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Cisco — market leader in blade switches??

As a solution to address power, space & complexity within the data center, many data center IT managers are increasingly turning to blade servers. One of these customers, a Silicon Valley neighbor to Cisco, is LiveOps, which provides a SaaS call center solution for enterprise customers. The company also utilizes its on-demand platform to operate the largest virtual call center with access to more than 20,000 independent home agents handling customer service, support and sales calls for Fortune 500 and major media companies.

┬áLiveOps currently has two data centers and is in the process of switching on a third, each houses hundreds of servers running several types of applications. According to Roy Youngs, network manager for LiveOps, senior management made the decision to move to a more space effective IT environment to reduce operating expenses and increase IT productivity. Additionally, the company is focused on providing its customers with enterprise grade availability so it was critical that the switches would support its rigorous standards for mission-critical availability. Says Youngs: “The benefit I see with the Catalyst Blade Switch 3120′s is that I can use Virtual Blade Switch (VBS) technology and reduce the IT footprint that we physically have to manage. Now instead of having to manage hundreds we only need to manage a fraction of that number of blade switches.”

In addition to routing and switching, Cisco is also the clear leader in blade switching with over 5 million ports and over 220,000 switches sold. Our blade switch family offers a comprehensive blade switching solution- with both Ethernet-based Catalyst and Fibre Channel-based MDS blade switches for leading blade server vendors. With innovations such as Virtual blade switch (VBS) on Ethernet and Flexattach on Fibre Channel side, Cisco blade switch product family provides the lowest TCO in the industry.

The Path to Convergence

There have been many articles recently about the benefits of FCoE as a unifying protocol to tie Ethernet and Fibre Channel networks together. There have been just as many articles suggesting that FCoE will only delay the inevitable convergence based on other solutions. Like this fall’s presidential election, everyone seems to have an opinion and there is no shortage of analysts who are eager to offer their opinion in an effort to persuade decison-makers to see their point-of-view.Someone should probably ask what the customer thinks about all this. Well, in recent weeks, I’ve had a chance to talk to quite a few of them and here’s what I found. Most of them are very eager to consolidate their separate SAN and LAN environments so that they can achieve the same kind of benefits they’ve received by consolidating their voice, video, and data networks over the past decade. However, one point was made very clear: They want all vendors to come together to offer an interoperable industry-standard solution so they can move forward with evalution and implementation.Here’s a recent article from InfoStor that shows the amount of vendor support that FCoE enjoys and its growing everyday.Even after November 4th, the ongoing debate between Republicans and Democrats will not end. However, it is looking like SAN and LAN administrators will be able to find common ground and work together along with their vendors to build the next-generation converged data center network.

EMC First to Ship FCoE Switch

Of all the announcements on FCoE standards and products this year, this is probably going to be the one that will have the most impact. EMC has announced that they are the first major storage manufacturer to introduce an FCoE switch as part of their overall storage offering. EMC joins Cisco, Emulex, Intel, and QLogic with shipping FCoE product allowing customers to build a complete end-to-end FCoE solution. With the Nexus 5000, EMC can now offer customers a converged data center solution that integrates their Fibre Channel product line with an Ethernet transport.Learn more about the overall FCoE solution here.

FCoE not just for sale, Cisco Nexus FCoE also in production

I like when I get to write blogs like this one. Over the past six months we have had a variety of opinions expressed, some positive, some questioning, some negative, on the viability of FibreChannel over Ethernet, FCoE. For the past month or so I am pleased to report that the website that hosts all of our press releases and activity knows to us as News@Cisco has been running on FCoE, in production. Read More »

Video Overview of the Data Center Assurance Program Tool

I was just trying out the updated Data Center Assurance Program tool. It includes SP and Enterprise architectures and we currently are testing the Nexus 7000 and Nexus 5000 through this program. To help things along I made a quick video of me walking through the more in-depth sections, like the deep dive systems test. Read More »