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Texas Lone Star Network Deploys the ASR 9000 for State-wide Services

Although well known for oil and cattle, Texas is home to many high technology companies (including the Cisco campus of yours truly), and is the largest clean energy (wind) producer in the USA. It’s also got a booming economy that needs advanced telecommunications services to all parts of the state. 

TLSN connects Cisco ASR 9000 Series routers with 10G optical wavelengths enabled in the Cisco DWDM backbone network

To that point, we recently talked with the team at Texas Lone Star Network (TLSN). Located just 50 miles northwest of  the capital of Austin, TLSN operates a Cisco DWDM fiber network spanning over 3000 route miles offering wavelength, Ethernet, and SONET services to its 39 consortium company members, national carriers, wireless carriers, regional cable TV operators, colleges and the federal government. Earlier in the year they made the decision to upgrade their network with a deployment of Cisco’s ASR 9000 Series routers.

TLSN has connected the new ASR 9000 routers with 10G optical wavelengths enabled in the Cisco DWDM backbone network. The enhanced network provides them the foundation for new, revenue generating services, including cloud computing, cell backhaul, and IP/MPLS virtual private networks. In particular, cell backhaul is expected to be a growth area because of the number of 4G deployments going on in Texas right now.

“With the rapid growth in customer demand for higher capacity , driven especially by video, mobile, and high speed data services, we had to scale our network, but we had to also watch our operational expenses. Leveraging our new Carrier Ethernet platform we’re able to offer new services cost effectively to our member companies and customers  to ensure that technologies such as telemedicine and distance learning are available to any community in the state. Plus, with our Texas-wide footprint we can offer both a wide range of highly available services coupled with a unique footprint that other providers can’t match.”
Brad Seymour, General Manager, TLSN

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Cisco Partner Update News Roundup: July 1-21

July 21, 2011 at 1:44 pm PST

It’s time for another edition of Partner Update, our video newscast covering the top Cisco partner news headlines in five minutes (or less). While this update is less than four minutes long, it’s jam-packed with news and announcements for partners.

The first item is so hot off the presses, so it didn’t make our newscast. Keith Goodwin just posted a blog today highlighting the next step in the evolution of Cisco’s Worldwide Partner Organization and how it affects partners. The changes fall into three main areas: Partner Led, Partner Marketing, and geographic alignment. Keith also provides information about the new executive team in his post.

For the rest of your breaking news, watch this week’s Partner Update video. This week’s top headlines include: a full recap of Cisco Live, how your customers can get twice the power per Ethernet port, tips to help service providers capitalize on the cloud, new apps that help you manage servers from anywhere, huge WebEx discounts for partners, and more.

Tune in and watch the latest partner news:

Read on for more details, time stamps so you can jump ahead to news items of interest, and links to what we covered in this week’s newscast.

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Double the Power: Industry’s First 60-Watt Power over Ethernet

July 18, 2011 at 8:50 am PST

If your customers are clamoring for a network with a smaller carbon footprint, one that’s more efficient, and more flexible, did you know the solution may be just an Ethernet cable away?

Today, Cisco is announcing the industry’s first 60-watt Power over Ethernet for the Cisco Catalyst 4500E. With Universal Power Over Ethernet (UPOE), you get twice the power per port than other switches – letting you power a greater range of devices through a single standard Ethernet cable. And, customers can use their existing network to power these devices.

What does the news mean for Cisco partners, customers, and the industry?

Keep reading for fun networking facts, details about today’s news, and links. Read More »

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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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There’s no 1-tier network… Do you have a problem with that?

I’m not a car person and I don’t worry too much about what’s under the hood. That means that I’m just a car user, I only want to turn the ignition key and drive. In the Data Center world, the server team is typically a user of the network. Server guys don’t want to know how the network is implemented. They just want their VLANs to extend to the whole network so that they can connect their devices with no constraint, without having to worry about high availability, risk containment, link provisioning… network stuff. That’s precisely what FabricPath is designed to offer them: a network that looks like a single switch, the simplest networking entity. This “Fabric” offers efficient any-to-any connectivity with high bandwidth and low latency, all without having to understand how it works.

User view, a single switch

Figure 1

Of course, this user perspective is an abstraction. The following Figure 2 represents an example of the physical topology of the network, a Clos fabric, typical in Data Center environments. Note that this could just as well be a ring, a star, or even a network distributed across two sites. FabricPath turns an arbitrary topology into a Fabric and does not lock you into a particular model.

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