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FEAR, UNCERTAINTY, DOUBT – Nexus ‘Compatibility’ in the HyPe World.

I sent a Tweet out this weekend that is turning out to be quickly prophetic: – “Those most vocal against a new technology are those most afraid of its impact on their existence”. Thus was funny to note a recent blog post where one of our alliance partners made a comment that is unfortunately inaccurate. That the Nexus Family of LAN switches is not compatible with our other switches. I have reached out to them to correct it, but wanted to also clear the air a bit and of course set the record straight.The Nexus family of Data Center Switches is compatible with the Catalyst line, it also happens to be compatible with the IETF and IEEE standards as well as the pending ANSI T11 standards for FCoE. I know this has to be a hard thing for some to accept when they are pushing proprietary vendor lock-in technologies that waste power, cost more to implement, use too much fiber and copper, don’t support virtual machine mobility, can’t keep policies coherent during workload migration, expose security and compliance risks, and cause massive outages during upgrade. Sorry friend, I’ll prefer the interoperable, standards based, consistent user interface, model AND bring customer-focused innovations to market at the same time. dg

Nexus 1000V goes to Cannes

What’s not to love about Cannes, France: the food, the wine, the French Riviera, the Nexus 1000V….huh? Yes, this week, Cannes is home to VMworld Europe where all things VMware are under discussion.Folks lucky enough to be at the event have access to a hands-on lab where they get a chance to play with the 1000V. We ran over 80 people through the labs and have had to expand the demo pods to deal the overflow–kinda like Vegas, where attendees were stacked 4 deep once we unveiled the 1000V.Paul and Han, from the BU are onsite, running things. Perhaps, between bottles of wine, we can get them to post some more info on what customers are saying. In the interim, here are some thougths from one attendee.

Cloud Computing and the question of Uptime

imageAll the dire predictions for the demise of cloud computing that came with yesterday’s GMail downtime were, to be honest, kinda comical. I mean, after all, its not like my Windows laptop ever needs rebooting or the Exchange server ever goes off-line.However, for cooler heads, it does bring up a good question: what are reasonable availability requirements for a cloud based app? Should they be any different (higher or lower) than for an app sitting on a server in your data center. Read More »

Convergence: Round 4

I recently read the opinion of the CEO from one of our competitors that FCoE is too costly and that the demand for convergence in the data center is slowing. It is hard to argue that worsening economic conditions might affect customer’s spending plans in the future.However, history has shown that network convergence saves money, both in capital and operational expenditures. Whether it was convergence of WAN technologies in the 1980s that led to the dominance of TCP/IP as the standard protocol for the Internet or the convergence of numerous LAN technologies to Ethernet in the 1990s that enabled the creation of hundreds of new products that have the now-ubiqutous RJ45 Ethernet jack.This past decade has been no different. The convergence of voice, video, and data networks has created a completely new industry and lowered the cost of communications for millions across the world. From Skype to Vonage to Telepresence, none would be possible without network convergence.So as we look forward to a new decade, why would we not expect data center networks to follow a similar path? And why would a certain CEO downplay convergence when he just closed a major acquisition that enables him to capitalize on it? Perhaps history is already repeating itself and he finds himself behind like many other competitors that clung to their legacy technologies a bit too long.If you’re curious about how FCoE and data center network convergence could save you money, check out our online calculator and plug in your real-world numbers and see if it makes sense for you.Also, be sure to check out this recent article from the FCIA that makes the case for FCoE.

A Plumber’s Guide: Great Architecture Needs Great Infrastructure, Part 2

Last week we discussed the role of the lowly plumber in building the Dutch country of the Netherlands, reclaiming land masses from the sea, and ensuring that the hardy Dutch traders had a port to call home. It is amazing that infrastructure, designed hundreds of years ago, can still be so valuable today if you have the right architectural vision and scalable engineering approach that turns the vision into a reality.My good friend Silvano Gai commented on this post wanting to discuss the plumbing value that was delivered in the great Roman aqueducts, some built two millennia ago that still serve the city of Roma today! Silvano, a Cisco Fellow and great technology architect, must also be prescient, because today’s installment of this series is about the aqueduct.The Roman aqueducts are certainly the most notable, and aqueducts have been particularly associated with Roman engineering. Aqueducts have been in use for thousands of years – in the 7th century BC the Assyrians built a 50-mile long aqueduct to carry water across a valley to their capital of Nineveh. The ability to carry water, vital for agrarian society, from a source such as a river, well, stream, spring, et cetera to the location where you want to grow a population center created the first utility.City growth was dependent then, and still is today, on available clean water. The cultural shift from hunter-gatherer to agrarian societies was amplified by the engineering feat of irrigation, compounded again by the distance you were able to transport this vital resource.In essence the value of a utility is amplified or compounded by the distance you can effectively distribute the resource the utility provides. In the city of Rome the aqueducts totaled over 260 miles and set a standard of engineering that was not surpassed for more than a thousand years. A network of aqueducts built an area of seven hills into a metropolis that was the capital of an empire, and the most cultured city of its time. This network that carried water from its source to the client in Rome enabled Rome to support a population of 1,000,000 people in 44 BC to 120 AD – a number not again seen in Rome until the mid 1930s.Some myopic companies readily dismiss the value of plumbing – but just like the Dutch owe their land to good plumbing – we can all look to the golden age of Rome, and to the acceleration of a shift from hunter-gatherer to agrarian societies and thank the lowly plumber for ensuring the world’s first utility was available to create the masses that created the civilizations we know, and many significant cultural, religious, and political icons.dg