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I gotta be honest here. I not a big fan of many of our marketing programs here at Cisco. Well, really it’s the launch vehicles that I think are too flowery and silly to be honest. I’m sure analyst clap their hands with glee.  

I like that aggressive attack style of marketing that challenges competitors and makes huge claims that we have to back up. Stuff like; “Yeah, we invented routing. Ours is the best, suck it Juniper” or even; “Oh you built a switch out of off the shelf Broadcom chips HP?…cool story bro. When you’re ready for actual innovation call your Cisco rep and ask about the 6800-X” I love that stuff man…make the claims and let the engineers fight it out like a MMA match. Last one standing gets the RFP.

When we were approached about the next marketing launch; “Game Changer” I actually laughed out loud. What game are we changing here? Yet another type of ACL’s or adding another VPN technology? Yeah..ummm…Woot.  Look, I get the drill; we have to release new stuff to keep the product line fresh. It’s the story of manufacturing. That’s why some car years are meh and others are incredible. Like 1957, 1963, 1969, 1973, etc…those cars changed the game. The gap in time is due to engineering hours to development and prototyping. It takes a very very long time to build anything from CAD to green board product.

And ya know what, this launch is called; “Game Changer” because honestly, that’s what it is. It really changes the way we design networks. With products like the 6800-X series switch, (I reckon we are adding “X” to new stuff now…) designed by the product designers that have been building and improving the stalwart 6500 series. Oh it’s fast for sure! And how about that capacity 10/40/100Gb…yeah man! Personally, I love the Instant Access feature that allows you to fan out your network topology with 2960’s (also new and groovy!) and deploy them in seconds! It works great too! One touch config across an entire network with feature consistency. If there is one thing that drives network admins crazy is keeping up with config changes at the edge. Plus so much more stuff we will actually use!

The sick and demented engineering minds at Cisco labs added improvements to my favorite Cisco switch; the Cat 4500-E. The Sup 8-E has an incredible control plane now. Turbo charging it with a 2.2GHz quad core CPU makes those packets scoot like Rick Mears at Indy. They put that horsepower to work by collapsing your wireless controllers on the 8-E. Converging wired AND wireless onto a switch that has legendary redundancy (NSF/SSO) with 60W UPOE. That changes how I’ll design networks.

Finally the ISR 4400. Man the router just looks bad to the friggen bone man! It should be wearing a leather jacket and heading out to Sturgis this weekend. My favorite feature has to be the Storage Containers piece. We actually did a Fundamentals on that feature due to its Ernest Shackleton like awesomeness.

I do also dig the internal architecture. It’s been designed around video and voice optimization and honestly, it does it better than anything we tested in a long time. We beat the snot out of this box in TechWiseTV labs and it was just amazing how well it processes raw HD video so smooth and consistent.  Plus built in firewall AND encryption acceleration native…no wonder it looks bad to the bone.

Look folks, this was really one fantastic episode that I really enjoyed doing. I love solid engineering whether it’s a bridge, a car or a device. These products we have in this show did not disappoint at all. Check it; TechWiseTV episode  131: “Network Game Changer 

Jimmy Ray Purser

Trivia File Transfer Protocol

On the TV show 77 Sunset Strip, Dino’s Lodge was actually owned by Dean Martin and was located at 8524 Sunset until it was torn down in 1989.

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