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Cisco Live 2011 In Review Through the Switching Prism

I’ve spent the majority of my time last week mixing it up with the record-breaking crowd of over 15,000 customers, partners, press, analysts, and other Cisco enthusiasts and it was truly gratifying to feel the positivity generated by the basket of Catalyst switching innovations we announced at the show (please take a look at my previous post for details).  Here’s a rundown of the highlights:

Catalyst 6500 -- The most widely deployed modular switch gets a big refresh and is poised to take on another decade of challenges

Kumar Srikantan, VP of Marketing for the Scalable Networks Business Unit, discusses the motivation behind the new enhancements made to Cisco’s flagship networking solution, the Catalyst 6500, and its impact to customers.  Watch his interview at Cisco Live – The Vibe Extra.

Listen in as Cisco’s CTO, Padmasree Warrior, summarizes the new product additions in her keynote.

And, from a customer perspective, Ed Wilson, network test engineer and system design specialist from Penn State University, describes his experience with the new Catalyst 6500 products.

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Become Cloud-Powered with Context-Aware Networking

Context-Aware, Cisco Borderless Networks Accelerate the Adoption of Cloud services

According to a recent Cisco Enterprise customer poll, 50% of those surveyed are interested in deploying some type of cloud infrastructure – whether it is public, private, or a hybrid.  According to Forrester, (“Sourcing Groups Prepare For 2011 — Cloud Is Key Initiative 11/10”) Cloud adoption is already over 25% in North America, and continues to grow in Europe.

There are many reasons for migration to Cloud, including application portability on any device, business agility to deliver services and expand into new business models, and operational simplicity.

While many headlines talk about the Cloud, there is little mention of the role of the network in enabling Cloud services.

As organizations move to the cloud, and the varied devices and connection types accessing private and public cloud services,  they become prone to malware or Web vulnerabilities.  There’s also the risk of data loss. Ultimately, IT is faced with “can the network secure these connections, users, and data in a manner that ensures reliability and seamlessness?”  It is no wonder that a Forrester blog cited  that Security is the #1 barrier for cloud adoption.

Another concern is network performance. 83% of CIOs considered performance a top
concern for cloud services in an IDC Enterprise panel.  Management of virtualization has also become more complex.  According to an Enterprise Strategy Group study,  44% of  IT consider virtualization to have a major impact on network and server management.

The Cloud-Powered Business announcement today highlights for customers how the network is delivering solutions to break through these barriers to Cloud adoption: Security and Performance.

In this short interview, Praveen Akkiraju, SVP/GM of Services Routing Technology Group will discuss how Cisco is enabling organizations to accelerate adoption of cloud services by extending Borderless Networks to deliver secure, reliable, and optimized cloud services, “The Critical Role of the Network in Supporting Cloud-Based Solutions”.

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Cisco EnergyWise Combining with JouleX Technology Simplifies Energy Management Deployments

Increasing energy demands as well as rising energy costs have driven organizations to investigate ways to reduce energy consumption.  To be effective in energy management, the solution must be simple and easy to deploy. Cisco EnergyWise combining with JouleX technology offers such a solution.

A little bit of background about Cisco EnergyWise. Introduced in January of 2009, Cisco EnergyWise uses the network to collect power information of IP-network-connected devices. Through the intelligence unique to the network and the reach of Cisco networks, Cisco has helped many customers to monitor, report and reduce energy consumption, and ultimately cut energy and operational costs.  Most importantly, EnergyWise is free to Cisco Catalyst switching and access routing customers, as it is integrated into the Cisco IOS software.

Realizing that customers may have their own preferences in management applications, Cisco provides the options of its own Cisco LMS, as well as collaborating with leading energy management app vendors such as JouleX in providing choices of management platforms. 

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Rumors of the Cisco Catalyst switch’s demise have been greatly exaggerated

Greetings from Las Vegas!  I’m writing to you from Cisco Live at the Mandalay Bay Convention Center where we’ve unveiled an array of new products affirming that the rumors of the Cisco Catalyst switch’s demise have been greatly exaggerated.   While others in the industry were hard at work commoditizing the switching market, Cisco doubled down on innovation by revamping the entire Cisco Catalyst switching portfolio. 

Complete Catalyst refresh from the campus core to the network edge

Since 2010, Cisco has undertaken a top-to-bottom enhancement of the Cisco Catalyst switching portfolio starting with the introduction of the Catalyst Compact Switch, 2960-S, 3560-X, and 3750-X Series switches for fixed access; Supervisor 7-E and associated line cards for Catalyst 4500E; and now a revitalization of the flagship Catalyst 6500E Series product line consisting of, 

  • A 2 Terabit Supervisor that pushes the platform to new levels of performance and scalability with triple the switch fabric bandwidth and quadruple the scalability of the previous generation.
  • Six new line cards including the new 69xx Series that deliver 80 gigabit line rate, non-blocking performance as well as support for 40 gigabit Ethernet connectivity to handle future growth. 
  • An array of service modules – WiSM 2 for wireless, ASA-SM for security, NAM-3 for network management at 10G speeds, and ACE-30 for load balancing – tightly integrating network services to lower complexity and simplify operations.

Best of all, these new capabilities are available to the 25,000+ Catalyst 6500 customers without the need for a costly fork-lift upgrade!

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Cisco UPOE Powers Catalyst C-Series Compact Switches

Leading the industry in POE innovation, the Cisco Catalyst 4500E extends the IEEE POE+ standard with Cisco Universal Power Over Ethernet (Cisco UPOE) to deliver up to 60 Watts per switch port. This gives Cisco customers the deployment flexibility to power a new array of equipment, including Cisco Catalyst Compact Switches.

Today, Cisco announced orderability of the Catalyst 3560CPD-8PT Compact Switch. It is an 8 port GE Compact Switch, which can be powered by Cisco UPOE . This switch also supports PoE Pass-through, which can power downstream devices directly.  The 3560CPD-8PT is designed to support unified communications, wireless, IP video, and other applications for retail, hospitality, education, and enterprise customer. This new compact switch is designed specifically to be placed outside the wiring closet, and contains a number of innovative features that give customers flexibility in switch placement and end device support as well as advanced security services and ease of management features.

With Cisco UPOE to power the Catalyst Compact Switches, Cisco customers benefit from networked data and power resiliency and lowered TCO while simplifying their power and IT cabling infrastructure.

Click here for more information about Cisco Catalyst C-Series Compact Switches.

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