Cisco Catalyst 6500 vs. Cisco Nexus 7000

2013-02-02 11:24:20

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Cisco Catalyst 6500 vs. Cisco Nexus 7000
It is not enough for the network admin to say he works in a Cisco shop. The admin should also specify a preference of Cisco switch - either the widely used Cisco Catalyst 6500 family of switches or the cutting-edge Cisco Nexus 7000 line.The debate over Catalyst vs. Nexus frequently flares up on the popular Packet Pushers podcast for network administrators. And each side of the debate has its fundamental reasons for sticking with their favored gear. Nexus advocates like the speed and the virtualization capabilities. Catalyst adherents appreciate the lower costs and familiarity.Read Network World's other tech arguments.It is hard to tell if Cisco planned to bifurcate its considerable market share for switches. In 2008, the company introduced its Nexus line as the next generation of virtualization-aware switches. The thing is, customers were more or less pleased, or at least used to, their Catalyst switches, which have long been dominant in the marketplace.Cisco would be "crazy to kill off," the Catalyst (shown below), says Zeus Kerravala, head of the IT research firm ZK Research. Cisco today won't say if it intended Nexus to replace the Catalyst, but the company is still adding features to the Catalyst and hasn't made any noise about discontinuing that line, at least for a while.
Chambers: Cisco will be more of a software and services company
Even so, the software will become just 25% of the company's revenues, which Chambers says will grow steadily at 5% to 7% per year long-term.“Cisco tries to position itself as a software company all the time,” says Zeus Kerravala. “They’ve been doing that for years now.”Software in conjunction with custom application-specific integrated circuits does result in long-term benefits vs commodity chips with software, and that is a good argument, he says.Perhaps more important, though, is Chambers’s emphasis on expanding services, particularly consulting on the new technologies in order to assure that early adopters succeed in their deployments, Kerravala says. That is also the most profitable type of consulting, he says, enabling 67% profit margins for consulting. “They focus on things that are hard,” Kerravala says.According to Chambers, the majority of engineering done at Cisco is already software engineering, producing results that are bundled with hardware, according to slides accompanying his remarks to financial analysts.The majority of engineering done at Cisco is already software engineering, producing results that are bundled with hardware, according to slides accompanying his remarks to financial analysts.Other software offerings are wrapped up with custom chips and services that result in intelligent IP networks, the slides say. The game plan calls for expanding software across the Cisco portfolio of switching, routing, cloud, data center, mobility, video, services and security, they say.This includes its IOS software, its software defined network initiative, its Nexus OS, Star OS, WebEx, Call Manager, IronPort and ScanSafe platforms, according to the presentation.Chambers says the company will move from its software defined network toward an application-centric intelligent network that can harvest data from networks, analyze it and create policies based on that analysis in order to improve network security and application performance.That doesn't mean Cisco is abandoning its hardware past, just that software and the intelligence it brings to networks will play a stronger role.That's necessary to bring about a change in how the company defines IT, from the study, design, development, application, implementation support or management of computer-based information systems to the same definition to something else by substituting the word "network" for "computer".This new model of IT is based on two major parts: applications and a unified infrastructure, according to slides accompanying his presentation. Applications will include those developed by third parties as well as traditional business processes and enterprise applications, applications for vertical markets and Cisco video and collaboration platforms.
HP works with telcos to sell LANs on a pay-per-use basis
HP's FlexNetwork Utility Advantage Program will allow enterprises to pay a monthly fee for their networking equipment, based on the number of ports used, for example.Until now, enterprises have had to make big upfront investments or lease the equipment such as switches, and buy networking hardware based on expected future demands, which has often resulted in over provisioning.On average, only 60 percent of the capacity of networking equipment installed in an enterprise LAN is used, according to Mike Banic, vice president of marketing at HP Networking.The FlexNetwork Utility Advantage Program will be available worldwide through authorized operators and cover both wired and wireless networks.The first operator to get onboard is Swisscom, which is offering HP's switches for 6 Swiss francs (US$6.50) per month per Gigabit Ethernet port, according to Oliver Spring, head of product line management at Swisscom.So far, Swisscom is only selling switches for wired networks, but the plan is to launch a wireless offering next year. The operator still hasn't decided how it will charge for that, Spring said.Options include something as simple as charging per user, in an effort to make it as easy to understand as possible, according to Matt Greenly, vice president, finance at HP Networking.HP is currently in discussions with several other operators, but isn't ready to announce any other partners besides Swisscom."We are looking at limiting it to a few partners in each region ... We want to make sure we don't cause conflicts," Greenly said.HP is also hoping the change will allow more enterprises to upgrade their networks, which, like other internal IT investments, have been affected by the economic downturn.During the third quarter, enterprises spent less on lower-speed Ethernet switches that are typically used to connect users, according to recent report from Dell'Oro Group. However, spending on higher-speed switches used to connect hardware in the data center remained quite robust, it said.At the same time, the wireless LAN market posted record revenues in the third quarter, thanks to 19 percent revenue growth over the same period last year, Dell'Oro said.HP is convinced that as more applications are moved to the cloud, hardware vendors increasingly have to adopt the same pricing model, and it wants to be at the forefront of that trend.
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