Networking giant Cisco is having a crack at pushing itself into the compute space with “intuitive” boxes which can analyse and control network traffic.
The new Catalyst 9000 series switches are shipping with a management platform called “DNA Centre”, and the aim is to make the switches better able to apply security policies and controls for devices on a network.
The control centre can manage access policies and privileges for devices and apply specific security controls via the Talos security tools.
According to Cisco, the tools can analyse traffic and recognize things like malware infections based on the way they move packets over the network.
Meanwhile, Cisco claims machine learning components in DNA Centre will let the switches change policies to recognize devices and users.
All this means is that Cisco partners can push its gear deeper into IT management, letting the network hardware handle things like managing cloud apps and keeping access policies for mobile devices and guest connections.
CEO Chuck Robbins said that the gear can translate their business intent into the network.
The switches are based on custom ASICs from Cisco that will be customisable and reprogrammable to use with private clouds or specific applications and stacks. The 9000 series comes in three models for enterprises: the 9300, 9400, and 9500. The smaller 9300 and 9500 switches are shipping this month, while the larger 9400 switches will be making their way to customers in July.
The 9000 series uses subscription services. Cisco says that from now on, customers will have to agree to a package of either pre-bundled Cisco ONE software tools or as packages with the DNA Centre software.
This is all part of Cisco’s long-term goal to turn from a network hardware outfit into an IT management vendor.
The networking channel is finding it harder to shift 40 gbps Ethernet gear, according to beancounters at IDC.
IDC’s network tracker has revealed that 100 Gbps and software-defined kit use is increasing.
Analyst firm IDC reckons the world’s Ethernet switch market laid on 3.3 percent growth year-on-year for the first quarter of 2017, up to US$5.66 billion.
At the same time, however the world is ignoring Cisco gear it slipped by 3.7 percent year-on-year to $3.35 billion. Its Ethernet switch market share lost 3.9 percent year-on-year to 55.1 percent, with Juniper and Arista increasing their presence in the space to 4.3 percent (up from 3.2 percent in Q1 2016) and 5.1 percent (up from 3.9 percent) respectively.
Juniper also expanded its share of the service provider routing business to 15.6 percent, up year-on-year from 14.5 percent.
Huawei also took share in the router business from Cisco, growing from 18.8 percent of the market in the first quarter of 2016 to 19.8 percent in 2017.
Its slice of Ethernet switching also rose from 3.9 percent to 6.3 percent in the same period, with an aberration in Q4 2016, when big deliveries got the Chinese vendor close to 10 percent of the segment.
IDC seems to think that those who are doing well are shipping more and faster ports. Once again this is driven by the cloud and data centre markets.
The market has lost interest in 1, 10 and 40 Gbps gear which saw small slumps in sales. However 100 Gbps gear increased by 323.5 percent.
Networking resellers are seeing a surge in sales for software defined-WANs.
Software defined networking has hit the WAN market and IDC is reporting that demand will grow over the next few years.
IDC reports a gathering momentum around SD-WAN with established vendors and a growing number of start-ups providing options.
It said that there were a growing number of service providers “jumping on the bandwagon” to take a slice of a market that it expects to grow at an average pace of 92 percent a year to hit $2.1 billion by 2021.
Jan Hein Bakkers, senior research manager at IDC said that SD-WAN had emerged as one of the hottest topics in the WAN industry.
“It will become one of the key building blocks of network evolution, driving the flexibility, manageability, scalability, and cost effectiveness that organizations require in their balancing act between rapidly growing requirements and much flatter budgets,” he added.
SD-WAN also got a mention as one of the top things to look for as a major trend from Cisco in its Visual Networking Index.
It expects SD-WAN traffic to grow at a CAGR of 44 percent increase six-fold by 2021 and represent a quarter of WAN traffic.
Networking gear maker Cisco has added a Global Gold tier to the top of its partner programme.
Cisco said that its Global Gold tier allows partners with different regional certifications to get the same benefits and incentives of the Gold tier across all these areas – provided they meet certain Global Gold criteria, including £272.2 million annual revenue with Cisco.
Partners must already have in place a certain amount of Gold and Premium accreditations in each of Cisco’s territories globally – the Americas, EMEAR, APJ and Greater China. The joint figure needed is 12 Gold accreditations globally.
