Tag: Cisco

Data centre evolves from snooze to news warns Gartner

darwinBeancounters at Gartner said that thedData centre industry is about to see some rapid change after 15 years of more or less being a snooze.

In its 2015 Magic Quadrant for Data Center Networking report Big G said that emerging innovations like software-defined networking (SDN) and disaggregation switching, and  data centre networking was shaking up the industry.

Unlike in the past, vendor differentiation is shifting toward software — including management, automation and orchestration — compared with hardware.

Gartner Research Director Andrew Lerner, who co-wrote the report said most of the suppliers were the same names as they everywere.  But positions have have changed within the industry.  Arista Networks becoming a Leader and Dell is being more progressive.

The report found that the adoption of and interest in white-box switches over the past year have increased significantly within hyperscale data centres.

Dell twigged to the fact that a white-box or branded white-box was the key and  then Juniper followed, then HP.

There is now a demand for a denser, more highly virtualised data centre to improve agility within networks. Organizations want less proprietary, closed systems than have typically filled the space.

The market leader is still Cisco and has the largest  installed base of any vendor in the quadrant, Cisco is by far the global leader in port shipments and revenue.

Gartner’s report slams Cisco for overlapping, conflicting architectures as well as one of the priciest solutions on the market.

Cisco’s flagship Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) is “less open” than some SDN products, said Lerner, but “if you’re looking for an open solution, they do have a broad portfolio.”

Arista is the fastest-growing vendor in the space and is one of only two companies – including Cisco – that Gartner refers to as Leaders.

Arista has taken a open and agnostic approach that’s cost-effective, so it’s a very compelling story for company’s the report said.”

HP is not doing that badly either. The No. 2 player in the market has a strong global reach, a broad portfolio and open SDN. HP was rated the most open vendor, according to Gartner research surveys.

What is keeping the computer giant from being a leader in the market is its failure to execute sales from a channel perspective.

“From a portfolio perspective, they can go toe-to-toe with anybody. … They have the HP brand and the global distribution channel, so on paper, they should be a fierce competitor,” said Lerner. “The reality is, we don’t see the HP distribution channel putting the HP data center networking portfolio in front of customers with the same degree of fervor as, say, a Cisco or even an Arista.”

Dell was the most innovative vendor in the marketplace over the past year, with more than 24,000 networking customers, jumping from a niche player in 2014 to a visionary this year.

Dell was the first mainstream vendor to support a disaggregation switching solution that allowed organizations to run third-party networking software on Dell hardware.

VMware was the only vendor that made the quadrant that doesn’t provide hardware in the data centre. The company’s flagship NSX SDN overlay product garners a high degree of interest and has a proven track record of reliability with customers.

VMware’s suffers from an immature channel and sales coverage  which is triggering its growth.

 

Cisco brings IoT certification to channel

ciscoCisco is helping its channel partners get a leg up into the Internet of Things.

The idea is to run training programmes to give them the skills needed to try to capture some of the $19 trillion it expects from the new industry.

A new Cisco Certified Network Associate Industrial IoT certification has been set up along with two new cloud certifications to help partners deliver optimal business outcomes.

Cisco thinks its channel needs to understand the context of the industrial and IoT environments while it is deploying and managing these network and IT devices.”

The lab-based training program targets networking engineers, plant administrators, control engineers and IT engineers and teaches them how to build, manage and operate converged industrial networks in the fast-growing IoT manufacturing markets.

The certification targets both the customers and channel partners

Last week, research firm IDC released a report forecasting that the IoT market in manufacturing operations will grow from $42.2 billion in 2013 to $98.8 billion in 2018 — representing a CAGR of 18.6 percent.

Cisco warns partners of IoS skills shortage

ciscologoWhile everyone is talking up the Internet of Things, network giant Cisco has cleared its throat and pointed out that there is a huge skill shortage based around the technology.

Speaking at the Cisco Partner Summit, the outfit’s vice president for Industry Solutions Group, Steve Steinhilber, said that the IoT market will be worth $19 billion by 2020 – $14.4 billion of which will come from the private sector, and $4.6 billion from the public sector.

He claimed partners were getting a 40 percent annual boost to their Cisco businesses through selling IoT kit, but said the skills gap is a pressing concern.

He said that for Cisco and its partners this is a genuinely new available market. But one of the big gaps in the next three to five years is a tremendous shortfall in skills.

“You have people coming from the operational technology space and people coming from the IT space so you need training on how these worlds are going to merge. For Cisco, just in the industrial [vertical market], we see a shortage of 300,000 people with the right skills across the globe.”

In the past nine months, Cisco has trained 38 partners globally as IoT Specialised partners, and another 94 are currently going through the process, Steinhilber said, adding that this should start to fill the gap.

“We’ve begun rolling out a series of programmes,” he said. “Over the next 12 months you will see a serious of other unique training courses focused on industry-vertical skills.”

Security appliance market surges

Cisco FirewallOn the day that IBM revealed that a billion individuals had their data leaked in 2014, a report said the security appliance market saw double digit shipment growth in the fourth quarter of last year.

