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Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) is Alive and Kicking!

On January 28, 2008, Cisco made headlines with the introduction of the market’s first Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) Switch, the Nexus 5000. Cisco also reached out to ecosystem partners and demonstrated FCoE capabilities with them at various industry conferences.   When we introduced FCoE, we knew that it would revolutionize and transform the LAN/SAN connectivity landscape and lay the foundation for end-to end-convergence in the data center. A unified data center was possible for the first time. Flash forward seven years, and FCoE is now thriving, growing and is supported throughout the data center portfolio.

On May 21st 2015, Cisco introduced 40G FCoE support on Nexus 7000 / Nexus 7700. We continue to innovate and invest in FCoE and Storage Networking in general. Attend this Webinar on June 23rd to learn more.

FCoE Evolution. FCoE roadmap to success

For a while, Nexus 5K was the only platform that could support FCoE, and some of our progressive customers (like Coca Cola Bottling Company), who deployed FCoE with Nexus 5K, in the access layer immediately reaped the benefits of convergence (See below for FCoE customer references). Our customer feedback was that FCoE benefits were extremely tangible, but they wanted even more. Could Cisco extend FCoE beyond access layer? Could Cisco extend it to the core and to the storage array?

We have calculated an up to 50 percent energy saving, with commensurate reductions in cooling requirements. Overall our business case shows TCO falling by more than 40 percent,” says Ashi Sheth,  IT Director, American University of Sharjah

In order to support these requirements, in 2010 Cisco introduced new FCoE innovations, including multi-hop FCoE. Multi-hop FCoE enabled customers to deploy end to end FCoE and expand beyond access layer. Customers such as ITOCHU Techno-Solutions Corporation, Boeing Case Study Adventist Health Systems and others, were able to reap the benefits of multi-hop FCoE (see below for list of FCoE customers)

Cisco continued to innovate on FCoE and currently FCoE is supported across all the Nexus (2K, 5K and 7K), MDS and UCS platforms, with a future roadmap for the Nexus 9K. Fast forward to May 21st 2015, – Cisco announced the support of 40G FCoE across the Nexus 7000 and Nexus 7700 family, along with support for Spine and Leaf architecture.  FCoE is growing, is in great demand and we are investing in it to support customer requirements.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts turned to the Cisco Unified Computing System™ (UCS®), Nexus® Data Center Switches, and innovative technologies such as Fibre Channel over Ethernet (FCoE) to save money on power, cooling, cabling, and network infrastructure.

“Our tax payers work hard, and part of our goal to maximize efficiencies included maximizing funding to cut expenses and provide better service to our customers and citizens. Consolidating equipment and maintenance needs means employees can focus less on upkeep and more on developing innovative solutions for issues related to disaster recovery.” James Girardi, Manager of Enterprise Communications, Commonwealth of Massachusetts

FCoE is being rapidly adopted in the storage area networking (SAN) category as well.! Proof is in the customer adoption rate, customer case studies and the awards we received(IT Brand Pulse Award ). Cisco is technology agnostic and we keep on investing and innovating in multi-protocol SAN. We believe Fibre Channel will continue to exist, and it is not about FC or FCoE: it is about providing customer choices for their specific infrastructure needs. Strong support of FCoE across all data center platforms is a long term strategy to provide the right solutions to all customers, whether you are a small medium business, large enterprise or cloud provider.   Cisco provides all types of customers end to end server and storage connectivity, with a brand you can trust.

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Why I Love Big Data Partner Series 6: Highlights from Cisco Live — Top Insights from Platfora

Our last but not least guest blog on “Why I Love Big Data Partner Series” is up! If you are on your way back home from Cisco Live, this would be a great read for your commute. Rob Rosen from Platfora will take us through how easy it is to uncover previously hidden threats with an integrated big data solution that dynamically analyzes large volumes of disparate security data from Cisco’s security portfolio. If you missed Cisco Live this year, Rob also did a great job summarizing some of the key highlights.


Rob Rosen 2 (1)

Rob RosenSr. Director Partner Solutions at Platfora, is responsible for developing Big Data solutions within Platfora’s partner community including Cisco, Hadoop distribution providers and Platfora’s growing channel partner team. Rob has worked in leadership capacities with technology leaders in the infrastructure and Big Data space including MapR Technologies, NetApp, Check Point Software and Sun Microsystems.


Highlights from Cisco Live: Top Insights from Platfora

It was a jam-packed week at Cisco Live and I had the opportunity to dive into the latest developments around big data analytics and security. It’s well known that as IT infrastructure has transferred to virtual cloud-based applications and storage, organizations need visibility and security to keep their assets and data safe. I saw a lot of impressive presentations and I was able to share our own technology in partnership with Cisco.

Highlights from this week’s conference:

  • John Chambers’ keynote: Everyone’s talking about it—and for good reason. As he welcomed the crowd to Cisco Live, Chambers focused on exactly how businesses get disrupted in the digital age. He urged attendees and organizations to not hesitate to scrutinize their IT infrastructure and adopt the new technologies they’d see at the conference.
  •  Collaboration across companies: There was a huge ecosystem of technology companies that partnered with Cisco for a presence at the event. It’s encouraging to see that these tech giants across all industries are collaborating with one another to develop more comprehensive solutions for customers. Cisco’s leading the pack as it models an inclusive approach built on partnerships—which is better for everyone in the long run.
  • Cisco Intercloud announcement: This is a particularly exciting partnership announcement for Platfora. Cisco’s Intercloud Ecosystem could be described as a hybrid “cloud of clouds.” For anyone looking to pull value from their stored data, manage files or do a huge variety of other vital business tasks, this development is huge.

