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Cisco launches enhanced network switches to support rapid move to cloud computing

Cisco believes that the future includes a rapid rise in network use driven by new access devices, greater use of non-structured data and is responding by launching enhanced network switches.
Written by Dan Kusnetzky, Contributor on

Craig Huitema, of Cisco, and I had a lively discussion about the future of computing and how network virtualization and intelligent network switches were key elements. The discussion then went on to focus on updates and enhancements Cisco had made to its Nexus and Catalyst network switches.

Here's a summary of our discussion:

  • Organizations are facing a dramatic increase in demand for network bandwidth
  • This can be attributed to a number of things including:
    • New tools to access applications and data (access from smartphones, tablets and other non-traditional access tools)
    • Data that formerly was stored close to the user on a local PC is increasingly being stored back in the data center
    • The data people are creating, accessing and updating is both far larger than before and far more complex. This trend includes the increasing use of both structured data and non-structured data such as audio and video.

  • The impact in the organization is that it is being forced to deploy ever-faster network links and network virtualization to make best use of those links.
  • Cisco is enhancing its network switches to make it easily possible for organizations to move from 10 Gigabit links today to 40 Gigabit or 100 Gigabit links when needed.

Huitema's comments also included a suggestion that more than 50 percent of computing workloads in data centers will be cloud-based by 2014, and global cloud traffic will grow more than 12 times by 2015, to 1.6 zettabytes per year —the equivalent of over four days of business-class video for every person on Earth.

Snapshot analysis

While it is clearly in Cisco's best interest to present broad adoption of cloud computing, I'm not sure that I can agree that the adoption rate is going to be anywhere near that aggressive. I do agree, however, that organizations are facing demands from staff, consultants and customers to make applications and data available over the internet and support access from smartphones, tablets and other emerging devices.

Is your organization seeing the same trends in operation? Is it planning to expand its network to support expected growth?

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