Monday, April 21, 2008

Cisco Data Center Vision

Cisco has been in the news quite a bit this year. As I was attempting to get caught up on tech news recently I kept reading stories about Cisco. Here is what I found:

  • They recently had their partner summit in Honolulu - now that's where I need to get a business trip planned for! I was able to watch the webcast though and it sounds like some pretty exciting times at Cisco.
  • They announced that they are purchasing the remaining 20% of Nuova - a start-up founded by former Cisco executives in 2006. The deal is expected to close in Q4 of their fiscal year. Cisco noted that this acquisition compliments their "'Build, Buy, Partner' innovation strategy in support of Data Center 3.0 vision.
  • It is no wonder why Cisco has an interest in Nuova - their partner ecosystem is pretty impressive: Intel, Qlogic, Emulex, Dell, 3Par, EMC, Netapp, VMWare, APC and others.
  • In discussing a unified fabric, the phrase "wire once - provision multiple times" was mentioned a few times. This was also referenced when talking about APC and Panduit as parters, indicating that facilities and cabling play an increasingly important role in discussions that Cisco partners have in design.
  • FCoE was also a common theme -- time to read up on this! An attendee at the summit noted that a FCoE HBA costs more than a switch - and Cisco responded that you will see LAN on motherboard - with 10gb Ethernet as an option this summer; thus driving prices down and eliminating the need for cards and adapters. This also plays into the unified fabric preaching, in that six or seven cables coming out of a server could be replaced by one, simplifying costs and cabling in the rack.
  • Michael Morris has a nice summary of the product news on the Cisco Nexus 5000 series of switches and related technology.
  • The total partner opportunity over the next 5 years is $14 Billion.
  • Network World has an article on Cisco IOS vs. Juniper's JUNOS. Cisco addressed the issue of having so many new operating systems by saying that they are trying to maintain some agility while focusing on the right features at the right place and the right time.
  • Soni Jiandani pointed out that as data center consolidation happens rampantly now days, customers may also be poised to consolidate networking and connectivity with a unified fabric.
  • When asked about the next 12 months at Cisco, Doug Gourlay responded that they were in the top of the fourth inning, with the data center market driving -- gotta love a baseball analogy! :)

  • John Chambers was in China last week, working out a number of arrangements to bolster Cisco's position there. Check out the article here.
  • Hot off the press -- AT&T will partner with Cisco to manage their telepresence video conferencing system. Check out the CNN article here. I love the fact that this article references the TV show 24 as a showcase for the Cisco Telepresence system.
  • Finally - I now see what keeps John Chambers going in what must be an amazing schedule: Diet Coke.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

nice write-up. We'd have to sum up our data center strategy as basically enabling 'Any Application/Workload, on any server, anywhere, in seconds, in software.'

Right now you may want to move a VM from one machine to another; however, that workload has certain connectivity requirements: must connect to certain storage, certain networks, etc.

We want to homogenize that connectivity. This enables us to make changes in as few places as possible (federated communications are good for that) and have it take effect across as broad a swath of infrastructure as possible (ubiquity of the network is nice) and then ensure no loss of services happens.