March Madness is here and in full effect. If you’re reading this post you probably aren’t paying close enough attention to the results pouring in from the round of 64. Today and tomorrow will make or break your bracket! Take appropriate action. As soon as I hit “publish” on this post I promise you that I will.
We have some fun things going on here during the tournament. If you’re watching the games you may see some UCS ads (yes, server ads from Cisco on TV…believe it!) We teamed up with CDW and Charles Barkley to celebrate the soothing hum of the data center in this spot, and there are a couple more that touch on Cisco Data Center more broadly.
These ads come on the heels of a big push we’re making at Cisco to spread the good word about Unified Computing. We have print and digital ads running across the big tech pubs that talk about the very real application performance and IT operations benefits the UCS brings.
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Tags: Cisco Data Center Fabric, data center, Servers, UCS, unified computing, unified computing system
Today we are making a significant announcement with several new innovations across our data center and switching portfolio that showcase how our customers can build large scale-up and scale-out data center networks. While the press release does a great job (thanks Lee!) of highlighting all the innovations across the Nexus Unified Fabric portfolio and the new ASA 1000v, two aspects of the announcement stand out quite prominently:
- Cisco is delivering the highest density 10GbE modular switching platform in the industry
- Cisco is delivering the most scalable fabric in the industry and, by extension -- on the planet! (we’re told planet sounds much cooler)
No. 1 above is fairly straightforward. With our new 2nd-generation F2 line card and Fabric 2 module, at 768 ports of 10GbE line-rate switching ports running NX-OS, the flagship Nexus 7018 in a fully-loaded configuration is simply the epitome of switch scale.
No.2 is where things get interesting, because we’re no longer thinking about just the “box” but rather, how we can weave different elements across the data center into a holistic “fabric”. This systems-based approach focuses on multi-dimensional scale transcending the box and even the data center LAN, to span between data centers, while providing feature-rich fabric capabilities. At 12,000+ 10GbE nodes supported as part of one Fabricpath-enabled system, and with the ability to support Fabric Extender (FEX) technology (plus L2 and L3 capabilities), this approach re-defines fabric scalability at 2X the scale and half the cost point of the next best claim in the industry. More important, it achieves this in an evolutionary manner for our 19,000+ NX-OS customers, offering investment protection for brownfield deployments while raising the bar for greenfield environments!
The Nexus platforms have been around for 3+ years, and over 500 customers have deployed FabricPath on the Nexus 7000 alone since its introduction about an year ago. It is a proven technology. With Fabricpath now coming onto the Nexus 5500 platforms, the momentum is likely to spike up with a mix of both size and scale. Like I said, things get interesting.
To make it more fun, our technical experts from the product teams have taken a data-driven approach and compared Cisco’s new innovations and our box and system-scale with others in the industry.
They looked at a couple of representative examples -- the first being, what it would take any other vendor to build a non-blocking 768-port 10GbE “switch”, with capabilities similar to what the Nexus 7000 could provide in a single chassis. The second example takes a look at what it takes to build a “fabric” with Cisco leveraging its Nexus portfolio and NX-OS to build that.
Take a look and let us know what you think. It is useful to note that most vendors in the industry today have no fabric capabilities to speak of, and the few that are attempting a systems approach, have really limited to no customer traction thus far. Our customers and key analysts tell us that Cisco has a multi-year innovation lead in this space, even as Cisco continues to focus on bringing the network, compute, storage and application services together with integrated management to drive productivity and efficiency across traditional IT and organizational silos.
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Tags: ASA 1000V, Baidu, Cisco Data Center Fabric, F2-series line card, Fabric 2 module, Fabric Extender, FabricPath, Nexus 2000, Nexus 3000, Nexus 5500, Nexus 7000, Nexus switching, Rackforce, Unified Fabric
It is great when the chief sales guy feels pretty good about the innovation a company delivers enough to blog about it. It gets even better when customers feel good about the innovation and value that a company like Cisco brings, to get up in front of the camera and share the benefits they are deriving.
Such customer confidence comes from trust. In the case of Cisco, we have earned this trust over decades, providing our customers not just with the best networking technology but by providing the right support model, the lowest TCO and simply the best investment protection in the industry.
This has been borne out many times even as we’ve led numerous industry transitions - from enabling the ubiquity of Ethernet and IP; driving the voice, video and data inflection points, and the more recent trends around data center, virtualization and cloud.
Speaking of inflection points - over the past three years - we are leading perhaps the biggest networking transition in history, as we introduce the Nexus switching and NX-OS platforms into the data center and make it a foundational element for fabric-based infrastructure. In just over three years, we have over 19,000 NX-OS based customers with a sustained #1 market leadership across a variety of categories including revenue and port share. As the chart below depicts, we’re nearly 3X the 10GbE revenue of all our competitors combined! The 10GbE port shipments are equally strong compared to the rest of the industry.
Needless to say, all this has made the job for our competition much harder; to keep up with Cisco’s pace of innovation has not been an easy task.
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Tags: Cisco Data Center Fabric, Nexus switching, security, Unified Fabric
Among all the IT domains, perhaps the most action is in the data center, and by extension, in the cloud. Virtualization has taken root, and delivered a lot of operational efficiency. It has provided some interesting challenges as well. Virtual Machine (VM) mobility is one. Tracking workloads as they move between servers, within and across data centers is more fun than most people imagined. So, how does one take this dynamic environment, and leverage it to fulfill requirements such as:
- Delivering anything as a service – handling heterogeneous workloads for any application
- Dealing with VM mobility – optimizing resource allocation across any location
- Offering dynamic response – responding to real-time requirements at any scale
How does one solve these emerging challenges to achieve the next levels of productivity and efficiency?
For quite some time, Cisco has believed in the promise of “going beyond silos” (Yeah, that’s the campaign we launched as well, for those of you who saw the recent ads). But awareness campaigns apart, the concept is pretty simple – how do we take some of the traditional silos in the data center like the network, compute, storage and application services and bring them together – holistically – to deliver better efficiency, resource utilization, simplicity and cost benefits.
Fundamentally, this is the promise of Cisco’s data center fabric approach – it delivers on the vision of a high-performance, shared infrastructure, that brings together the network, compute, storage access elements, and L4-7 application services into a tightly integrated resource. It is open, integrated, flexible, scalable, resilient and secure. And it is built off a vision that Cisco has been executing for 3+ years now on the foundation of Unified Fabric, Unified Network Services and Unified Computing. This foundation will form the bedrock for customers looking to move towards cloud-based models exploring application independence, location freedom and massive scale.
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Tags: Cisco Data Center Business Advantage, Cisco Data Center Fabric, Fabric computing, Shashi Kiran, unified computing, Unified Fabric, Unified Network Services