The past few weeks have revealed what a tough industry the IT industry can be. Many stalwarts, competitors among them, have struggled to meet their financial targets, citing a variety of factors from the macro-economic environment to more aggressive competition from rivals, including Cisco.
It’s no secret that Cisco has performed consistently well during the same period, and I am proud to have played a part in driving us to another record revenue quarter. Moreover, I’m delighted with the progress in our wireless business, where we reported sequential and profitable growth of 27% year-over-year.
How did we do it? Not by any cut-throat measures, as some rivals have suggested (in fact, our pricing policies haven’t changed in recent months, and our customers have the choice to buy products in combination or individually), but by doing what matters most: listening to customers, and innovating with pace and focus. Here are my top five reasons why Cisco’s innovations and acquisitions are winning us market share in the wireless sector:
- Customers want an architectural approach – 69% of the costs of running networks are incurred after the initial equipment purchase, with 47% coming in the form of labor costs. Think about how managing wireless and wired networks separately adds to those costs. By offering customers the choice to unify wired, wireless and virtual private networks (VPNs), into a single, highly secure network infrastructure, Cisco’s Unified Access architectural approach puts money back in our customers’ pockets. That’s a key reason we’re winning.
- Relentless Innovation Will Always Win Out – The innovations behind our Unified Access architecture are built on an engineering capability few rivals can match. The Unified Access Data Plane (UADP) ASIC that is central to our Unified Access strategy is a great example of the outstanding results our $6Bn+ annual R&D investment buys us. Silicon engineering is expensive. Competitors can’t solve customers’ problems with as much specificity and focus as Cisco can. Our approximately 650 silicon engineers give Cisco a huge innovation advantage.
- Wireless is About Delivering Mobile Experiences, not just Connectivity – Getting connected is becoming table stakes. Our customers want solutions that enable them to use the information about how and where their customers are connected to provide them with better location-based services, and superior experiences. The acquisition of ThinkSmart gave us a big advantage in this area, one that we’re already putting to good use through our partnership with AT&T and others.
- We’re Helping Service Providers Transform their Networks for Wi-Fi – Speaking of service providers, our SP Wi-Fi strategy has delivered Cisco a strong advantage in partnering with telecommunications operators. We offer an end-to-end SP mobility architecture from access layer to the mobile packet core that our rivals simply can’t match.
- We’re embracing the Cloud to further simplify Wireless Network Management for Mid-Sized Companies – Let me return to where I began: the cost and complexity of managing networks. What if you don’t have any IT staff at all? That’s the challenge that Meraki solved for thousands of customers with its Cloud Managed Networking approach that we now offer through our Cloud Networking Group. Effectively addressing the needs of mid-sized business from retailers to event venues, coffee shops to medical centers has been another key driver of our success.
I’m delighted we’re making strong progress in mobility, but we won’t rest on our laurels. Innovation takes a lot of hard work, as does anticipating the ever-changing needs of our customers.
I believe if we keep those two principles in mind, we’ll continue to enjoy many more positive quarters and, yes, we’ll do it at the expense of our rivals!
Tags: Cisco, mobility, Rob Soderbery, wireless
The next generation of Wi-Fi, 802.11ac couples the freedom of wireless with the speed of gigabit Ethernet. This also translates in additional load on the backbone of the network, which has to deliver at least 3 times the capacity of the current gold standard, the 802.11n based network.
Cisco launched the Unified Access architecture to scale linearly with the increased load on the network with 60 Gbps Wi-Fi throughput on the Cisco 5760 Wireless LAN Controller and 40 Gbps Wi-Fi throughput on the Catalyst 3850 Series Switch with a built-in wireless controller. Both these platforms are based on the Cisco Unified Access Data Plane (UADP) programmable ASIC, which provides high performance and scale, common open APIs, and enables consistent QoS policies for both wired and wireless networks.
