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Cisco and Intel : Enabling Collaboration and Innovation

October 18, 2011 at 4:55 pm PST

Intel blogger Sandhya Gorman is back this week to talk about Intel and Cisco leadership in innovation and collaboration .

“Two leaders I respect very much were featured at Oracle Open World 2011- Cisco CEO John Chambers and Intel GM Kirk Skaugen.  Both spoke on different days to separate audiences but the themes were strikingly synergistic.

Skaugen spoke about the explosion of data that will be sparked by the 15B connected devices expected to be in the hands of the worldwide population by 2015.  This year, connected devices produced 245 Exabytes (that’s a 10 followed by 18 zero’s) of data alone.  As we get to 15B devices, businesses will need to rely on the Cloud to manage all the data in order for them to focus their efforts on innovation and capturing market transitions.

Chambers expressed Cisco’s vision of collaboration and connectivity to foster innovation.  Businesses and consumers no longer will have to deal with 7 or 8 vendors, standalone devices and architectures to collaborate and realize the relevance of the all the exabytes of data we process.  Read appreciative comments on John’s presentation and watch it here

Interestingly, both Cisco and Intel are in a position of enabling collaboration and innovation from both a push and pull perspective.

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Announcing the Cisco ASA 1000V Cloud Firewall

October 18, 2011 at 9:06 am PST

This week Cisco is announcing the ASA 1000V cloud firewall, a product that we previewed at VMworld last month and in an earlier blog post. This video provides a very high level introduction to our latest virtual security product.

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Re-defining Fabric Scale: Thinking Beyond the “Box”

Today we are making a significant announcement with several new innovations across our data center and switching portfolio that showcase how our customers can build large scale-up and scale-out data center networks.  While the press release does a great job (thanks Lee!) of highlighting all the innovations across the Nexus Unified Fabric portfolio and the new ASA 1000v, two aspects of the announcement stand out quite prominently:

  1. Cisco is delivering the highest density 10GbE modular switching platform in the industry
  2. Cisco is delivering the most scalable fabric in the industry and, by extension -- on the planet! (we’re told planet sounds much cooler)

No. 1 above is fairly straightforward. With our new 2nd-generation F2 line card and Fabric 2 module, at 768 ports of 10GbE line-rate switching ports running NX-OS, the flagship Nexus 7018 in a fully-loaded configuration is simply the epitome of switch scale.

No.2 is where things get interesting, because we’re no longer thinking about just the “box” but rather, how we can weave different elements across the data center into a holistic “fabric”.  This systems-based approach focuses on multi-dimensional scale transcending the box and even the data center LAN, to span between data centers, while providing feature-rich fabric capabilities.  At 12,000+ 10GbE nodes supported as part of one Fabricpath-enabled system, and with the ability to support Fabric Extender (FEX) technology (plus L2 and L3 capabilities), this approach re-defines fabric scalability at 2X the scale and half the cost point of the next best claim in the industry. More important, it achieves this in an evolutionary manner for our 19,000+ NX-OS customers, offering investment protection for brownfield deployments while raising the bar for greenfield environments!

The Nexus platforms have been around for 3+ years, and over 500 customers have deployed FabricPath on the Nexus 7000 alone since its introduction about an year ago. It is a proven technology. With Fabricpath now coming onto the Nexus 5500 platforms, the momentum is likely to spike up with a mix of both size and scale. Like I said, things get interesting.

To make it more fun, our technical experts from the product teams have taken a data-driven approach and compared Cisco’s new innovations and our box and system-scale with others in the industry.

They looked at a couple of representative examples -- the first being, what it would take any other vendor to build a non-blocking 768-port 10GbE “switch”, with capabilities similar to what the Nexus 7000 could provide in a single chassis. The second example takes a look at what it takes to build a “fabric” with Cisco leveraging its Nexus portfolio and NX-OS to build that.

Take a look and let us know what you think. It is useful to note that most vendors in the industry today have no fabric capabilities to speak of, and the few that are attempting a systems approach, have really limited to no customer traction thus far. Our customers and key analysts tell us that Cisco has a multi-year innovation lead in this space, even as Cisco continues to focus on bringing the network, compute, storage and application services together with integrated management to drive productivity and efficiency across traditional IT and organizational silos.

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Cisco is First Partner to Announce Oracle NoSQL Database Solution on Cisco UCS

At the recently concluded Oracle OpenWorld 2011, Cisco announced a comprehensive “Oracle NoSQL Database” Solution on Cisco UCS that helps organizations deploy Big Data solutions quickly, with configurations that scale easily and predictably as demand dictates. Cisco UCS is the first platform partner certified for “Oracle NoSQL Database” and we are very excited about that.

The Cisco solution for Oracle NoSQL database is fully tested, certified and designed to meet your scalability requirements with a modular, easy-to-deploy Cisco UCS  infrastructure that accelerates time-to-value and reduces risk.

Oracle NoSQL Database is a new product from Oracle – a distributed, highly-available key-value storage platform for large-volume, latency-sensitive applications or web services. It is built based on Oracle Berkeley DB Java Edition High Availability storage engine. It can provide fast, reliable, distributed storage to applications that need to integrate with extract, transform, and load (ETL) processing.

The  Joint Ciso-Oracle solution on Cisco UCS platform offers enterprise robustness and stability with the Oracle NoSQL database as the underlying storage engine . The solution is based on the proven data center architecture using Cisco UCS™ C-Series Rack-Mount Servers powered by Intel® Xeon® processors. Customers can choose to deploy Cisco UCS C200 M2 or Cisco UCS C210 M2 servers depending on their business needs. Cisco Nexus® switches support the high-bandwidth and low-latency needs of Big Data solutions, improving infrastructure agility and scalability at lower costs, without arbitrary restrictions.

Check the Oracle NoSQL Database on Cisco UCS Solution presentation for additional details.

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Cisco and OpenFlow

October 17, 2011 at 3:07 pm PST

With acolytes of open networking flocking to the Open Networking Summit this week, folks have been pinging me on what Cisco has been doing on this front recently.  So, if we look at open networking in general, we were pleased to have made some significant contributions to the Diablo release of OpenStack--for more details on that, check out this post by my cohort, James Urquhart.

On the OpenFlow front, I went to the source--our lead smart guy on our OpenFlow efforts--David Meyer.  David is a Distinguished Engineer at Cisco Systems, where he works on future directions for Internet technologies such as OpenFlow and Software Defined Networking.

Omar Sultan:  So, David, what is new with Cisco and OpenFlow since we joined in the Open Networking Foundation earlier this year?
David Meyer: Well, probably the most notable news is that we have announced that we will be providing OpenFlow support on our Nexus switches.

OS: Wow--that will surprise a lot of people--folks are gong to wonder why we would want to do this--its counter-intuitive…
DM: Not really--Cisco had always embraced disruption--we don’t always get it right on the first shot, but we usually get it in the end.  Take server virtualization as an example--while we may not have been first off the line, we now have the broadest and strongest portfolio of virtualization networking technologies in the market.  Critics only saw the short-term impact to our switching revenue (less ports sold) but we saw the transformational value of virtualization. We see SDN in a similar light--as the next evolution of networking and we see OF as an excellent mechanism to drive maturation of both the technology and the underlying thinking.

OS: Do I sense a bit of hedging about OpenFlow in its current state in that last response?
DM: Well, we believe that the OpenFlow specification needs to be fleshed out a bit more before its truly production ready--that’s why I am here.


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