterday…but there are a few more detailed videos surrounding this Unified Access Launch that were definitely worth mentioning.
First off -- Jimmy Ray gets with Muhammad Imam so that he can demonstrate the new controls for QoS on wired or wireless now.
We circle back with another friend, Sachin Gupta, to hear what kind of feedback we are getting back from both geeks and others who have actually already deployed the Catalyst 3850. The pricing is extremely attractive on this…no extra cost even though this is a HUGE revolution from the previous 3700 series.
Perhaps a bit overshadowed, but really should not be overlooked, are the changes we see within the 5760. As the first IOS based Wireless LAN Controller -- this new release has identical commands for configuration and management as you do with the 3850. Great example of the ONE Network we speak of now on such a regular basis.
Lots of big announcements around the new Catalyst 3850 that are very very interesting for how we design networks. Check out our latest ‘Fundamentals’ to fully appreciate what has been accomplished here!
When playing in the high speed switching game -- timing is everything. Timing ‘sets the pace’ for visibility to established the ‘where and when,’ correlation across a broad computing environment plus compliance and digital forensics with precision time stamps. Every element of the data center requires accurate timing at a level that leaves no room for error.
Speed is the other, more celebrated, if not obvious requirement, for the high speed switching game. Speed that is measured in increments requiring some new additions to my vocabulary.
When looking at the ways in which we measure speed and regulate time throughout the network, I was of course familiar with NTP or Network Time Protocol. NTP provides millisecond timing…which, crazy enough…is WAY TOO SLOW for this high speed market. Now being from the South, I may blink a little slower than other people but I read that the average time it takes to blink an eye…is 300 to 400 milliseconds! A millisecond is a thousandth of a second. That is considered slow?
Turns out ‘micro-second’ level detail is our next consideration. A microsecond is equal to one millionth (10−6 or 1/1,000,000) of a second. One microsecond is to one second as one second is to 11.54 days. To keep our blinking example alive: 350,000 microseconds. Still too slow.
Next unit of measure? The Nanosecond. A nanosecond is one billionth of a second. One nanosecond is to one second as one second is to 31.7 years. Time to blink is just silly at this point.
At one point in time I used to think higher speeds were attainable with higher degrees of bandwidth. This may be why the idea of ‘low latency’ seems so counter-intuitive. As you hopefully understand at this point, there are limitations to how fast data can move and that real gains in this area can only be achieved through gains in efficiency -- in other words, the elimination (as much as possible) of latency.
For ethernet, speed really is about latency. Ethernet switch latency is defined as the time it takes for a switch to forward a packet from its ingress port to its egress port. The lower the latency, the faster the device can transmit packets to its final destination. Also important within this ‘need for speed’ is avoiding packet loss. The magic is in within the balancing act: speed and accuracy that challenge our understanding of traditional physics.
Cisco’s latest entrant to the world of high speed trading brings us the Nexus 3548. A slim 48 port line rate switch with latency as low as 190 nanoseconds. It includes a Warp switch port analyzer (SPAN) feature that facilitates the efficient delivery of stock market data to financial trading servers in as littles as 50 nanoseconds and multiple other tweaks we uncover in this 1 hour deep dive into the fastest switch on the market. The first new member of the 2nd generation Nexus 3000 family. (We featured the first generation Nexus 3000 series in April 2011)
This is a great show -- it moves fast!
- Robb & Jimmy Ray with Keys to the Show
- Berna Devrim introduces us to Cisco Algo Boost and the Nexus 3548
- Will Ochandarena gives us a hardware show and tell
- Jacob Rapp walks us through a few live simulations
- Chih-Tsung, ASIC designer walks us through the custom silicon
The TechWiseTV Fundamentals series continues to enjoy a great run -- this concept of character animation and tight scripting we started with back in the early TrustSec and EnergyWise days, is still a complete joy to work on. We have learned a ton about getting the scripts tighter, writing to support visuals, how to stay technical and not try to say too much AND all the work that goes into storyboarding the visuals, working with artists and motion graphic experts. There was an element, however, we had never considered before -- in my mind perhaps because I thought it was furthest from our capability.