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Scaling the Internet with 6500 Switches Ternary Content Addressable Memory(TCAM) Customization

The Internet routing table size has continued to grow steadily. In 2008 we reached 256K routes and now the table has exceed 512K Routes. This is of significance for customers running some of the older PFC3 based Supervisor 720 engines on the 6500 and 7600 switches.

On the Catalyst 6500 and 7600 Series platforms, all of the routing information is stored in special high-speed memory called TCAM. Read More »

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A Different Kind of Crash Test for the Catalyst 4500E

Cat4K Vs TruckNetworking environments can be harsh. Outdoor environments are often harsher!

Do not try this at home. When testing your Cisco switches for high availability capabilities, we recommend not setting them on fire, crashing into, or flooding them with water. However, we do have some experience with these situations and our switches keep running.

The network must operate 24 hours a day. With many devices and applications running on the network, oftentimes a few seconds of downtime can mean tens of thousands of dollars in financial loss. And yet, none of these usual measures for uptime take into account an actual physical disaster. Indeed, seldom do people think about what could happen to their switches in the physical environment that they are being deployed. Read More »

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Converged Access Enables “Perfect Branch” at CSC and ENVEN

Raj CSCCorporation Service Company (CSC) and ENVEN are deploying Converged Access with Catalyst 3850 switches in their branch offices to build single platforms for their wired and wireless networks. The in-built wireless controller in Catalyst 3850 eliminates the need for an external WLAN controller and brings wired features like Secure Group Tags, Flexible Netflow and Wireshark to the wireless networks.

Converged Access is a WLAN deployment mode that helps deliver common intelligent services across wired and wireless networks for security and policy, application visibility, network resiliency, smart operations and more. Catalyst 3850, Catalyst 3650, Catalyst 4500E switches, and Cisco 5760 WLAN Controllers (WLC) are capable of supporting Converged Access mode. Read More »

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Midsize Auctioneer’s Network is Fast and Fortified as Hundreds of Clients Bid Billions

Forget the best of both worlds. Ritchie Bros Auctioneers have found the best of three worlds with their network. This midsize company enables fast, secure bidding for customers, provides hassle-free mobile access for employees, and detailed network reports with no effort for IT.

Ritchie Bros. Auctioneers is the world’s largest auctioneer of heavy equipment and trucks. They sell billions of dollars of unused and used equipment at hundreds of unreserved public auctions each year. What’s even more impressive is that they are able to do this with only 1300 employees worldwide.

Auctions are very time sensitive and require a synchronized effort. This leaves little room for errors and interruptions.  Read More »

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Networking: Moving From Open to Closed (Part 2 of 2)

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”  -- William Faulkner

In the first half of this blog, I explained how MSDCs are like mainframes and super computers. In this half I develop on my thesis that the networks connecting compute and storage resources within the MSDC are becoming proprietary just like they are in mainframes to create a competitive advantage.

Continuing from where I left off, the internal architecture of a mainframe is parallel to MSDC architectures as shown in the figure to the right.


Mainframe architectures were (and still are) proprietary, in that how the compute and storage resources are connected was an internal engineering design. Each vendor had their own internal design which served as a competitive differentiation. We are seeing the same thing happening in MSDCs. Read More »

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