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" Good Enough" Switching is not Good Enough for Public Sector Customers

March 1, 2012 at 1:03 pm PST

Public Sector customers continue to debate the trade-offs of prioritizing lowest price switching, point product solutions, over designing and deploying Cisco network architecture solutions which provide a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO).

On February 23, 2012, Deloitte Consulting presented the findings of an in-depth research study that examines the operational, financial, and risk factors associated with the use of single-vendor and multivendor approaches in different types of complex networks which may be viewed here along with the report itself.

They key findings are summarized in the following 7 items:

  1. Within the context of total IT spending, the use of single-vendor or multivendor architectures does not present material cost differences on a long-term basis. Initial cost savings realized in multivendor network implementations are mitigated by the incremental operating costs over the life of the equipment.
  2. Enterprise networks are considered critical production systems, key to business operations. Networks must be managed with an appropriate operational risk perspective.
  3. Customers prefer a single vendor to be responsible for all network components and services. The operational risk associated with network support, not the cost, is the primary factor when influencing the decisions to use single or multivendor architectures.
  4. Staffing costs are not significantly impacted by the use of multiple vendors; it is more influenced by the mix of functions supported and the types of network services provided.
  5. Using products from different vendors can bring down initial costs for certain products, but adds higher operating risk in service, support, and operational integration.
  6. The use of multiple networking vendors introduces additional operational risk based on the need for customers to assume increased risks for integration, interoperability and support.
  7. When using multiple vendors’ products, customers frequently do not recognize the interdependencies of functionality, long-term costs, and impact on operational risks

And be sure to watch Director of Public Sector Systems Engineering,  Dave West on youtube present his version of why low-cost, " Good Enough" Switching is not Good Enough for Public Sector Customers looking for a reliable, secure, highly available, well supported and investment protected network.

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What does a 4 year old have in common with Cisco?

February 28, 2012 at 11:29 am PST

“Ow mommy, my leg huuuuuuuuuuurts,” complained my 4 year old.  After a quick examination and check-in with the doctor (read: I opened a book written by Dr. Sears and consider that a check- in with “the doctor”), I determined the problem was simply growing pains.

Growing pains don’t apply only to small children and adolescents. They apply to small companies and large enterprises alike. And like the growing pains you experienced when you were 4, 12, and 18 years old, they can cause physical (in the form of operational costs) and emotional (in the form of stress) pain for your business.

For my 4 year old the solution to growing pains is a kiss, hug, and maybe some chocolate ice cream. Most businesses (all businesses? There is always an exception) need more than a band-aid; businesses want a long-term solution to business challenges with measurable results. One of the most common “growing pains” for businesses is controlling operating expenditures.

Recent research shows that up to 75 percent of enterprise IT costs are operating expenditures (Gartner ITKMD, January 2011). Let’s explore how Cisco has significantly grown its infrastructure while reducing operating costs.

Read More »

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Deloitte Consulting Presents: Risk and TCO in Single and Multivendor Networks

This Thursday, Deloitte Consulting will be presenting their research findings on ‘Risk and TCO in Single and Multivendor Networks’ during a live global webcast.  This is a topic that we’ve talked about with many of you and I hope you will find the content interesting!

In addition to Deloitte Consulting, we will also be joined by two customers, Pella Corporation and Cadence Design Systems, who will share their own experiences of single vs multivendor strategies.

Webcast Information
Date: Thursday 23rd February
Time: 08.00 Pacific Time / 11.00 Eastern Time / 17.00 Central European Time

To join the broadcast, please register here.

For those of you unable to join us live, a recording will be available via this same link post-event.

As always, we welcome your feedback.  If you would like more information on the broadcast, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

Additional Resources:
“Deloitte Consulting Presents: Risk and TCO in Single and Multivendor Networks” – overview of webcast plus registration link
Marie Hattar’s Blog: Single and Loving It

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Single and Loving It

I don’t know about you, but I can get easily frustrated trying to sort out home network issues. When my connectivity goes wonky, I’m left wondering if it’s my modem/router, my service provider, or user error (hard to believe, I know). And that’s coming from someone with an engineering degree.  Things would be simpler and less aggravating if I only had to place one phone call to problem solve.  Knowing how much this puts me out on just a personal level, I can’t imagine why some businesses would elect to deal with networking on a much grander scale using a similar model of various sources of accountability.

When you rely on multiple vendors to provision your network architecture, accountability becomes diluted. While you might think you’re mitigating risk by not putting all your eggs in one basket, you’re actually adding to the complexity, lengthening time for problem resolution, and ultimately, adding to your costs—thereby creating risks that can be even more problematic. But don’t take my word for it. Tune in to a special webcast featuring Deloitte Consulting at 8am, February 23. Deloitte will reveal its findings from an in-depth study comparing TCO and risk in single versus multivendor networks. In fact, here's a quick preview:

You’ll also hear directly from two businesses that participated in the study: Pella Corporation and Cadence Design Systems. And, if you’re still a skeptic, join the live Q&A throughout the web cast, so you can pose your specific questions to experts from Deloitte and Cisco.

After you see the compelling results of this study, you might just find yourself single and loving it.

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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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