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More Switching Innovations from Cisco –delivering cloud-ready networking

Earlier this month, London played host to Cisco Live EMEAR where a key announcement was made from our switching team crossing data center, campus and service provider.  Cisco’s latest switching innovations are aimed at enabling our customers to address the megatrends of video, virtualisation, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and cloud, by delivering on their scale, services, and reduced total cost of ownership requirements.

With Cisco’s Cloud Index indicating that more than 50 percent of computing workloads in data centers will be cloud-based by 2014, and global cloud traffic will grow more than 12 times by 2015, to 1.6 zettabytes per year, this is clearly a trend that cannot be ignored and one that customers are often asking for support on.

To address the scale needs, Cisco announced it has updated its switching portfolio with 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) and 40 GE capabilities, the next speed limits for networking. In doing this, Cisco has just become the most extensive provider of 1/10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet and converged networking switching solutions.

According to Rob Soderbery, senior vice president for Cisco’s Enterprise Networking Group, “A strong network foundation is central to today’s evolving corporate IT strategies, and this period of rapid change is an exciting time to be in the enterprise network and data center switching business.   Today’s industry-leading performance and services innovations demonstrate Cisco’s leadership, as we transition our customers to cloud, video, mobility, big data and virtualized infrastructures.”

Last summer, we had discussions with a number of you around the latest supervisor for the Catalyst 6500 switching line.  With this latest news, Cisco is continuing to deliver investment protection to its customers by adding 40 GE performance options to its Catalyst 6500 switching line, and 40 GE and 100 GE capabilities in its Nexus 7000 portfolio for interconnecting data centers to service providers.  To expand its campus aggregation and data center top of rack switching, Cisco also announced two new fixed-configuration platforms that provide high-density 10 GE switching.

Making it easy to enable new services, Cisco announced simpler network virtualization functionality for its Catalyst 6500, 4500 and Aggregation Services Router (ASR) 1000 product lines with a new technology called Easy Virtual Network, as well as scalable virtual services with a new Nexus 1010-X appliance for the data center.

So, what do Cisco’s customers think?  According to Jeroen van Ingen of the University of Twente, We like the Catalyst 6500 platform because it’s a true workhorse with a wide range of features. With a tight budget and little advance notice of new requirements from our researchers or our administration, we prefer a flexible solution to increase performance. The new 40 Gigabit module for the Catalyst 6500 with Sup 2T supports both 10 Gigabit and 40 Gigabit Ethernet and provides a seamless upgrade from 10 Gigabit today to future 40 Gigabit to meet the growing bandwidth demands, without any network disruption and forklift infrastructure change – true to the investment protection capability 6500 is so well known for.”

Together, all of these enhancements will help businesses scale their networks, simplify operations, and continue to derive value from their existing Cisco switching investments – many of which have been deployed for a decade or longer. Next time you get asked about TCO, consider how many vendors you could say that about.  At Cisco, we say that TCO is about more than cost of acquisition and this latest announcement clearly shows our on-going commitment to delivering long-term value and business benefits for our customers.

We welcome your thoughts and feedback.  If you would like more detail on these announcements, additional resources are available below:

Announcement: http://newsroom.cisco.com/press-release-content?type=webcontent&articleId=657081
Shashi Kiran’s Blog: http://blogs.cisco.com/news/cisco-switching-leadership-and-innovations/#more-58670

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Catalyst 3000 series is FIPS Certified!

The Global Certification Team is  pleased to announce the Cat3K X-Series has been awarded FIPS validation #1657 and is complete!  We certified the Cisco Catalyst 3560-X and 3750-X Switches running Firmware Version: 15.0(1)SE.

more information can be found here.
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Virtual Switching: Fundamentals of VSS

Cisco’s been doing virtualization in various forms on the network side for quite a long time. One incredibly powerful feature that I think is still amazingly under utilized is the Cisco VSS or Virtual Switching System.

The ability to make two 6500’s look like a single switch so that you can have your cake and eat it too.  Its the epitome of giving us the redundancy and availability we need while simultaneously allowing us to use the extra capacity that could normally sit unused. Easier management and configuration make this a no-brainer that more network managers should consider as ‘required’ in their design. Check out our ‘Fundamentals of VSS‘ to get yourself started.

Even more after the jump…

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Switching Roadshow – We Bring the Brains to You

On Thursday, I had the pleasure of attending a kind of roadshow of technical experts Cisco switching: From Campus to Data Center: Cisco Switching Deep Dive

This is a day-long seminar inviting customers and potential customers to find out about and discuss the technical specifics, capabilities, and applications of Cisco’s entire switching portfolio. The seminars are being held all over the US from the end of October and through the beginning of December. Here’s a little video I put together from the day and some notes on interesting things I saw. [Sorry for the shaky video!]

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All the Week’s Networking News That’s Fit to Blog

Everyone looks forward to Friday: it’s the end of the workweek afterall! We get to enjoy dinners out with friends and family, head to the pub, go out dancing, or just have a quiet night at home with a bottle of wine and a movie.

While I definitely look forward to many of those things, too, another thing that caps off the week nicely is to catch up on all of the interesting technology news that took place. This week, Cisco had two networking announcements: one on the Cisco WAAS portfolio and the other regarding everyone’s favorite switch (Catalyst).

Let’s take a closer look at some of this week’s news highlights:

WAAS Up?

Always on top of the latest channel news, the VAR Guy covered the Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) portfolio updates. In his blog, he wrote that these appliances are designed to improve application performance and user experience for those bandwidth-intensive applications such as VDI, video at the desktop, and cloud services.

They also offer some major zip: five times the bandwidth, not to mention support for up to three times as many users than the first generation of WAN optimization appliances.

Our friends at TechWise TV created a video to provide an overview of WAAS:

And, keep reading for the latest in switching news… Read More »

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