Partners must also hold a Global Commercial Specialisation and hit an 80 percent services attach rate and a 70 percent renewal rate quarter to quarter.
The new tier currently has five partners: BT, Dimension Data, Ericsson, IBM, and Orange Business Services.
Cisco’s global channel vice president Marc Surplus wrote in his bog: “We’ve bridged the pieces of our existing Gold certification with today’s global business needs to provide a simpler, scalable, and profitable global experience for our partners. Global Gold partners can now showcase their ability to deliver and support solutions as a Cisco Gold certified partner from any of their worldwide locations. Global Gold increases the value exchange with our resellers by helping them expand their customer bases.
“Their sales and technical teams can now reach across borders and support their global customers more effectively than ever before, and, while this new certification is important to our global business strategy, we absolutely remain fully committed to the partners who do the equally important work of caring for customers in their local and regional markets,” Surplus said.
As part of its cunning plan to be more software centric, maker of networking boxes Cisco is launching a new enterprise-wide software licensing agreement.
A spokesCisco said the new Enterprise Agreement (EA) is either a three or five-year licensing contract and partners will have the potential to bring in more revenue, with a lower upfront investment on software, hardware, and services with the new EAs.
The deal aims to give customers more opportunity to take part in traditional enterprise licensing agreements.
Before Cisco customers had to invest several millions of dollars to get access to a catalogue or portfolio of software. But now the price point has come down significantly to as low as $250,000.
“This opens up opportunities for our customers and for us to expand the presence of Cisco software and enterprise agreements to a broader range and broader audience.”
Cisco has also lowered its minimum purchase requirement for an enterprise licence agreement, enabling partners to potentially sell the new EA in the midmarket space.
This opens up some new white space customer opportunity for partners to have discussions with a broader set of customers around a single agreement that can meet their overall goals.
Cisco is planning to release a new network operating system that will allow users to run its most sophisticated networking features on older and lower-cost Cisco routers and switches.
What is interesting about the tech is that it could disrupt Cisco’s networking hardware business as it will only run on Cisco switches.
Dubbed Lindt, it will enable Cisco customers to move away from switches based on proprietary high-performance Cisco chips to Cisco hardware that works with lower-cost chips.
The move is seen as part of Cisco becoming less hardware focused and some of its partners think it is rather a good time to do that.
Cisco partners have always had the problem of linking software to the hardware so that they always had to renew the software with the product.
Having the flexibility of owning the software and having more flexibility of changing the platform underneath that makes a more likely sale.
Solution providers said Cisco selling stand-alone software could make Cisco a more valuable company in the long run.
Cisco has been putting networking functions on more platforms, including virtual switches for VMware and Microsoft Hyper-V virtualized and private cloud environments.
It has been also setting up more software-defined networking technology which removes the management layer and switching technology from physical switches to move the networking functionality into the network itself.
UKFast and Cisco have teamed up with the Open University to tackle the IT skills gap and improve the technical expertise available to Northern employers.
UKFast invited schools across the North West to sign up to take advantage of the support being offered to teachers by the Cisco Net Academy.
UKFast held a launch event last week and has already seen 73 schools sign-up to take advantage of the resources that the networking giant is offering.
UKFast CEO Lawrence Jones said that while everyone was talking about the skills shortage in technology, and there’s no way we can combat that shortage if teachers do not get the tools to deliver cutting-edge digital training.
Technology is evolving so quickly that we need to focus on supporting teachers and keeping them up to speed with the latest developments,” said MBE.
“Just last week a skills audit by Manchester Digital called on employers to engage more closely with education. It’s something we’ve been doing at UKFast for years and we’re seeing amazing results. You can see from the incredible uptake for the scheme from schools and colleges that it’s something they’re crying out for,” he added.
Cisco and UKFast are working with the Open University to deliver the academic programme and there is still a chance for schools to sign up to the programme.
Nuno Guarda, head of corporate affairs for Cisco in the UK & Ireland said it was critical to have strong partners like UKFast and the Open University because they bring amazing value to the curriculum and help deliver it to local schools.
“This has been Cisco’s flagship CSR programme since 1997 and we’re aiming to help everyone, not only IT professionals, become more confident in their use of technology and help them understand how it fits in the world that surrounds them,” Guarda said.
Cisco has written a $3.7 billion cheque for the business software company AppDynamics in one of its largest deals of recent years.
