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More Switching Innovations from Cisco –delivering cloud-ready networking

Earlier this month, London played host to Cisco Live EMEAR where a key announcement was made from our switching team crossing data center, campus and service provider.  Cisco’s latest switching innovations are aimed at enabling our customers to address the megatrends of video, virtualisation, Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) and cloud, by delivering on their scale, services, and reduced total cost of ownership requirements.

With Cisco’s Cloud Index indicating that more than 50 percent of computing workloads in data centers will be cloud-based by 2014, and global cloud traffic will grow more than 12 times by 2015, to 1.6 zettabytes per year, this is clearly a trend that cannot be ignored and one that customers are often asking for support on.

To address the scale needs, Cisco announced it has updated its switching portfolio with 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GE) and 40 GE capabilities, the next speed limits for networking. In doing this, Cisco has just become the most extensive provider of 1/10/40/100 Gigabit Ethernet and converged networking switching solutions.

According to Rob Soderbery, senior vice president for Cisco’s Enterprise Networking Group, “A strong network foundation is central to today’s evolving corporate IT strategies, and this period of rapid change is an exciting time to be in the enterprise network and data center switching business.   Today’s industry-leading performance and services innovations demonstrate Cisco’s leadership, as we transition our customers to cloud, video, mobility, big data and virtualized infrastructures.”

Last summer, we had discussions with a number of you around the latest supervisor for the Catalyst 6500 switching line.  With this latest news, Cisco is continuing to deliver investment protection to its customers by adding 40 GE performance options to its Catalyst 6500 switching line, and 40 GE and 100 GE capabilities in its Nexus 7000 portfolio for interconnecting data centers to service providers.  To expand its campus aggregation and data center top of rack switching, Cisco also announced two new fixed-configuration platforms that provide high-density 10 GE switching.

Making it easy to enable new services, Cisco announced simpler network virtualization functionality for its Catalyst 6500, 4500 and Aggregation Services Router (ASR) 1000 product lines with a new technology called Easy Virtual Network, as well as scalable virtual services with a new Nexus 1010-X appliance for the data center.

So, what do Cisco’s customers think?  According to Jeroen van Ingen of the University of Twente, We like the Catalyst 6500 platform because it’s a true workhorse with a wide range of features. With a tight budget and little advance notice of new requirements from our researchers or our administration, we prefer a flexible solution to increase performance. The new 40 Gigabit module for the Catalyst 6500 with Sup 2T supports both 10 Gigabit and 40 Gigabit Ethernet and provides a seamless upgrade from 10 Gigabit today to future 40 Gigabit to meet the growing bandwidth demands, without any network disruption and forklift infrastructure change – true to the investment protection capability 6500 is so well known for.”

Together, all of these enhancements will help businesses scale their networks, simplify operations, and continue to derive value from their existing Cisco switching investments – many of which have been deployed for a decade or longer. Next time you get asked about TCO, consider how many vendors you could say that about.  At Cisco, we say that TCO is about more than cost of acquisition and this latest announcement clearly shows our on-going commitment to delivering long-term value and business benefits for our customers.

We welcome your thoughts and feedback.  If you would like more detail on these announcements, additional resources are available below:

Announcement: http://newsroom.cisco.com/press-release-content?type=webcontent&articleId=657081
Shashi Kiran’s Blog: http://blogs.cisco.com/news/cisco-switching-leadership-and-innovations/#more-58670

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The 3 Cs at Cisco Live London 2012

February 1, 2012 at 12:30 am PST


Cisco Live London 2012 is underway this week. I’m sure that technical learning and having fun are high on your to-do list. Perhaps you’re also anxious to know what new products and technologies Cisco will announce.

I talked to several customers during the last several weeks. They all wanted to know what Cisco is doing further to help them deal with the wave of cloud computing, video, and mobility. In my previous post From San Jose to London I summarized these questions:
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The Next-Gen Collaborator: Ready for a Mobile Workplace

Today, we’re featuring a guest post from Eric Schoch, senior director for hosted collaboration  in Cisco’s Collaboration organization. Eric is responsible for hosted and “as a service” solutions, strategic pricing and licensing, and business development.

There is simply no denying the increasing importance of being connected. Generation Y in particular, who grew up with mobile devices affixed almost permanently to their hands, views connectivity as one of life’s fundamental resources.

The newest addition to the workforce considers their mobile devices as an essential workplace tool to managing their workload and connecting with their colleagues on the go. While sitting in a meeting or having lunch in the break room, you can almost visualize the text bubbles hovering over crowds of this generation of workers as fingers hammer away at phones and tablets, eyes glued to the shiny screens in their hands. BYOD

But this trend goes far beyond lunch hours and happy hours. As proven by Chapter Two of the 2011 Cisco Connected World Technology Report, the next-generation workforce is demanding flexibility in their choice of devices in both the workplace and remote-work options, illustrating the importance of the Internet in workforce culture. Social media freedom, device flexibility, and work mobility, in the case of 30% of the study’s respondents, are more important when accepting a job than a higher salary.

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Switching Roadshow – We Bring the Brains to You

On Thursday, I had the pleasure of attending a kind of roadshow of technical experts Cisco switching: From Campus to Data Center: Cisco Switching Deep Dive

This is a day-long seminar inviting customers and potential customers to find out about and discuss the technical specifics, capabilities, and applications of Cisco’s entire switching portfolio. The seminars are being held all over the US from the end of October and through the beginning of December. Here’s a little video I put together from the day and some notes on interesting things I saw. [Sorry for the shaky video!]

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Cisco Catalyst 6500 at your fingertips, anytime, anywhere!

Cisco Live: Catalyst 6500 and Sup2T: Engaging  attendees with Mobile Devices

With the launch of the Sup2T supervisor, and associated line cards (69xx), for the Catalyst 6500 Family Switches, Cisco embarked on an innovative strategy to help attendees learn about the features of the Catalyst 6500 family of switches, by providing a simple “Trivia Game” that attendees could play by downloading a Catalyst 6500 Mobile app, directly to their mobile devices. 

Over 780 attendees completed the trivia game on iPhones and iPads, and each day at Cisco Live, three “winners” were randomly picked from all the attendees who had answered the most trivia questions correctly.

The mobile app, available at the iTunes app store, was a huge success, especially with its contextual set of features and content, centered  around the Catalyst 6500 family of switches.

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