13 events that defined Cisco's 2012

2013-02-03 11:26:21

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Extreme Networks cutting 13% of workforce
The plan "provides for a reduction in the current number of employee positions at the Company by approximately 13%," according to the 8-K. Extreme's headcount was about 690 employees at the end of its fiscal first quarter, which ended Sept. 30, 2012.The cost reduction plan calls for eliminating several management staff positions, consolidating operations in California and North Carolina to reduce real estate costs, and integrating data center and alliances sales teams under a single sales structure, according to the 8-K.Extreme anticipates completing its restructuring by Sept. 30. The company expects to incur charges of $5.5 million to $7.0 million in its second quarter for non-recurring employee-related termination benefits, including severance payments and continuation of medical insurance benefits.For its second quarter, which the company will report later this month, Extreme warned that revenues will come in under previously stated guidance -- $75 million to $77 million vs. $78 million to $85 million. The shortfall is due to delays in customer expenditures in the U.S. and in the Europe/Middle East/Africa regions.Net income, excluding charges and other expenses, is expected to be in a range of $2.5 million to $3.0 million, which is below the low-end of the range of previously provided guidance primarily due to lower than expected revenue.Extreme laid off 110 people, or 16% of its workforce, 18 months ago. The company has been struggling to grow, with market share remaining flat at 1.3% of the $20 billion Ethernet switch market in 2010 and 2011, according to Dell'Oro.
Cisco uses LISP to articulate programmability
The idea behind the routing locator and identifier separation in an IP address is that it allows LISP-enabled edge routers to aggregate the location information, so less of it needs to be stored in the core routers.This makes LISP beneficial for the following applications, proponents say: multihoming; mobility; improved scalability; customer-managed VPN provisioning; and network virtualization, among others. For network virtualization in particular, LISP allows mobile endpoints, for example, to keep their identification while changing locations. The separated IP address becomes a virtual Layer 3 overlay abstracted from the physical network topology.Essentially, you do the same thing with an IP address that you do with a cell number when you roam to a different network or change providers - even though your location changes, your number stays the same. With this, a user can create a VPN over the top of two different service provider networks, Cisco officials say, and allow devices to more seamlessly roam between Wi-Fi and 3G networks.NJEDge.Net, is a non-profit technology consortium of academic and research institutions in New Jersey, is using LISP as a virtual network overlay between different ISPs in a multi-homing arrangement.Many of the NJEDge.Net's members were procuring multiple broadband services from ISPs for business continuity reasons. But due to the challenges of balancing network traffic between ISPs using BGP, members of the consortium were often buying more bandwidth than they needed."They couldn't use the second link that they brought up; they had an 80:20 balance of traffic," says Jim Stankiewicz, director of Internet engineering for NJEDge.Net. "They were struggling with it."NJEDge.Net implemented LISP to move applications, network resources or devices between network providers without having them lose connectivity. LISP enabled users to remain connected even when workloads were balanced between their ISPs.NJEDge.Net is also assessing LISP to address disaster recovery needs. LISP provides the ability for customers to move data center resources, such as virtual machines, between data centers while maintaining connectivity.
13 events that defined Cisco's 2012
In just over two years since it started shipping, Cisco announces that it landed over 10,000 customers for its Unified Computing System (UCS) server platform. UCS began shipping in July 2009 and it is now on an annualized order run rate of over $1 billion, Cisco says. Cisco is No. 4 in the overall server market after three years in the business, No. 2 in x86 blade servers in the US and No. 3 worldwide, according to CEO John Chambers.Cisco made its most strategic acquisition in years when it bought video software titan NDS for $5 billion. The acquisition is in keeping with Cisco's strategy to drive video into as many markets as it can in order to create demand for its routers and switches. But the NDS deal is more than that. Cisco has made no bones about the fact that it is looking to deepen its software and services expertise in order to drive more revenue streams for the company and grow in areas aligned with its router and switch hardware focus. Software is 80% of NDS' revenue and the remainder comes from integration services.Cisco confirms previous reports that it is funding Insieme Networks, a potential spin-in start-up developing products to help stock Cisco's nascent programmable networking lineup. Cisco invested $100 million in Insieme, which is led by three Cisco engineers: Mario Mazzola, Luca Cafiero and Prem Jain. The three led two other Cisco spin-in start-ups - Andiamo Systems, which made storage-area network switches, and Nuova Systems, which developed Cisco's Nexus 5000 series data center switches. Cisco said it has the option to buy Insieme for $750 million to $850 million, and the company is believed to be developing 100G programmable switches with a significant storage component, and a controller.Cisco kills its Cius business tablet less than a year after it started shipping, citing an inability to compete with workers using their own personal devices for business - such as Apple's iPad -- and the cloud. Indeed, Cisco's own internal BYOD practices helped doom Cius. The company instead will focus on software offerings like its Jabber and WebEx products for more popular tablets and smartphones supporting a variety of operating systems. And Cisco's strategy for doing so will be led by its third collaboration head in less than a year after Cisco's collaboration business has been hampered by execution issues and declining sales. The business was flat in Cisco's 2012 third quarter with TelePresence hit by decreased spending in public sector and enterprise. In the fourth quarter, collaboration saw an 8% decline which was repeated in the first quarter of fiscal 2013.Cisco ends the suspense surrounding its software-defined networking strategy by unveiling the Cisco Open Networking Environment (ONE), a set of APIs to enable its routers and switches to be programmable through software. Cisco ONE is designed to make Cisco products flexible and customizable to meet the needs of cloud, mobility, social networking and video. In addition to APIs, it includes agents and controllers, and overlay network technologies designed to make each layer of a network - from the transport layer up through the management and orchestration layers - programmable in order to make it adaptable and extensible to changing needs. This differs, Cisco says, from more commonplace approaches to SDNs in which the control plane is decoupled from the forwarding plane and OpenFlow is used as an API, agent and protocol to command switches from an external controller.Cisco angers customers when it upgrades firmware, without request or permission, on Linksys routers that pushes users toward a cloud-based administration service they don't want. What's more, Cisco's privacy policy for the cloud-based administration states that it may keep track of certain information related to how customers use the service, such as how much traffic is going through the router every hour and information on the Internet history from the home network. The policy stated that Cisco may share aggregated or anonymous user experience information with service providers, contractors or other third parties. After a prolonged outcry from users, Cisco admits the exercise was a mistake, shows users how to opt out of the cloud service and changes its privacy policy.
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