The move will see Cisco looking for new business outside its core networking business. Cisco has been trying to shift its strategy to stay ahead of technology developments, such as the rise of cloud computing.
Cisco’s announcement comes a week after HPE said it would buy cloud startup SimpliVity for $650 million.
Rob Salvagno, Cisco’s vice president of corporate development, said in an interview that the acquisition fits Cisco’s long-term direction and its transition toward software.
AppDynamics makes software that manages and analyses applications and it has about 2,000 paying customers, including NASDAQ, Nike and its new owner, Cisco.
Cisco wrote its cheque the day before the San Franciso-based firm was planning to price its long-planned IPO.
It is Cisco’s largest acquisition since it bought security company Sourcefire for $2.7 billion in 2013.
Logicalis is reporting that its UK operation took a hit.
For the 12 months ending 29 February 2016, the UK arm of the Cisco, HP and IBM partner saw revenue drop from £169.8 million in the previous year to £153.9 million, while operating profit swung from £6 million to a loss of £2.1 million.
For the year ending 29 February 2016 the Logicalis Group saw revenue drop from $1.51 billion to $1.4 billion while operating profit fell from $68.1 million to $52 million.
Logicalis parent company Datatec reported its half-year figures on the London Stock Exchange in October, showing a revenue decline of 7.6 per cent year on year to $3.13 billion for the six months ending 31 August 2016.
The company is vendor dependant on the likes of IBM, Cisco and HP and if any one of the principal vendors to the company terminates, fails to renew or materially adversely changes its agreement or arrangements with the company, it could materially reduce the company’s revenue and operating profit and thereby seriously harm the company’s financial condition and results of operations, the company said.
The Logicalis UK claimed that the IT industry continues to be a “rapidly changing environment“and management recognises the need for the company to continually adapt and grow.
“The directors remain optimistic about the company’s future prospects, and are executing a transformation programme which will ensure that it is best suited to deliver its customers in the long term.”
Ericsson has announced that it is expanding its partnership with Cisco to target new corporate clients and the public sector in 2017.
Rima Qureshi told hacks that Ericsson and Cisco think they can make an extra $1 billion each in revenues by 2018 through a partnership which was announced late in 2015 and cash like that is not to be sneezed at.
Qureshi says Ericsson’s Cisco partnership, which generated over 60 deals in the first year, has been mainly focused on telecom operators. Next year, the firms plan to target enterprises and public sector .
She said that the two are looking much closer into how theycan work on the enterprise
“We are investigating what we can do together within Industry & Society, IoT, smart cities and we’re going to target specific public sector segments, specifically for example transportation, utilities … And then of course we’re looking at other segments such as security,” she added.
Qureshi says Ericsson’s forecast to generate up to 25 percent of revenue from business outside of telecom operators by 2020.
Networking giant Cisco will walk away from its billion dollar investment in the public cloud by the middle of next year.
Cisco will abandon its InterCloud and will move any InterCloud workloads to other, unnamed cloud providers. The move is being seen as a victory for Amazon Web Services and Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud, and IBM.
HP saw the writing on the wall in 2015 and abandoned its efforts to be a public-cloud company. It shut down its much-hyped Helion cloud offering earlier this year. VMware still offers its vCloud Air hybrid-cloud service, though it has agreed to partner with AWS, which it once viewed as its rival.
Cisco said that it did not expect any material customer problems as a result of this move.
“For the last several months, we have been evolving our cloud strategy and our service provider partners are aware of this.”
Cisco launched InterCloud almost exactly two years ago. It anticipated spending $1 billion over the next two years building the offering, which it called “a network of clouds” and “a way to lower the total cost of cloud services ownership and pave the way for interoperable and highly secure public, private and hybrid clouds.” It was to be, Cisco said in March 2014, “the world’s largest global intercloud” and yet also “the first of its kind, delivering a new enterprise-class portfolio of cloud IT services.”
Cisco said it planned to build the product through partners, including Australian service provider Telstra; Canadian business communications provider Allstream; European cloud company Canopy; cloud services aggregator Ingram Micro Inc. and others. InterCloud would include platform and infrastructure as a service and Cisco’s collaboration, security and network management, and would be “architected for the Internet of Everything.”
In the end though it was sucking up resources like a Dyson in a tornado and at the same time customers were going elsewhere.
