factories-not-babies

The Difference Between Arista and Competitors (Factories not Babies)

I was asked to describe how Arista has been able to penetrate the networking switch market relatively quickly. Arista was founded in 2004 and ten years later has achieved a competitive position against all the major vendors in networking and specifically against Cisco who has a dominant market position. Most vendors develop product like an […]

vce-sdn-strategy-game-on-gamble-595-opt.png

VCE chooses Cisco ACI as SDN Strategy Instead of VMware NSX

I doubt that anyone bought a Vblock because it was a market leading networking strategy. I’ve been a supporter of VCE but today I’m doubtful that choosing Cisco ACI is good strategy for their customers. My view is that most customers buy VCE Vblocks as a VMware platform. What VCE offers is a services package of fully supported storage, compute and networking that removes customer risk around VMware deployments while reselling EMC & Cisco hardware.

SDN Strategy Map (Click for Larger Image)

Blessay: Categorising SDN Network Solutions and Architectures for Understanding

I’ve been digging deeper into the SDN architectures over the last few days and there may be a pattern starting to emerge. I’m currently figuring that there are four broad classes of SDN technology that you can fairly neatly classify the current products from vendors. I’m classifying SDN Solutions into three categories of Micro, Centi and Kilo as well as classifying physical devices for SDN systems into three classes of Breve, Medius and Magnus.(Yeah, OK, I’m not good at names.)

cisco-head-shot

Response: Cisco Extends ACI’s APIC to Campus & WANs – Reactions and Thoughts

Cisco announces that it has expanded its ACI Strategy to include the Campus and WAN in the scope of the product as well hybrid cloud functionality. Some thoughts on what this means for network architects and engineers: My View – Cisco wants to maintain control and ownership of customer budgets on networking by having a […]

cisco-nexus-9000-product-family

Musing: Cisco ACI Validates The Independent Network Operating System Model

The Cisco Nexus 9000 supports two versions of network operating system on the device. You can buy some models of the Nexus 9000 family today that run NX-OS just like the NX6K, NX7K etc and late in 2014 “NX-OS Plus” will be available. Two operating systems for the same switch isn’t new for Cisco if you remember the switch […]

aci-end-to-end

Musing: Cisco ACI and UCS are made for each other

The first thing I thought of when I saw this slide is that Cisco UCS will be integrated ACI in short order. It seems like the obvious competitive response to VMware ESX ability to virtualise the hypervisor. I asked the question during my briefing and got an answer that indicated that wider integration of Cisco products, including […]

Response Logo

Mac OS X Maverick – AnyConnect Client Not Working – Cisco Support Community

Cisco software development fails again. Nine months to prepare for Apple OS X Mavericks and the AnyConnect client doesn’t work. Cisco’s poor reputation for software competency is often well deserved.

Response Logo

Response: Cisco Closes Sourcefire Acquisition; Delivers Threat-Centric Security Model

The announcement is a major change in Cisco Security strategy and perspective and, I think, a promising step forward: From a strategic standpoint, we will focus on a “threat-centric” security model moving forward – meaning that we will put a heavier focus on the threats themselves versus policy or controls. Given the fast-changing threat landscape, […]

cisco-uadp-cpu-complex.png

Network Dictionary – UADP

Cisco has a built a single technology strategy for fixed and wireless networking and called it Unified Access Data Plane (UADP).

Greg-John-Chambers.jpg

◎ Musing: Cisco Live Orlando 2013 Epilogue

I find that I’m reflecting on a memorable Cisco Live while grinding on the post-prandial activities like email and deadlines.

cisco-live-london-2013-cat-6500-t-shirt.png

Planning for Cisco Live 2013 in Orlando

Cisco has sponsored the Packet Pushers Podcast to attend the Cisco Live 2013 event in Orlando, Florida. Although I will spend a lot of time in back rooms recording shows & receiving briefings ( always great to learn new things ) I have time set aside to meet people. Many listeners and readers have said that they would appreciate an opportunity to meet, say hello and have some discussions.

