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Cisco Expands 40, 100 GbE Switching Portfolios

Cisco Systems is introducing new switches with 40 and 100 Gigabit Ethernet (GbE) capabilities, which are the coming new standards for switching speeds on networks. The 40GbE capacity is now available on its Catalyst 6500 switching line for campus networks, while 100GbE is available on the Nexus 7000 line for data center and service provider networks. The company also announced two new fixed-configuration platforms providing high-density 10GbE switching, which is the fastest growing category of switches today.

Like other networking vendors, Cisco is adding these higher-capacity switches to meet network demands for cloud computing, wider use of video, the increased use of mobile devices and the explosion of data flowing on those networks. According to the latest market data, sales of 10GbE switches are expected to reach $13 billion by 2016 and will constitute nearly half of a total $28 billion Ethernet switch market by then. That year sales of 40 and 100GbE products will amount to $3 billion. Other vendors in this market include Alcatel-Lucent, Avaya, Brocade, Extreme Networks, Dell, HP, IBM, and Juniper Networks.

Cisco is also introducing a capability it calls Easy Virtual Networking, which simplifies network virtualization functionality for its Catalyst 6500, 4500 and ASR 1000 product lines. A new Nexus 1010-X appliance enables scalable virtual services in a data center environment.

"We aren't just throwing bandwidth at the problem and saying everything is going to be sunshine and roses," said Shashi Kiran, senior director of marketing for Cisco Data Center and Enterprise switching. "We are helping customers to utilize that bandwidth in a much more resource-intelligent manner and, with ease of use, reduce complexity."

Cisco's domination of the network market continues, but a new report from Information Week Analytics indicates that the people who buy networking equipment are considering other vendors, such as Dell, HP or IBM, as an alternative. In addition, 49 percent of respondents said they were not considering switching vendors at all, a decline from 60 percent in the October survey.

Cisco earned the highest score among the seven vendors represented in the survey, scoring 77 percent out of a possible 100 percent. However, IBM came in a very close second with a performance rating of 76 percent, while HP and Dell both came in at 75 percent. Juniper and Brocade also scored generally well, just three and four percentage points respectively behind Cisco. Avaya earned a performance ranking of 70 percent.

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