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Cisco’s Software Strategy and Cisco ONE Offering: Helping Rewrite the Rules of IT

Customers’ expectations have never been higher. They want choice and flexibility. They require intelligent networks and infrastructure that’s intuitive, secure, easy to use and manage, and able to adapt to the specific requirements of their applications.

Today we’re excited to announce Cisco ONE Software, which offers a simplified solution to the most relevant, frequently-used customer scenarios in the data center, wide area network and local access networks. Cisco ONE is a big deal, and it’s an important piece of our larger software strategy in a world where value is increasingly delivered to customers through software.

Think about the technology disruptions and market transitions our customers are experiencing today. Cloud, virtualization, big data, software-defined networking, software-as-a-service (SaaS), the Internet of Everything – software is the enabling mechanism at the heart of each. In recent years, software has played an increasingly key role in our technology and solutions. Today, we are the fifth-largest software company in terms of software revenues, and the third-largest SaaS provider.

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Cloud Managed Networking is the “Easy Button” for the Network

Let me start with a few ideas that should be pretty uncontroversial:

  • Digitization is transforming even the most old-school industries. Who would have thought the taxi cab business would get turned on its head by an app?
  • The old way of doing IT—where every company builds and maintains its own vast infrastructure—is going to change. For decades, survey after survey has said that companies spend 70 or 80 percent of their IT resources just to keep the lights on.
  • Companies want to shift their IT risk onto IT companies. They want to press the proverbial “big red ‘easy’ button” on their networks so they just work.

Cisco Meraki Cloud misconceptions 800x800 v2 (2)

Cisco is taking a giant step in that direction with Cisco-Meraki cloud managed IT. The idea—which should be pretty uncontroversial—is to make the network as easy to operate as your iPhone.

When Cisco acquired Meraki a couple of years ago, people thought of it as a company that supplied wireless networks to midsized businesses. But it’s never been just about Wi-Fi or small and medium-sized businesses.

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John Chambers: “What does the Internet of Everything Mean for Security?”

Last week, Cisco CEO John Chambers attended the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland. A major theme of the week was security and the implications of the Internet of Everything…the topic which John focused on in his contributed article to the WEF blog, Agenda. You can read the full article here.

In the article he stated:

WEF graphic - John Chambers on Security 2014

WEF graphic – John Chambers on Security 2015

Additionally, last week, Cisco issued our Annual Security Report which includes data about the number of breaches, attacks and how to mitigate these increasing threats. Cisco SVP and Chief Security Officer John Stewart blogged on this report here. A key call to action of the report is for corporate boards to take a more active role and focus on security as they help run their companies. He also talked to BloombergWest’s Cory Johnson. You can view that interview here.

In Davos, John Chambers talked to a few reporters about the implications of more things being connected…overall, of course, the impact will be very positive. As we move from 14B connected devices to 50B by 2020, John argues that each of those end points cannot be trusted to be secure, therefore you need to focus on security from an architectural approach…something, of course, where the network has a distinct advantage.

See John’s interview with USAToday Editor-in-Chief Dave Callaway.

See John’s interview with New York Times reporter David Gelles.

And, see here, for how many devices are connected to the Internet. Right. Now.

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Protecting Innovation: International Trade Commission Commences Investigation

A short while ago, the International Trade Commission (ITC) took an important first step toward the speedy review and action we requested regarding Arista’s widespread infringement of Cisco’s patented networking technology. We welcome the ITC’s initial action in this case, and by voting to commence an investigation into our complaints regarding Arista’s use of Cisco’s patented technology in its products, the ITC has started down a road that should lead to resolution within a matter of months. Trials are generally completed within 9 to 12 months after an investigation is instituted. We are committed to driving fast action regarding Arista’s illicit copying. Our complaints to the ITC detail Arista’s inclusion in its products of a wide array of important Cisco features covered by 12 different U.S. patents. All of these patented technologies are core technologies being used in products we currently ship to our customers. And none of these Cisco proprietary implementations are part of industry standards. You can read our complaints here and here.

We look forward to the opening of the discovery process so that we can further document the widespread infringement, which Arista itself has advertised as a key selling point of their products (see my blog when we brought our lawsuits on December 5).

As the ITC’s decision to commence investigations was just confirmed, we will evaluate the documents that we expect to receive, and provide updates in the coming days.

Further Update: 22 January 2015

Interestingly, the ITC apparently did not elect to undertake further investigation into Arista’s request that the trial judge consider whether their products are so vital to the national interest that they should be allowed to continue to be sold, even if they infringe (See Arista’s Public Interest Statement). We were surprised that Arista even asked. We had expected them to simply deny infringement. Instead, they claimed, “Many others have used, and continue to use, technologies Cisco accuses Arista of using without any complaint from Cisco” as a justification for infringement, and claiming that “Arista’s products serve critical roles in U.S. commerce and security [and] [t]he issuance of any exclusion order would raise public health, safety, or welfare concerns.” As laid out in detail in the December 5 blog, Arista is unique in the scope of its copying of Cisco technology. That’s why this is the first patent lawsuit we’ve initiated in eleven years. Arista has many competitors who do not copy the Cisco technologies Arista chose to incorporate in their products.

Arista has it backwards. There is a strong public interest, long recognized by the ITC, in protecting innovation and excluding the importation and sale of infringing products. That’s why the ITC exists. So we are pleased it looks like the trials will focus on the merits of our claims, without spending resources on Arista’s argument that the public has an interest in letting it infringe Cisco’s patents.

 

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From the Last Traffic Jam to the Last “Business Jam”

When I’m stuck in one of Silicon Valley’s many traffic jams, my frustration level rises as rapidly as my speedometer slows down. I think about how the digital synchronization of highways, vehicles and traffic lights could unclog congestion, lower pollution, eliminate delays and significantly reduce our collective frustration levels.

Just a little digital automation could go a long way to reduce not only traffic and accidents but also time, gas, smog and the costs of road and car repairs. Not to mention, helping us all attain a much more sustainable environment.

So when I’m stuck like this in traffic, whether at home or internationally, my thoughts turn to how we can get to the Last Traffic Jam.

The answer is a more connected world—or the Internet of Everything. It’s how we’ll change the way we live, work, play, and learn. This has been Cisco’s goal for 30 years, and today we have an unprecedented opportunity, along with our partners, to transform our world for the better

And that includes eliminating traffic headaches.

Studies show that for every minute spent clearing an accident from a road, there is a four-minute delay to get traffic moving again. And it’s not just delays. Today, traffic congestion costs Americans alone more than $124 billion a year. By 2030, experts predict the average American household will spend 33 percent more in traffic-related costs than today and the annual price of traffic in the United States and Europe could rise nearly 50 percent from today’s costs.

Want to know more? Here are some insights on the Last Traffic Jam.

Today, we are already connecting roadways, cars, drivers, traffic lights, parking spaces, public transportation and commercial traffic. The early results show dramatic improvement in traffic flows, fewer roadside incidents, and lower transportation costs. And one day this all will lead to the Last Traffic Jam.

This is happening by connecting disparate intelligent transportation systems to provide a centralized view of highway systems, including road conditions, traffic, construction, and transit information. Connected roadways and connected cities, are improving decision-making while reducing operating and maintenance costs.

I believe the “beginning of the end” has started. Cities around the world are getting connected.

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