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Designing Unified Fabric Products Before Unified Fabric Existed

Designing a (successful) product is always tricky; first of all, you need to properly define and wisely select your product requirements. But whatever market segment you are in, your product requirements will change over time. No matter how good you are at predicting market dynamics. Typically, it’s “simpler” to address this variability if your product has relatively short development cycles and if the switching cost for your customers is low. In such conditions, you might lose a cycle but you can get back in your market, with the right product, within few months. Consumer space could fit this description for example. The problem with networking products in particular is that development cycles are instead certainly long: 12, 18, sometimes 24 months from product definition to availability. More importantly, from a customer perspective, the investment involved in networking gears is significant and the product life is expected to span over multiple years to maximize the Return On Investment (ROI). Read More »

Unified Computing: Beware of the Naysayers

March 16, 2009 at 12:00 pm PST

As our Unified Computing System story unfolds tomorrow, I am sure there will be no shortage of expert commentary that says Cisco has gone off the reservation--in fact, I would venture that several of these pieces have already been written ahead of tomorrow’s announcements. So, I thought if might be useful to share some prior punditry: Read More »

Unified Fabric & Unified Computing: Is Imitation the Sincerest Form of Flattery?

I sometimes wonder when someone copies some of the things I’m doing, whether I should be flattered that someone is inspired so much that they would do such a thing? Or I should be upset about it? Personally I don’t care… But then I think about some people who would vehemently oppose your idea in the beginning, then later on imitate it and flash those same “me too” things back at you or others as if it was their own idea. Irritating isn’t it?Well, if we look at the Data Center paradigm, similar things happened when Cisco publicly introduced Unified Fabric architecture based on Data Center 3.0 vision & strategy. Read More »

Key Points on ‘Cisco Blade Servers’ or Unified Computing

Sometimes we can’t get everything we want to say in a press release, like our recent Cisco Unified Computing announcement. This is a collection of a few points that seem to get lost in translation/distillation that we wanted to ensure were top-of-mind for anyone reading about our announcements today. Read More »

Virtualization Breaks Everything – The Internet is Next…

The Virtual Machine is like Neo in The Matrix. The IT world shapes itself around the VM. Remember the ‘Classic 3-Tier network architecture with Layer-2 and Layer-3 segmentation, a standard address hierarchy, and consistent policies????, Burn it. Throw it away. It is dead. Fundamentally virtualization broke the network. Fortunately we are not alone. Virtualization broke the servers, shifted the information to centralized pools (SAN or NAS in most cases) , and reforged operational processes. Virtualization as a technology and its associated capabilities is more important to IT leadership than legacy server architectures, legacy network architectures, and legacy storage architectures. To quote Bob Dylan, The Times they are A-Changin’. (coincidentally what I am listening to right this second… Up next All Along the Watchtower (Hendrix version))Why? Why is it so groundbreaking, so transformative? Why not just keep doing things the way we have been? Why is virtualization more valuable than 10-15 years of best practice? Read More »