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Hey HP…Really? Time for a reality check!

Cisco doesn’t usually weigh in on rumor, speculation, or just plain nonsense, but we simply had to address some blatantly misleading information that HP has been sharing with customers and reporters in the wake of Cisco’s industry-changing Catalyst 6500 announcement of earlier this week.  I’m a big fan of Dragnet, so in the style of Detective Sergeant Joe Friday, let’s talk about “Just the facts”:

First, Cisco emphatically stands behind the claim of 3x the performance at 1/3 the price when you compare a simple upgrade of Catalyst 6500 versus HP’s A9500.  HP is suggesting we should instead be comparing the Catalyst 6500 against their replacement platform, the A10500.  We’re perfectly happy to do this but we found it’s really hard to do a comparison with a product that doesn’t yet exist.  Don’t believe us?  Go look at the HP web site.  You won’t find any details to support HP’s claims.  Yes, HP did ‘launch’ the A10500 in May, but it still hasn’t been posted to their configuration tool, nor does it appear anywhere on their networking product pages.  So is the A10500 real, or is it just marketing until it gets off the factory floor?

Second, HP’s claim that the E-Series has only been around for months is incorrect.  The Catalyst 6500 E-Series has been in the market for seven years and is in 80 percent of our installed base customer networks.  80 percent!  So, for 80 percent of our customers, migrating to the Sup2T really is as simple as a $38,000 list price upgrade.  That’s all it takes to get that 3x performance increase, 4x scalability boost, and access to over 200 new software features.  Investment protection has always been a key criterion for Cisco and its customers.

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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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New Switch Will Help You and Your Customers Tackle Networking Challenges

Whether it’s the increasing proliferation of connected devices, the growth of video traffic, cloud computing business models, and increasingly mobile workforces—no doubt there are big changes happening in IT.

At Cisco Live, we’ve got the tools to provide your customers’ networks with more speed and flexibility than ever before. And today Cisco is announcing multiple innovations into the flagship Catalyst 6500 Series Switches, so you and your customers can be ready to face all the changes ahead.

The new innovations include industry firsts, such as seamless IPv4 and IPv6 support from the switch’s hardware platform, new network virtualization capabilities, a comprehensive set of L4-7 integrated services modules, and new application performance and visibility monitoring through a completely revamped implementation of NetFlow.

The new supervisor engine can increase the throughput capability of the Catalyst 6500 from 720 Gbps to 2 Tbps, a threefold increase. It can also quadruple the number of devices or users that can connect to a network. For example, a single Catalyst 6500 can now support up to 10,000 mobile devices.

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Smart Access to Borderless Networks

I guess it’s a bit natural to feel a sense of pride when you are a part of the team that has innovated the vast majority of LAN Access switch features in the market. I joined this group about 2 years ago and have been in awe ever since. If innovation and the sheer brilliance of simplicity excites you then this should be a fun read.

It is probably obvious that every single endpoint connects to the network ONLY through an access switch. Even the wireless ones.. through the access point that is plugged into the access switch. So no endpoint can get into the network without going through an access switch.

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