AWS’s share of the market for infrastructure and platform as a service as of June was over 30 percent, with year-over-year revenue growth of 53 percent, according to Synergy Research Group. Azure’s was over 10 percent, with revenue growth of 100 percent. IBM’s share was about 8 percent, Google Cloud’s was about 5 percent, and the remainder was collectively consumed by 12 or more companies.
Cisco and Salesforce are combining their Internet of Things and unified communications technologies in a cunning plan to provide joint offerings to drive channel sales in the new markets.
The networking giant will co-develop and co-market new joint offerings that combine its platforms in collaboration, IoT and contact center with Salesforce Sales Cloud, IoT Cloud and Service Cloud offerings.
Under the cunning plan Cisco Spark and WebEx will be integrated into Salesforce’s Cloud and Service Cloud. Combining these two technologies will allow customers to communicate in real time using chat, video and voice without leaving Salesforce or having to install a plug-in.
Cisco’s Jasper IoT platform, which it bought in its $1.4 billion acquisition of Jasper Technologies earlier this year – will be integrated with Salesforce’s IoT Cloud. Cisco said the joint offerings will empower organisations to quickly and cost-effectively use billions of IoT data points and provide businesses with a more comprehensive view of their IoT services.
Rowan Trollope, senior vice president and general manager of the IoT and Applications Groups at Cisco said that Cisco and Salesforce were coming together to form a strategic alliance can eliminate the friction users experience today so they can become more productive.
The alliance will also combine Cisco’s Unified Contact Centre Enterprise and Salesforce Service Cloud to help customers manage call centres more efficiently, according to a release.
Cisco has just written a cheque for the 18 month-old container management specialist ContainerX.
The outfit put its first product into the channel in June so it does not seem that Cisco is waiting for it to get established. ContainerX has switched off product downloads, webinars, and product support.
ContainerX’s technology is a turnkey container platform designed for enterprise IT to administer as easily as they’ve administered VMware vSphere or Microsoft HyperV over the years, with dev and ops self service. Enterprise IT can set up the platform in under 60 minutes, integrate with various enterprise infrastructure aspects including storage, network, orchestration, LDAP etc, create pools with resource limits, for various dev/ops teams to self service, the company wrote on its website.
Writing in his bog, Cisco’s Rob Salvagno said the technology that gives Cisco “enterprise-class container management” across various target platforms. The ContainerX team will join Cisco’s Cloud Platform and Services Group led by vice president Kip Compton.
According to ContainerX’s site, the software can manage bare metal, virtual machine, Windows and Linux systems on public or private clouds.
Salvagno said the technology will give Cisco the ability to develop its own “comprehensive cloud-native stack” for container users.
It is not clear how much the Cisco Kid paid for Container X.
Cisco’s Midyear Cybersecurity Report (MCR) is warning that ransomware is a specific threat which is is becoming more widespread and potent.
The report said that the ransomware creators are focusing more than ever on generating revenue and are now targeting enterprise users in addition to individuals.
“These direct attacks are becoming increasingly efficient and lucrative, generating huge profits. Our security researchers calculate that ransomware nets our adversaries nearly $34 million annually,” the report said.
The report said that it is time to improve the odds at handling this type of attack.
At the moment asymmetric attacks are outpacing responses. Attackers’ innovative methods of exploit, persistency, shifting tactics, and ability to operate on a global level create an ominously complex and moving target
“Our research shows that adversaries are now exploiting vulnerabilities in encryption, authorization, and server-side systems, using ‘malvertising as a service’ to infect web users, well as tampering with secure connections like HTTPS. This final example alone has users thinking incorrectly that their connections are secure, leading to a false sense of security and making it increasingly difficult to determine if a connection has been compromised,” the report said.
Networking Tsar Cisco has written a $293 million cheque for cloudy security outfit CloudLock.
CloudLock provides cloud access security tech, and analytics on user behaviour and sensitive data for cloud services. Cisco said that the acquisition will close in the first quarter of fiscal year 2017 and the CloudLock team will join Cisco’s Networking and Security Business Group.
It will be ruled by Senior VP and general manager David Goeckeler.
Cisco Corporate Development’s Rob Salvagno said the acquisition will boost security for companies seeking to migrate to the cloud. In fact Cisco is buying rather a lot of cloudy security outfits lately.
It bought Lancope for $452 million, the Portcullis Computer Security for an undisclosed sum, and OpenDNS for $635 million.