Rant: A Better Cisco Software Experience (Licensing) For Partners (but not Customers)

Cisco customers can update their licenses using this handy portal. Sounds good ? Exciting ? No, not the person who bought the software license, the partner that sold you the license can update the licenses. You might have forgotten who is Cisco’s real customer, and it’s not the person who paid for products. Partners, the […]

Sniffing on Cisco IOS on Unix (IOU) Emulator

Martin sent me an email about packet capture tool for IOU that he wrote. I haven’t tested it because I’m short on time right now so let me know what your experiences are: Some of you might already know IOU, it’s Cisco IOS compiled on Unix. It allows emulating routers and switches. One IOU process […]

vxlan-stt-switch-silicon-2

◎ What’s Happening Inside an Ethernet Switch ? ( Or Network Switches for Virtualization People )

I was going to call this article “Ethernet Switches for Virtualisation Engineers” but, really, everyone should have some understanding of the internals of an Ethernet switch. But particularly I want to focus on how multicast and broadcasts are handled in a high speed, low latency environment like a Data Centre Network.

It’s vital to understand that latency is critical to your application performance. It is common for a single transaction to take hundreds of round trips so a small increase in latency on each round trip has a large impact on the perceived performance. The client will send a chunk of data and wait for acknowledgement. Even setting up the TCP connection takes a few round trip – remember that TCP sessions are setup, and each data transfer is confirmed.

A modern network switch will have latency around 10 microseconds. The Cisco Nexus 7000 is about 8 microseconds & Brocade VDX 8770 claims less than 4 microseconds. There are many reasons why a switch can be faster or slower but I’ll look at a specific example

Remember, the latency interval is the time taken to receive a packet, decode the address, lookup the forwarding table, switch the packet (and copy it if needed) and transmit out of an Ethernet interface. That’s really fast processing. How does an Ethernet switch do this ?

Do Cisco Certified Internet Engineers (CCIE) Get Special Privileges from Cisco ?

I’m regularly asked the question: What privileges or special access does Cisco give to people when they pass the CCIE™exam ?

Short answer: None. Nada. Nothing. Zip. Zero.

Read on for the “Longer Answer”

The Huawei Security Problem Isn’t the Hardware, it’s Engineers Fixing the Bugs.

I’ve been thinking about the security issues of working with Huawei equipment and Huawei the company. I’ve spoken with a number of people who, off the record, talk of working with Huawei as customers and their experiences of the product have been less than excellent but the price is low. What I’ve realised is concerning. […]

large_photo_nexus_5000

Nexus 5500 Packet Forwarding – Cut Through or Store & Forward

Was reading through some documentation as noticed that the Nexus 5500 series has some unusual behaviours for Store and Forward. I made myself notes about the functional modes. Cut-Through vs Store and Forward In cut-through mode of operation a switch will start transmitting a frame before the frame has been completely received and this is the […]

Cisco Value in vCider is All Programmable Networking

Cisco recently bought vCider. vCider gives Cisco tools for cloud bursting and a proven network driver to deliver overlay networks. It’s a significant boost to their Programmable Networks strategy and definitely an SDN play.

The vCider technology was architecturally similar to Nicira by building tunnels overlays in a network and, in my view, many people are incorrectly misinterpreting this as the core value on the acquisition.

I would posit that there are two aspects to vCider that Cisco is likely to extract value from. 1 – Network driver in Linux. 2 – Cloud burst networking

cisco-licensing-webinar

Rant: Cisco Licensing Webinar – Surely a New Low for Customers

Check this out. An entire webinar devoted to licensing of just a single product from Cisco. Obviously, Cisco licensing of UCM is now so complicated and involved  that there “Subject Matter Experts”  dedicated to handling your queries about licensing upgrades. Not the product itself mind you, or the great new features, or planning your migration process. […]

Noted: End-of-Sale and End-of-Life Announcement for the Cisco Cius

One thing that Cisco doesn’t do well is close down products that are close to the core of the business. If you are going to quit making a product then simply say that. “Go big or go home” is a popular American saying. These partial death notices are bad for my business and I’m losing […]

Subscribe For Weekly Updates by Email

Get a Weekly Summary of Latest Articles and Posts to your Email Inbox Every Sunday

Thanks for signing up. Look for the email from MailChimp & make sure you confirm your email address. You may need to check your spam or gmail settings to be sure of receiving the email.

Note: You can unsubscribe at any time using the link at the bottom of every email.