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The era of the partnership: F5 Networks and Cisco

Bio-pearce.jpgThis guest blog is written by Nathan Pearce of F5 Networks.

Nathan Pearce draws from over 20 years experience across numerous technologies and verticals, has held positions managing enterprise infrastructure, in vendor engineering, consulting, product management and marketing strategy. Pearce joined F5 Networks in 2006, is currently focused on Cloud and SDN go-to-market, is an experienced speaker, evangelist and technology enthusiast. You can find him on Twitter at @PearceNathan

The era of the partnership


We have entered a time that is demanding of the networking innovators that we connect the unconnected, deliver of the agile and unpredictable, secure the ever-changing, and that all this be done quicker than ever before. Organizational expectations are driving increased workload with the expectation of reduced lead times. Few would argue that achieving such requires massive change, not only to an organizations architectural approach but, to how we conduct business.

Synonymous with great change is accelerated innovation–the force behind the almost-electric atmosphere throughout Silicon Valley. For a long time, much of technology innovation has been in the form of, or within, specific devices–improved performance, management or consolidation. Consequently, the results have been within the silos those competencies exist–faster firewalls, improved virtual-server density, and more granular access technology, for example. However, unlike in the past, today’s innovation drivers are focused on faster, more agile business, and not just improvements to specific devices.

Delivering on the business expectation of managing exponential increase in agility is a feat no single vendor can solve. Consequently, those leading the trends are embracing the era of the partnership to best meet these expectations, and Cisco and F5 are no strangers to this practice of partnering to achieve a better customer outcome.

What’s in a partnership?

Successful partnerships run much deeper than a press release. F5 and Cisco are working together across many different avenues including regular product development sync ups, sales and marketing strategy, consulting services, and training. Is this necessary, you might ask? According to our customers it is integral.

Take Pulsant, for example:

Through our partnership and aligned commitment to better serve customers we are helping out customers:

  • Faster time to value for the deployment of new applications and services.
  • Faster time to react towards situation affecting existing applications and services.
  • Reduced complexity and operational risk in the management of Cisco’s Layer 2/3 networking services and F5’s Layer 4 – 7 application services.

Remaining competitive in today’s era of accelerated change can’t be achieved with the right tools, alone. Success comes from choosing partners with aligned vision.

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Cisco Enhances SDN Strategy and Offerings Across the Entire Nexus Portfolio with new VTS Automation Solution

Interest in Software Defined Networking (SDN) continues to grow through the ability to make networks more programmable, flexible and agile. This is accomplished by accelerating application deployment and management, simplifying automating network operations and creating a more responsive IT model.

Cisco is extending its leadership in SDN and Data Center Automation solutions with the announcement today of Cisco Virtual Topology System (VTS), which improves IT automation and optimizes cloud networks across the entire Nexus switching portfolio. Cisco VTS focuses on the management and automation of VXLAN-based overlay networks, a critical foundation for both enterprise private clouds and service providers. The announcement of the VTS overlay management system follows on Cisco’s announcement earlier this year supporting the EVPN VXLAN standard, which underlies the VTS solution.

Cisco VTS extends the Cisco SDN strategy and portfolio, which includes Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI), as well Cisco’s programmable NX-OS platforms, to a broader market and for additional use cases, which includes our massive installed base of Nexus 2000-7000 products, and to customers whose primary SDN challenge is in the automation, management and ongoing optimization of their virtual overlay infrastructure. With support for the EVPN VXLAN standard, VTS furthers Cisco’s commitment to open SDN standards, and increases interoperability in heterogeneous switching environments, with third-party controllers, and with cloud automation tools that sit on top of the open northbound API’s of the VTS controller.

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Why I Love Big Data Partner Series 5: Cisco and Splunk: The Weapons of a Security Warrior

In this 5th why I love big data blog series, I am joined by Jeff Aboud from Splunk to outline why big data security analytics is essential to today’s security challenges.

Untitled SplunkJeff Aboud, Sr. Solutions Marketing Manager, Security Markets, Splunk Jeff Aboud has more than a dozen years in various areas of the security industry, spanning from the desktop to the cloud, including desktop AV, gateway hardware and software, encryption technologies, and how to securely embrace the Internet of Things. His primary focus today is to help business and security professionals understand how to visualize, analyze, and alert across a broad range of data sources in real time to maximize their security posture.



It’s no secret that advanced threats and malicious insiders present increasing security challenges to organizations of all sizes. Security professionals know that it’s not matter a question of if, but when an attack will successfully breach their network. Visibility is often what makes the difference between a breach and a major security incident, and enables proactive security posture throughout the attack continuum – before, during, and after the attack. It’s also essential to understand that the fingerprints of an advanced threat are often located in the “non-security” data, so the effective detection and investigation of these threats, before your data is stolen, requires security and non-security data.

So what does all this really mean, and how can you use it do dramatically improve your security posture?

You need to integrate and correlate the data from your firewalls, intrusion prevention, anti-malware, and other security-specific solutions along with your “non-security” data such as the logs and packet information from your servers, switches, and routers. This is no easy task with the large number of different security solutions present in most enterprise networks. But having all your data at your fingertips will help you improve your detection capabilities and automate the remediation of advanced threats.

But how can you do this, since Security Information and Event Management (SIEM) systems only look at traditional security sources? The partnership between Splunk and Cisco is the answer. Splunk is integrated across Cisco security platforms, as well as other places throughout the network including various Cisco switches, routers and Cisco Unified Computing Systems (UCS) to deliver broad visibility across your environment.

Together, Splunk and Cisco provide security and incident response teams the tools they need to quickly identify advanced threats, visualize them in real-time across potentially thousands of data sources, and take automated remediation action on Cisco firewalls and intrusion prevention systems. Read More »

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