IDC said that worldwide, both factory revenues and shipments grew with revenues growing 8.6 percent compared to the same quarter last year, amounting to $2.6 billion.

But shipments grew twice as fast as revenues at 16.7 percent, representing 635, 933 units.

IDC said that’s the fourth consecutive quarter of shipment growths. For the whole year, revenues and shipments grew 8.4 percent and 8.3 percent respectively, amounting to $9.4 billion and 2.1 million units.

All geographies showed growth, but in Europe security appliances represented 26.9 percent of worldwide revenues.

The leading beacon in the market is Cisco – it has a 16.6 percent share of worldwide revenue. Check Point checked in at number two, with 13.2 percent revenue share. It grew by 25.6 percent in the fourth quarter of 2014.

In third place was Fortinet, which is the largest appliance vendor in shipment terms.

Palo Alto Networks, Blue Coat and McAfee were the other contenders in the top five position, with the last two tying in worldwide revenues.

 

VCE widens its portfolio

Pic Mike MageeVCE, which specialises in converged infrastructure, said it has added a raft of software and hardware products aimed at customers looking to move to a hybrid cloud model.

The company said its Vscale architecture offers speed and simplicity for data centres. The VxBlock Systems use Cisco Application Centric Infrastructure or VMare NSX for software defined networking.

Its VCE Vision Intelligent Operations 3.0 is an update to its management software with unified intelligence across many VCE converged infrastructure systems.

It supplemented these announcements with VCE technology extensions – pre-tested and pre-validate hardware – the announcement means that businesses can add storage and computing resources including EMC and Cisco products.

Further VCE said that it has launched the Federation Enterprise Hybrid Cloud, making it easier to build scalable systems.

VCE said it is now shipping the Vblock System 540 and the System 740 in volume. These products were announced last October.

 

US tech economy suffering because of paranoia

Senator McCarthy On 'Face The Nation'The US economy is officially suffering because its government is not reigning in its paranoid security services.

One of the world’s biggest markets, China, has said that it is no longer using high-profile US technology brands for state buys, amid ongoing revelations about mass surveillance and hacking by the US government.

That means that key brands, including Cisco, Intel, Apple and McAfee — among others — have been dropped from the Chinese government’s list of authorised brands.

The number of approved foreign technology brands fell by a third, based on an analysis of the procurement list. Less than half of those companies with security products remain on the list.

Chinese companies were said to offer “more product guarantees” than overseas rivals. Some claim it has cost the US government many billions of dollars figure on the impact of the leaks.

US companies have been moaning that the activities by the NSA are harming their businesses in crucial growth markets, including China. However, the US government has claimed that its aggressive spying plan meant that Americans were safer and spying on everyone was the only way to catch terrorists.

This included backdoors being placed in US products sold overseas. Those revelations sparked a change in Chinese policy by forcing Western technology companies to hand over their source code for inspection. That led to an outcry in the capital by politicians who accused Chinese companies of doing exactly the same thing, when they hadn’t.

Microsoft said its fourth-quarter earnings that China “fell short” of its expectations, which chief executive Satya Nadella described as a “set of geopolitical issues” that the company was working through.

HP said its fiscal first-quarter earnings had “execution issues” in China thanks to the “tough market” with increasing competition from the local vendors approved by the Chinese government.

However Cisco has been suffering the most. Earlier this month at its fiscal second-quarter earnings, the networking giant said it lost 19 percent of its revenue in China, amid claims the NSA was installing backdoors and implants on its routers in transit.

Cloud casts shadow over videoconferencing

ciscologoCisco, Polycom and Avaya make hardware to let enterprises to video conference, but the arrival of cloud computing means they’re likely to see flat growth.

That’s the conclusion of Eric Abbruzzese, research analyst at ABI Research, whose video conference hardware doesn’t quite cut the ice.

He said: “With the current market focus on cloud computing and hardware virtualisation, dedicated hardware sales will see little growth in all video delivery markets, including videoconferencing telepresence hardware.”

He said hardware revenues are likely to be more or less flat up to 2020 but the Ciscos of this world will have little luck selling kit if products don’t adopt to a virtualisation model.

He said the three firms in question have already begun to move to cloud based systems and using their existing products as a foundation for the cloud services.

Aside from the enterprise, video conferencing for us plebs will show strong growth. Skype, ooVoo and Google Hangouts will all have their place in the sun.

Cisco to invest in French starters

Cooked_snailsUS network equipment maker Cisco is to invest $100 million in French start-ups according to French Prime Minister Manuel Valls.

The investment is part of a partnership between the company and the French state that aims to develop better networks, improve cybersecurity, provide training 200,000 people over three years and finance academic research.

A statement from Valls’ office said that Cisco would assist digital innovation thanks to an  in French startups.

The deal was announced after Valls met Cisco CEO, John Chambers. It is not clear what Cicso’s cunning plan in France is yet, but we suspect it will be part of Chamber’s cloud strategy.

Recently SFR France announced that it was using Cisco products in its upgrade from IPv4 to IPv6.

