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Behold! A New Nexus!

It’s an exciting time right now with lots of stuff coming from Cisco Live 2012 San Diego, such as the new Cisco Open Network Environment (Cisco ONE). Not to plagiarize the late great Billy Mays, but wait there is more! We have just introduced a new member of the Nexus data center switch family, the Nexus 5596T.

The Nexus 5596T is a 2 rack unit high fixed configuration switch with 96 10GBASE-T ports. 10GBASE-T is a 10 Gigabit Ethernet twisted pair copper standard based on IEE 802.3an. This allows customers to use much less expensive twisted pair copper cabling based on Standard Category 6 (<55 meters), Augmented Category 6 (100 meters) or Shielded Category 6 cabling (100 meters).

10 Gigabit Ethernet is becoming more and more prevalent in data center environments. The overall cost of optical components has been one of the limiting factors for further spread of 10 Gigabit Ethernet, especially for smaller or budget-constrained companies. The ability to use Category 6 cabling will decrease costs for customers. In the past, technological limitations on 10GBASE-T such as a heat and power costs have made deployment problematic. Advances have reduced the heat and power envelope of 10GBASE-T to an acceptable level.

The time is ripe for 10 Gigabit Ethernet over twisted pair copper. Take a look at this whitepaper that contains a detailed discussion of the market for 10GBASE-T and how it is going to explode in the months and years to come. 10 Gigabit Ethernet brings not only the bandwidth needed to handle the ongoing data deluge from the internet as well as from internal data gathering points, but it brings greater efficiency. This efficiency comes from the reduction of cabling created by 1 Gigabit Ethernet. Less cables equals less ports to manage and a simpler more efficient environment.

So take a gander at the new Nexus 5596T and keep your eyes peeled for more from Cisco Live 2012 San Diego tomorrow!



Cisco Open Network Environment, Explained

Let’s cut to the chase–you have probably wondering “what is Cisco going to do about SDN and OpenFlow?”

Well, probably more than you expect, but before we get into that, I would respectfully suggest you are asking the wrong question.

Cisco Open Network Environment (Cisco ONE) was created to deliver a specific capability to our customers: providing direct programmatic access to Cisco infrastructure.  As we were vetting this concept with customers, two things quickly became apparent: 1) customers were extremely receptive to the concept and 2) there was a was wide variance in what customers were looking for.  It turned out that OpenFlow and what ONF defines as SDN (in essence control plane/data plane separation) represented one approach to network programmability, but other customers were looking for to accomplish things that had nothing to do with control plane/data plane separation.  For example, we see a number of universities asking for the typical OpenFlow/SDN functionality to support their R&D environments and for “network slicing”.  We talked to service providers who viewed programmability as the ability to run their own code on a box–say a custom-tuned version of BGP.  Finally, we talked to hyperscale data center operators who viewed programmability as the ability to get direct programatic access into the switching silicon to pull very specific and detailed information–say the port error counters–that they could fed directly into their homegrown OAM tools. At the end, it was clear we need to offer OpenFlow and SDN capabilities but we also needed to deliver more–hence the broader, more technology-agnostic concept of network programmability. So, I would offer that, instead, it might be better to ask “What is Cisco doing to make the network more programmable?”

The answer is, with Cisco ONE, quite a bit, actually.  At its essence, Cisco ONE allows you to build upon the things that already work with your network (scale, availability, security, etc) and add the programmability you need to help you deal with things like cloud. mobility, etc with more agile infrastructure, simpler operations and application awareness.

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Cisco Live, Day 1

So, I wrapped up CiscoLive Day 1 with a chance to catch up at the end of the day with Fred Nix of EMC (@NixFred) and Vaughn Stewart of NetApp (@vStewed). While the conversation covered a number of topics, not all them appropriate for a corporate blog, we did commit this part of the conversation to tape.  I think this segment  highlights a couple of things.  First, how our ecosystem of data center partners is second to none–these guys are rock stars and they represent equally cool companies.  Second, I think this really shows how much IT has evolved and the lines have blurred so that folks like EMC and NetApp are able move beyond their storage roots and deliver comprehensive infrastructure solutions to our customers through their vBlock and FlexPod offerings, respectively.

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VXI Walkabout at CiscoLive!

It is Cisco Live 2012, and the San Diego Convention Center is abuzz with excitement and activity, as customers throng to the World of Solutions, on this Monday afternoon, June 11. Having recently joined the Cisco VXI solutions marketing team, I am eager to check out all the VXI demos live on the show floor. Let’s pick up action with the  Desktop Virtualization demo in the Cisco Unified Data Center (UDC) booth. Read More »

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VSPEX at Cisco Live 2012 and How You Can Find Out More

Integrated stacks are grabbing more and more attention on the market – Omar Sultan introduced VSPEX on this channel two months ago (read his blog here ) .  After EMC World, Cisco Live 2012 is a great opportunity to learn more about this reference architecture.  Here is  a quick note from  Brian Gracely (@bgracely) , Director of Marketing at EMC .

“Last April, EMC introduced VSPEX Proven Infrastructure, an easy on-ramp to private cloud for those businesses that need a flexible, yet simple, complete virtualization solution.

For those that may be unaware of the new launch, VSPEX are reference architectures proven by EMC and Cisco and packaged and delivered as complete virtualization solutions by trusted channel resellers. Developed with the needs of SMB and midmarket customers in mind, VSPEX is designed for flexibility and validated to ensure interoperability and fast deployment.  VSPEX gives customers the power to choose the technology that fits their needs – storage, virtualization, servers and networking – while removing the complexity and risk that typically comes with designing, integrating and deploying a best-of-breed solution.  With VSPEX by EMC and Cisco, private cloud computing is more accessible than ever.

VSPEX is one of many EMC-Cisco Solutions that will be featured at Cisco Live.  Coming back from EMC World we have heard overwhelming interest in the VSPEX platform.  With Cisco Live just next week, we wanted to make sure that all those interested in more information on VSPEX had the right contacts to reach out to during Cisco Live for follow-up.

Located in the EMC booth (#934) will be a VSPEX rack with vSpecialists and qualified EMC representatives that will be discussing the technology and benefits of  VSPEX Proven Infrastructure.  Please do not miss out of the opportunity to engage IT professionals on one of the most exciting releases of the year!  Posted below is a comprehensive list of those to follow to get updates on all things VSPEX and EMC-Cisco Solutions.

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