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Network Operations Automation for Any Location, Any Application, Any Scale

With this week’s announcement, Cisco continues its innovation and leadership by bringing unmatched architectural flexibility and revolutionary scale to meet diverse requirements of massively scalable data centers, big data environments, cloud-based architectures or bare-metal deployments – with one evolutionary network: Unified Fabric.

These next-generation solutions lay to rest the myth of  “the good enough network”.  When a modest five-year  TCO is calculated (including CAPEX plus the cost of maintenance, labor, bandwidth and energy consumption), the Cisco advantage is clear. And when the value of Cisco’s unique Intelligent Automation capabilities are added, like implementing the newly launched Network Operations Automation Service, Cisco has a very compelling economic argument indeed.

To drive the point home, the real economics of networking reveal that for many organizations approximately 70% of network TCO is incurred after the initial equipment purchase. So why is this important?

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Cisco’s Data Center Fabric Continues to Innovate

October 18, 2011 at 12:39 pm PST

As my niece was snapping away pictures on her digital camera, I told her about the ” back when I was a kid stories”; when you would have to be careful about the sun over exposing your film and having to anxiously wait days to see them.   I then rampaged on about how you would HAVE to go to the library to look up information for book reports, how my tape player always jammed on my favorite part of the song, and the video recorder my dad had was so heavy he’d use his shoulder to leverage the weight.  Amazing how dramatically technology is changing, information being only a click click away.

People are now living in the time of “faster” -- data, video, photos, social media, the demand is growing exponentially higher by the day.  How are networks keeping up with these demands? I’ll tell you one thing, it’s not sitting on the same data center configurations from 5 years ago, heck not even a year ago.   Listening to the requirements of customer’s needs,  data centers need to have scalability, flexibility, and speed to rapidly move across networks.

Today, Cisco has announced several industry leading innovations in the Nexus switching portfolio that spans across the Unified Fabric portfolio.  Please join us on October 25th at 9:00 a.m., PT to hear from industry analysts, customers and Cisco executives speaking in more detail about our product portfolio enhancements: “Evolutionary Fabric, Revolutionary Scale”.

Please also check out a great blog by Shashi Kiran, Director of DC/V on this topic: http://blogs.cisco.com/datacenter/re-defining-fabric-scale-thinking-beyond-the-box/

To learn more: http://newsroom.cisco.com/press-release-content?type=webcontent&articleId=500209

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Re-defining Fabric Scale: Thinking Beyond the “Box”

Today we are making a significant announcement with several new innovations across our data center and switching portfolio that showcase how our customers can build large scale-up and scale-out data center networks.  While the press release does a great job (thanks Lee!) of highlighting all the innovations across the Nexus Unified Fabric portfolio and the new ASA 1000v, two aspects of the announcement stand out quite prominently:

  1. Cisco is delivering the highest density 10GbE modular switching platform in the industry
  2. Cisco is delivering the most scalable fabric in the industry and, by extension -- on the planet! (we’re told planet sounds much cooler)

No. 1 above is fairly straightforward. With our new 2nd-generation F2 line card and Fabric 2 module, at 768 ports of 10GbE line-rate switching ports running NX-OS, the flagship Nexus 7018 in a fully-loaded configuration is simply the epitome of switch scale.

No.2 is where things get interesting, because we’re no longer thinking about just the “box” but rather, how we can weave different elements across the data center into a holistic “fabric”.  This systems-based approach focuses on multi-dimensional scale transcending the box and even the data center LAN, to span between data centers, while providing feature-rich fabric capabilities.  At 12,000+ 10GbE nodes supported as part of one Fabricpath-enabled system, and with the ability to support Fabric Extender (FEX) technology (plus L2 and L3 capabilities), this approach re-defines fabric scalability at 2X the scale and half the cost point of the next best claim in the industry. More important, it achieves this in an evolutionary manner for our 19,000+ NX-OS customers, offering investment protection for brownfield deployments while raising the bar for greenfield environments!

The Nexus platforms have been around for 3+ years, and over 500 customers have deployed FabricPath on the Nexus 7000 alone since its introduction about an year ago. It is a proven technology. With Fabricpath now coming onto the Nexus 5500 platforms, the momentum is likely to spike up with a mix of both size and scale. Like I said, things get interesting.

To make it more fun, our technical experts from the product teams have taken a data-driven approach and compared Cisco’s new innovations and our box and system-scale with others in the industry.

They looked at a couple of representative examples -- the first being, what it would take any other vendor to build a non-blocking 768-port 10GbE “switch”, with capabilities similar to what the Nexus 7000 could provide in a single chassis. The second example takes a look at what it takes to build a “fabric” with Cisco leveraging its Nexus portfolio and NX-OS to build that.

Take a look and let us know what you think. It is useful to note that most vendors in the industry today have no fabric capabilities to speak of, and the few that are attempting a systems approach, have really limited to no customer traction thus far. Our customers and key analysts tell us that Cisco has a multi-year innovation lead in this space, even as Cisco continues to focus on bringing the network, compute, storage and application services together with integrated management to drive productivity and efficiency across traditional IT and organizational silos.

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Unified Fabric : Cisco Technology Executives Are Answering Your Questions

October 17, 2011 at 12:31 pm PST

On October 25 at 9:00 am PST/ 12:00 pm EST , join a very special webcast  “Evolutionary Fabric. Revolutionary Scale “ with customers, analysts and Cisco executives and experts for conversations about the benefits of Cisco Unified Fabric .

I asked the other day our favorite bloggers Omar Sultan, Brian Gracely and Shashi Kiran to tell me why they think this webcast is important for our customers

“There is a lot going on in the data center these days – There is a continue expansion of virtualization , we see broader adoption of cloud and we see emerging trends, big data being the newest and trendiest of the hot data center topics – So there are folks out there who will tell you, you know what each of these needs special equipment, they have unique requirements , your regular infrastructure will not be able to handle these requirements So what we do believe is that each of these requirements, big data, cloud have their own specific needs , we truly don’t believe that you need purpose built hardware , at least if your infrastructure is built the right way “ Omar Sultan

So this webcast is really about learning how Cisco’s fabric-based approach delivers architectural flexibility across physical, virtual and cloud environments for any application.

For Brian Gracely the equation is simple to remember  : Cisco Unified FABRIC is Fast, Agile, Best of breed, Resiliant, Innovative, Cisco-based

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Confused by Cloud Complexity? New Cisco Webinar Series

Far too often, technology transitions are highlighted by the new bells and whistles. This is great for advertising, where “NEW” is the allure. But it frequently leaves IT organizations wondering how they can transition from their current environments to the added business value that these technology transitions enable. In the 1st Part of this webinar series we explored why companies need to be aware of Cloud Computing and the types of problems it can solve for their business. The 2nd webinar in the series (“Overcoming Rigidity and Complexity“) will look at ways to manage the transition to Cloud Computing.

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