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Algo Boost Series: Part 3 Commitment to Innovation with Nexus 3548

On November 5th I posted part 2 of the Algo Boost series with a fantastic discussion around Customer proof points on the Nexus 3548.  In our third and final segment in the series I interviewed Chih-Tsung Huang, Director of Engineering in the Server, Switching, & Virtualization Product Group to shed some light on Cisco’s continued commitment to innovate with Algo Boost technology.

GD: What is the primary difference between existing Nexus 3000 switches and the new Nexus 3548?  And how do we differentiate from the competition?

CH: As we all know, the current generation Nexus 3000 uses merchant silicon while the new Nexus 3548 uses a full layer 2 bridging and layer 3 routing Cisco ASIC – designed and built from ground up to optimize switch latency. Prior to the Nexus 3548 announcement, industry best was greater than 500 nanoseconds.

One of the stated elements of our corporate culture is “No Technology Religion”.  The underlying concept is that we have the freedom to choose the solution that allows us to best meet our customer’s needs and not get locked into ideological silos.

Cisco continues to invest and drive innovations and standardization efforts with the development of our own ASICs because this allows us to deliver a complete value add solution to our customers.  However, we do take advantage of merchant silicon in specific use cases where features and innovation are not needed.

GD: Does the introduction of Algo Boost indicate a complete shift away from merchant silicon?

CH: Absolutely not.  Cisco has and will continue to adopt a flexible silicon strategy, meaning we will buy off-the-shelf ASICs when they can immediately fill a market need, and we continue to add value through silicon innovation by designing our own ASICs. The Nexus 3548 is an example of a highly integrated Software, Hardware and ASIC solution that cannot be achieved with off the shelf components.

GD: It sounds like we are very much committed to developing our own ASICs. How many ASICS are used in Cisco Solutions today, and how much do we invest in R&D?

CH: Cisco has developed hundreds of ASICs to perform various forwarding functions in switches and routers.  Cisco has developed over 20 ASICs to power the Nexus portfolio alone. We have an annual R&D budget of $5.8 billion which is greater than Juniper’s entire revenues and roughly equal to the R&D budgets of HP and Huawei combined.

GD: Algo Boost clearly addresses needs in the financial sector. Are there any other segments that will benefit from these groundbreaking features?

CH: Since mid-2011, the Nexus 3000 family has had a significant presence in massively scalable data centers.  We believe these environments will see further benefits with the performance visibility tools we’re building into our portfolio, as well as the programmability and automation features in the Cisco ONE offering.

We also believe that there is an important role for custom silicon in the software-defined networking world. We feel that customers will continue to be willing to pay for advanced hardware innovation because of the value they derive from tightly integrating advanced software and hardware engineering.  Customers derive the greatest value from emerging software approaches, such as SDN, when they effectively leverage the underlying infrastructure which Cisco silicon innovation enables them to do.

Additionally, the 190 nanosecond ultra low latency of the Nexus 3548 switch enables applications to innovate not only to High Performance Trading Fabrics but also into Massively Scalable Data Center,   Software Defined Network, and beyond.

 

I’d like to thank Chih-Tsung for this valuable information. To see an actual Algo Boost powered ASIC, view the TechWiseTV segment below..

 

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Unified Data Center IQ Contest : Last chance to win – It’s all about UCS

A quick note to make sure that  you don’t miss the last weekly leg of this 6 weeks contest –

Last week on November 1st was  a big milestone for our customers with the announcement of Cisco UCS Central – I hope you has a chance to check the blogs on this topic , including the analysis of  partners bloggers. Check here you will find all the clues you need to answer the questions and get a chance to win the iPAD .

So naturally our questions are about UCS  and UCS Central.

To enter the contest and answer the 5 easy questions with multiple choices, just go to http://www.Facebook.com/ciscodc and click on the tab “win an iPad !”

Here is one additional clue : To answer the question number 2 about cost avoidance, you definitely want to discover our UCS  TCO tool 

Just a quick reminder of how this contest works :

Read More »

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Cisco Nexus 3548 with Algo Boost is now Shipping

Alas… the much anticipated FCS (First Customer Shipment) of the earth shattering Cisco 3548 Switch is now available. When your business depends on nanoseconds, this switch enables unprecedented advantages in lowest latency with a full feature set.

Customers should also bear in mind that in conjunction to announcing shipping units, our ecosystem partnership is more robust than ever. Our Nexus Engineering Team released a whitepaper detailing how the partnership validated end-to-end latency with real time NASDAQ market data from Universal E-Business Solutions, leveraged precise measurement tools from TS-Associates, Feed Handler processing from Enyx FPGA, and Network Test Access Points from Datacom Systems.

Read the whitepaper below in its entirety to see how Cisco continues to work with best of breed infrastructure vendors to deliver a complete solution in High Performance Trading.

The Next Generation Trading Infrastructure from Cisco Data Center

 

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Engineers Unplugged (Episode 8): Stretch Clustering

In this week’s episode of Engineers Unplugged, storage industry luminaries Chad Sakac  (@sakacc) of EMC and Vaughn Stewart (@vstewed) of NetApp discuss the concept of Stretch Clustering, a topic they’ve been covering at tech events for awhile now. Check out their discussion here:

 

Welcome to Engineers Unplugged, where technologists talk to each other the way they know best, with a whiteboard. The rules are simple:

  1. Episodes will publish weekly (or as close to it as we can manage)
  2. Subscribe to the podcast here: engineersunplugged.com
  3. Follow the #engineersunplugged conversation on Twitter
  4. Submit ideas for episodes or volunteer to appear by Tweeting to @CommsNinja
  5. Practice drawing unicorns
Collaborative Storage Unicorn, courtesy of Chad Sakac and Vaughn Stewart

Collaborative Storage Unicorn, courtesy of Chad Sakac and Vaughn Stewart

For more information on stretch clustering and all storage topics, be sure to check out Chad’s blog and Vaughn’s blog. Questions, comments, thoughts? Post them here or join the conversation with @CiscoDC on Twitter!

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Ask the Data Center Security Expert Series: Your invitation to participate!

I am pleased to be kicking off this Ask the Data Center Security Expert series at Cisco. This series is aimed at security professionals, partners, data center teams, and IT business decision makers and will address key security issues around virtualization, cloud and anticipated issues associated with trends such as the Software Defined Data Center. The series will take the form of blogs, videos, NetSec chats, and webinar panels. I have an array of expertise lined up ranging from key reseller and technology ecosystem partners, industry leaders and luminaries and internal Cisco experts. Stay tuned for the first in this series coming to you next week out of Singapore.

To get started, a little about me – I was very excited to commence a data center and security solutions marketing role at Cisco 3 weeks ago.  I have over 12 years experience developing holistic security solutions and have been focused on data center and cloud for the last 3 years.  I currently chair the Cloud Security Alliance Cloud Controls (CCM), an industry effort dedicated to harmonizing regulatory controls for decreased compliance complexity and also have been bridging efforts with other industry associations such as the Open Data Center Alliance. Read More »

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