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

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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Speed Limit 100Gbps – Cisco CRS-3 and Altibox Powers World’s Fastest Computer Party

Norway's The Gathering and Cisco 100GWhat do you get when you combine 5000+ gamers, a 100GE uplink to the Internet, a lot of espresso machines, and no parents to tell them to shut down the noise or go to bed early? A whole lot of fun!

The Gathering (“TG”), is Norway’s largest computer party and kicked off today for its 20th time since 1992. It’s grown so large now that it is held at one of the venues used for the 1994 Winter Olympics. TG continues to attract growing interest to the gaming, computer, and entertainment event, both nationally and internationally and is organized by the non-profit organization KANDU (Kreativ Aktiv Norsk DataUngdom/Creative Active Norwegian Computer Youth). This year it’s powered at record speed by a Cisco CRS-3 router connected to The Gathering’s Internet provider, Altibox at 100 Gbps, along with technical support provided by several of Cisco Norway’s engineers, Merete Asak and Bjornar Forthun.

This isn’t the first time the CRS has played a key role in a Scandinavian gaming conference. The Swedes used our 40G technology in 2007 at their Dreamhack event as we discussed (and video here), but now this has raised the performance bar.

Although they probably won’t be playing Cisco’s award winning myPlanNet game, they’ll still enjoy others such as StarCraft, Quake, and Heroes of Newerth. Participants also participate in creative competitions in programming, graphics, and music.

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Energy Optimization for Manufacturing

Last week at the ODVA Annual Conference–as part of ODVA’s announcement of a new energy initiative and white paper–Cisco’s Bryce Barnes roused a packed-house audience representing ODVA’s ~200 industrial and automation suppliers with a compelling speech on the immediate need for Optimization of Energy Usage (OEU™) in the Production domain. Energy consumption statistics for the industrial sector are staggering, most estimates suggesting half of the world’s total delivered energy, and that amount is projected to increase by 40% over the next 25 years.  For Manufacturers, energy typically constitutes the first or second highest portion of product variable costs, and most manufacturing companies now report as part of their governance a sustainability strategy that is core to their overall business strategy.  Furthermore, volatility of energy markets–closely linked to the stability of governments, international relations and policies–raises the risk profile for continuity of supply, production and satisfaction of customers.  Optimizing energy consumption, minimizing energy costs and mitigating energy risks are clearly top of mind business imperatives for the Manufacturing CEO.

Mark Wylie discusses the importance of energy optimization to sustainable manufacturing operations.  Check out Mark’s December blog on factory energy management.

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