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Is it Just Software Defined Networks (SDN)?

This is the question I continue to ask myself as I look back at my career at various companies in multiple industries. As I look back, I  remind myself of the industry changing trends that we’ve gone through in past few decades: the rise (and fall) of the mainframe, the PC, numerous different networking protocols and technologies, and various standards that come and go. On top of all this I recall, dozens of system architectures and hundreds of programming languages. And these days … Open Source Software, Si-photonics, mega/giga/tera-bit interfaces, smart phones and tablets, big data and real time analytics, cloud computing, everything fully virtualized.

Let’s pause here to think about the game changers. The architectures, processes and ideas that once pushed industries forward seemed to eventually disappear into the next big thing. Distributed Object Technology (RFC), Loosely Coupled Technology and Architectures (SOA). Agile, or is it Dev/Ops? As you can see, there are major differences here. Each technology trend brings tremendous value and is of critical importance but, like so many of these examples there is that fundamental difference, that many of these trends evolve and merge into much bigger vision. It’s also present in how we view SDN and how we are including it in what we’re building at Cisco.

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Cisco UPOE Ramps to One Million Ports

Cisco Catalyst 4500E, our leading modular campus access switching platform, continues to maintain over 65% market share globally for modular Power over Ethernet (PoE) ports by addressing customer requirements through a continuous stream of innovations – witness the 60 Watt PoE capabilities (Cisco Universal Power Over Ethernet, or Cisco UPOE), and Supervisor Engine 7L-E which we delivered last year. We also launched Cisco Catalyst SmartOperations at Cisco Live London earlier this year in February as part of a broader launch across multiple switching platforms.

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

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?

“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.

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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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