Aruba recently launched the 7240 series controllers with a throughput of up to 40Gbps claimed, with the same goal of delivering 802.11ac capable performance across the network. This controller is based on a generic network processor and not a purpose built ASIC like the Cisco controller.
Miercom performed a third-party evaluation to benchmark these products using IMIX (Internet Mix) packet traffic and test QoS traffic for high priority application. IMIX is traffic pattern consisting of a preset mixture of small, medium and large frame sizes used to emulate real-world traffic scenarios in a testing environment. We wanted to give you a sneak peek at some of the results.
Cisco 5760 is six times faster and Catalyst 3850 is 4 times faster as compared to Aruba 7240
The Cisco 5760, 3850 and the Aruba 7240 were tested for throughput using RFC 2544 and IMIX Traffic. The Cisco 5760 and 3850 performed extremely well by achieving 50 Gbps and 37 Gbps, whereas Aruba 7240 fell short by just achieving 8 Gbps, which is 20% of its advertised throughput.
Read More »
Tags: 802.11ac, aruba, Cisco, controller, Miercom, network, performance, QoS, technology, wireless
Coming off a busy week at Interop Las Vegas, we have recorded another info-packed podcast with the popular wireless networking podcast group “No Strings Attached Show”. The topic for this podcast covers the gigabit wireless technology, 802.11ac which if you attended Interop, you know this is a very hot topic (“I’ll take enormous understatements for $600, Alex”).
However, it is not just a discussion on what is included in the standard. Blake Krone and Sam Clements from No Strings Attached interview our Mark Denny and Brian Hart as they discuss a number of topics related to 802.11ac technology including the following:
- The 802.11ac Wave 1 Radio Module for the 3600 Access Point, the availability and best practices for upgrading the 3600 AP with the 802.11ac Module
- Segments of the enterprise market where 802.11ac technology is generating the most interest Read More »
Tags: #80211ac, 3600 access point, 802.11, 802.11ac, CCIE, CCNA, Cisco, discussion, information, interop, Interop Las Vegas, learn, network, networking, no strings attached, podcast, popular, radio module, technology, WAN, wi-fi, wifi, wireless, wlan
It’s no surprise that student safety is the upmost priority to educators, administration, and parents. I would know because I have two daughters in K-12. The topic of safety in K-12 schools strikes particularly close to home since one of my daughters has already been in a lockdown due to police activity in the area. A lockdown is where children are placed in the corners of the classrooms, away from windows and clear from the classroom door windows: lights off, doors locked, and no chatter. My daughter took it in stride since she thought it was a game. I, on the other hand, was extremely uneasy when I received the email bearing the news and was not relieved until I received the “clear” email notification.
Given some of the latest developments that Cisco has been working on with location-based analytics using wireless technologies, it didn’t take long for us to start talking about how Wi-Fi could be used to help in the case of public safety in K-12 schools. The intersection of K-12 public safety and Wi-Fi technologies stirred up such a discussion amongst ourselves that we wanted to open up the discussion with an external webinar. I hope you can join me for the discussion on May 22nd (Click to register), but just in case you need some convincing, here’s a teaser. Read More »
Tags: 1:N, analytic, bring your own device, byod, children, Cisco, device, devices, email, K-12, K12, kid, kids, laptop, location, location-based, mobile, mobility, network, networking, police, public, responder, safety, solution, technologies, technology, webinar, wi-fi, wifi, wireless
Activate the IT Transformation with Unified Access: Part 4 -- Centralized Policy, Control, and Enforcement
Wednesday, May 15, 2013 10am-11am PDT | Register Now
Don’t miss the next in line of our five-part Unified Access Webinar Series on May 15th to hear how organizations in education and healthcare rely on Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) to provide the identity enforcement and secure access control that allow employees, contractors, students, faculty, and guests (choose the user) to use their own devices on the network. Read More »
Tags: access, activate, authentication, central, centralize, Cisco, control, demo, device, enforcement, ISE, IT, management, MDM, mobile, mobility, network, organization, policy, secure, security, technology, wi-fi, wifi, wireless