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Talking Switching with John McCool: From Enterprise to Data Center

We heard from SVP Keith Goodwin at Partner Summit that while we are helping partners move to the cloud, we are also still focusing on our core technologies, namely routing and switching. And it’s no secret that the switching market is evolving.

Have you been wondering what the real story is behind switching market share? What industry trends are shaping the next wave of networking innovation? And what is Cisco’s switching strategy?

All of these were top-of-mind questions addressed in a recent investor relations webcast—led by John McCool, SVP and GM, Data Center, Switching and Services—to discuss Cisco’s Ethernet switching business and the competitive landscape.

McCool gave investors a brief presentation, which was followed by a Q&A session. You can listen to the entire broadcast here: Tech Talk: Ethernet Switching, From the Enterprise to the Data Center.

Looking for specific information within the broadcast? Here are some time stamps that indicate where John addresses port transitions, market share trends, and more.

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Tolly Report: Cisco 300 Series Managed Switches

“Cisco has raised the bar for this product category.”

“The new Cisco 300 Series Switches offered the most extensive capabilities, best performance, lowest latency, lowest overall energy consumption, and best user experience of any product in the evaluation. Cisco has incorporated the most extensive IPv6 support Tolly has seen in this class of product, which is an increasingly important feature for businesses of all sizes now that the IPv4 address space is fully allocated.  The combination of an intuitive Web interface, delivering both simple and advanced configuration and management, and best-in-class pricing make these products ideal for the markets being served.”
-- Kevin Tolly, founder, The Tolly Group

Cisco Systems commissioned Tolly to evaluate several models of the new Cisco Small Business 300 Series Managed Switches along with comparable models from D-Link, HP Networking, and NETGEAR. In all, eleven switches were tested. Bottom line, the Cisco 300 Series 10/100 and GbE Managed Switches delivered:

  • Wire-speed, non-blocking, Layer 2 throughput at all frame sizes tested (64-1518 bytes)
  • Consistently low latency at all frame sizes
  • Best price/performance among switches tested
  • Most extensive feature set: IPv6, traffic shaping and rate limiting, scope of GUI-based configuration
  • Lowest power consumption in 2 of the 3 classes tested, and best-in-class power efficiency overall
  • Most extensive set of IPv6 protocol and application support
  • Best usability with a simplified user interface delivering both basic and advanced capabilities in an intuitive fashion

Check out the full report and give us your thoughts!

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VIP 17: Creating Opportunities for Partners’ Growth and Profits

February 3, 2011 at 6:51 am PST

A message from Ricardo Moreno--Senior Director, Strategy, Planning, and Programs, WW Channels…

Cisco’s Value Incentive Program (VIP) helps increase partner profits by rewarding you twice a year with a rebate payment for building Cisco-based practices.

The role of the network continues to grow and creates new opportunities for Cisco and our partners. It’s also changing the dynamics of the industry. We’ve heard from so many of you that you really value the VIP program, so we are simplifying and enhancing it to create new growth opportunities, revenue streams, and more profits for you.

January 30 marks the 17th consecutive rollout of the VIP program, or VIP 17 (it runs until July 30, 2011). With this iteration, there are a number of changes that are designed to create new growth opportunities, new revenue streams, and greater profitability for you.

Let’s walk through those changes now…

VIP 17 has three tracks (Borderless Network, Collaboration, and Virtualization). Here is a summary of the changes by track:
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Announcing Cisco’s Compact Series (C-Series) Switches: More switching innovations to help customers deliver network services outside the wiring closet

Today, Cisco introduced the Cisco® Catalyst® 3560-C and Catalyst® 2960-C Compact Series (C-Series) switches. With these switches, Cisco continues to deliver on its commitment to innovation in its core technologies.

These C-Series switches are aimed at helping customers deliver network services in locations that pose unique wiring, space or power challenges which would otherwise require disruption of business operations.

Another industry-first: Power over Ethernet (PoE) pass-through technology
With Cisco’s industry-first Power over Ethernet (PoE) pass-through capability, the C-Series Switches eliminate the need for power outlets and dramatically reduce cabling complexities and overall infrastructure requirements.  PoE pass-through technology powers IP devices in locations without access to power outlets.  Cisco C-Series Switches can draw power from an upstream (PoE+/PoE-capable) switch or a router in the wiring closet, to power itself and to drive power downstream to the IP devices connected to it.

Cisco EnergyWise gives the switches the capability to monitor, manage, and reduce energy consumption of the devices connected to the switch.  Devices can be turned off and powered down when they are not needed, allowing businesses to generate additional cost savings.

Other key features of the C-Series Switches include:
- Simple Setup and Unified Network Management > Including Cisco Catalyst Smart Operations for “zero touch” setup and quick troubleshooting and Cisco Auto SmartPorts for automatically configuring the switch based on type of devices that connect to it.
- Unparalleled Security with Cisco Trustsec >
For more info on Cisco Trustsec, please click here.
- Dramatically reduced cabling costs and flexible device placement >
The C-Series Switches do not require expensive individual cable drops and can be deployed up to 100m away from the wiring closet. The flexible device placement makes them particularly suited to non-traditional networking environments and their sleek, fanless design makes them a good fit for locations including check-out kiosks in retail stores.

For full details on today’s announcement, please click here. For more information on Borderless Networks, please visit the site here.

I welcome your feedback and comments on this announcement.

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The Evolution of Communication Networks

By Steven Shepard, Contributing Columnist

When the telephone network became a commercial offering in the waning years of the 19th century, its architecture was quite different than the switch-centric, hub-and-spoke system that we have today. In that first iteration there was no concept of switching, the mechanical or electrical process of setting up a temporary connection between two parties for the duration of the call.

To talk with David on the telephone in those days, I would have had to have a dedicated circuit installed between my house and his. If I also wanted to be able to call my son or daughter, I would have to have additional circuits installed from my house to theirs.

This leads to what is known in the world of network topology as the “n times n minus one over two problem.” N is the number of people who want to be able to communicate with each other, and the little equation yields the number of circuits that must be installed to allow n people to talk with each other. Five people require ten circuits, but beyond that the number goes exponential. For a small city of 35,000 people like Burlington, Vermont, where I live, the number of circuits required to connect the city this way would be somewhere north of 600 million.

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