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100G and Beyond Begins With Cisco Coherent Optical Technology

The Visual Networking Index predicts we’re going to hit nearly a zettabyte of traffic by 2015. Applications such as video and cloud services are consuming bandwidth on the network to the point that 10 Gbps infrastructure is insufficient. Without question, 100 Gbps technology in the data center, network core and edge, and transport is a key enabler to remove bandwidth constraints. Cisco is leading the industry in 100Gbps technology across network architecture, and two major acquisitions recently in the 100 Gbps optical component space drive innovation, reduce costs, and improve performance for our customers.

The first acquisition was CoreOptics, a Digital Signal Processing solution designer which was completed in 2010. CoreOptics provides silicon technology to deliver 100 Gbps coherent optical signals on existing (10 Gbps) fiber infrastructure. This means customers can upgrade to 100 Gbps and beyond without incurring tremendous costs. They can do this regardless if their existing fiber network is Cisco, Alcatel, or Nortel/Ciena. It’s the best 100Gbps DWDM solution in the industry with ultra long haul distances (up to 3000 km, as validated by EANTC) and highest density (3x the competition). Even better, we’ve already shown that it’s capable of taking transmission to 400 Gbps and 1 Tbps super-channels in the future.

The second acquisition, Lightwire, is a silicon photonics company with technology to enable cost-effective, very high-speed optical interconnects using CMOS-based silicon photonic optical transceivers. In non-technical terms, “CMOS” (Complementary Metal-Oxide-Semiconductor) is the industry standard for manufacturing chips without need for exotic materials or processes. This means lower power consumption, higher densities, and lower costs, all of which are critical to reducing the operational cost and carbon footprint of data centers as they scale to 100 Gbps and beyond. With this technology in-house, the advanced silicon optical technology can be utilized across our entire product portfolio.

Our customers are very positive. We’ve announced a number of successful trials in our long-haul DWDM solution, including US Signal, Lumos, and SURFnet. Look for more to be coming soon!

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The New Virtual Workspace lands in Singapore!

I just returned from presenting at the Cisco Asia Pac 2012 Collaboration Summit in Singapore and I must say the Merlion was an excellent host.   Not only was Singapore beautiful and their people welcoming but the event itself was incredible.  I had the opportunity to share our Next Generation Virtual Workspace strategy to over 110 customers and analysts from across the Asia Pacific region.

Presenting the New Virtual Workspace Solution

In Singapore, I shared the newest addition to the Virtualized Collaboration Endpoint portfolio: Cisco’s Virtualization Experience Client (VXC) 6215, that brings voice and video to virtual desktops through one thin client solution.   Rich media has been a challenge in virtual desktop environments, and Cisco’s new Virtual Workspace solution has the “secret sauce” to finally make this work.

In the past, voice (and particularly video) worked in virtual desktops in a “good enough” manner. However, this isn’t good enough for wide scale enterprise deployments.  Leveraging years of experience and expertise in Unified Communications and Data Center, Cisco uses the Cisco Unified Communications architecture to separate the virtual desktop traffic from rich media in a way that provides a greater user experience at the virtual desktop.   High quality voice and video are now possible with our VXC endpoints and UC Infrastructure working in conjunction with our technology partners Citrix and VMware.

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Secrets to a Successful Data Center Move

April 11, 2012 at 10:00 am PST

One of the most daunting tasks a Data Center manager can face is a large scale hardware relocation.  While today’s technology often allows you to avoid physical moves – you bring new hardware online at your destination, migrate applications there and then decommission the old gear – sometimes you still have to roll up your sleeves and do some heavy lifting.

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Cisco Hosts IETF Conference for a Free and Dynamic Internet

Last week the UN’s Broadband Commission held its fifth meeting to discuss how to extend the broadband Internet to the almost six billion people on the planet who have yet to connect at broadband speeds. A critical component to extending the Internet is the work done by the multi-stakeholder technical community, especially the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF).

From March 25th through the 30th, the IETF held its 83rd meeting and Cisco was honored to be the host sponsor. Over fourteen hundred attendees, from 56 countries, participated in the meeting which gathered a large open multi-stakeholder community of network designers, engineers, operators, vendors, and researchers concerned with the evolution and smooth operation of the Internet. Technologies previously defined by the IETF, such as IPv6 and DNSSEC, are now at the forefront of efforts to ensure the Internet’s continued growth as a trusted platform of communications and innovation for billions of people around the world. As a result, the Internet has now grown to be essential to the 21st century global economy and a key driver of social development due in large part to the work of the IETF.

As the IETF nears its 30th year, challenges still remain Read More »

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Cisco, NetApp Transform Data Centers, Bring Entry-Level FlexPods to the Masses

April 10, 2012 at 9:54 am PST

This is a guest blog post from John Woodall, Vice President of Engineering at Integrated Archive Systems, Cisco Premier and NetApp Star partner. John has more than 21 years of experience in the information technology industry. He joined IAS in 2002 as Sr. Infrastructure Architect and brings an extensive background in enterprise architecture, infrastructure, system design and large-scale, complex systems implementation. Recently, John was promoted to Vice President of Engineering, responsible for pre-sales technical architecture and professional services. Prior to joining IAS, John held architecture and management roles at Symantec, Solectron (now Flextronics), Madge Networks, and Elsevier MDL.

This is not supposed to be a blog per se on the cloud; we don’t need more of THAT!  The journey to the cloud, an overused and tired message in my opinion, is now more akin to transporter technology in Star Trek: You choose where to go and you can be there in a moment.  In a similar manner, choosing to put the cloud in your data center is something you and your customers can do now, no more journey to figure out.

Just do it. It really is that easy, a choice. The technology is mature. The tools work. The choice is yours…when the time is right for you and your customers.  This week, that timing just got better for a whole new set of organizations and customers with the announcement of Cisco and NetApp’s entry-level FlexPods.

The inevitability of the cloud, the relentless juggernaut of change in the data center, has been and is continuing to impact all of us in the industry--customers, suppliers, resellers, providers--none of us escapes the Borg-like assimilation that we face.

The challenge has been: how to do it and how much will it cost? How in the world can a data center be transformed?  How can our businesses derive the benefits and mitigate the risk of change?  Read More »

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