 

Cisco did better than expected

cfd548a13a777938dc3e31e616d31a70Network equipment maker Cisco reported stronger than expected quarterly revenue and profits as demand for switching equipment and routers picked up.

Cisco has been trying to move towards a new cycle of high-end switches and routers.

Its switching business, which makes products that handle traffic at large internet data centres, netted  39 percent of Cisco’s total hardware revenue in 2014, while the router business accounted for about 21.2 percent.

This means that the outfit is seeing robust switching sales, which is good news for other outfits in the sector such as Infoblox, Gigamon and F5 Networks which should also be doing well.

Rvenue from Cisco’s hardware business rose 7.8 percent to $9.08 billion in the company’s second quarter ended Jan. 24.

Revenue from services, which includes the company’s software and cloud offerings, rose 4.6 percent to $2.86 billion.

So analysts think that Cisco has put the worst behind it and should start returning to the days when it was a blue chip investment.

Chief Executive John Chambers said that the quarter showed the best balance of growth across all of the company’s geographies, products and segments,.

Cisco said its net profit rose to $2.4 billion in the quarter from $1.43 billion, a year earlier. Total revenue rose seven percent to $11.94 billion.

Analysts on average had expected a revenue of $11.8 billion.

Kramer added that while Cisco has made progress in the second quarter, the company will continue to be affected by headwinds from emerging markets and telecom service providers.

The company also forecast revenue growth of 3-5 percent.

 

Cisco promises partners a sticky end

 honey1Cisco Systems executives have been promising their channel partners that its Cisco ONE Software Suite will be stickier than a hive of bees who stuck super glue on their feet and went skating on the honey combs.

Cisco ONE (Open Networking Environment) is a software licensing program that provides flexibility for customers to acquire the latest software for infrastructure. Yes, apparently, you can be sticky and flexible at the same time; we looked it up.

The networking supremo appears to be removing the la carte method with separately priced products it has also removed the concept of a software license being tied to hardware.

Under the new system, Cisco ONE covers data centre, WAN and network access software as a subscription. Later this year Cisco ONE will offer perpetual licenses and hearing aids for those who were damaged by Cisco shouting ONE at them all the time.

John Brigden, senior vice president of software strategy and operations for Cisco, said all this means that Cisco is now in the business of flogging “business outcomes” instead of products.

Cisco ONE provides flexibility and drive greater deal sizes as well as more margin incentives through the Value Incentive Program (VIP), OIP, and TIP, he said.

For the channel it prevents multiple sales cycles because it is software tied to maintenance and support with SmartNet brings in a more predictable revenue stream.

“This is very sticky for partners.”

It’s the internet of everything

Internet of ThingsSome call it the internet of things (IoT), some call it the internet of everything (IoE) and some even call it the internet of fangs (IoF).
These terms are not, as yet, perfectly defined and there is a complete lack of standards defined, just like in the “cloud” space.  But there’s one thing for sure, and that is it’s going to be worth a lot of money so as many vendors as possible are getting on board the gravy train.
Future Market Insights (FMI) prefers the IoE and said that the market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16.4 percent between 2014 and 2020.
It will be the Asia Pacific market which will kick off the growth, synched to the arrival of big data. That’s because there will be investment in so called “smart cities” and smart grids, financed by the Indian, Chinese and Japanese governments.
FMI divides the market into business to business (B2B) and IoE vertical markets.
The verticals include manufacturing and public sector, but the health care sector will grow by 20.6 percent CAGR during the period, followed by utilities.
The major players in the market are Cisco, Samsung, IBM, Apple and Accenture – these vendors had over 50 percent market share in 2013.

 

Cisco makes bold wearable claims

ciscologoNetworking giant Cisco believes that by the 2019 there will be half a billion people using wearable devices.
Cisco said that 2.8 million wearables shipped last year and by 2019 there will be 16.4 million of us wearing gadgets of one sort or another.
The Daily Telegraph reports Cisco’s belief that each gizmo will churn out 569MB of data a month.
By 2019, according to Cisco, 4G networks will represent 88.2 percent of data traffic.  Last year, 4G traffic amounted to 42.2 percent,
Cisco believes too that there will be 5.2 billion mobile users in 2019.  It estimates last year there were 4.3 billion mobile users.
Where does Cisco get these figures from?  No doubt it gazes into its crystal ball and extrapolates current figures using an abacus.
The jury is still well and truly out on wearable devices however – not everyone is totally convinced that having a gizmo built into your clothes is necessarily the flavour of the day.

 

Samsung, Apple, take top semi spots

Samsung HQ Silicon Valley - MM picApple and Samsung were the biggest buyers of semiconductors in 2014.
Together, they bought $57.9 billion worth of chips last year, up by $3.9 billion in 2013, according to Gartner.
In terms of the total market for semiconductor, both companies’ accounted for 17 percent of the total market.
Gartner said the two firms have been top of the semiconductor consumption market for four years in a row.
That, said analyst Masatsune Yamajo, means decisions they make “have considerable technology and pricing implications for the whole semiconductor industry”.
Samsung was still top buyer but its decision to withdraw from some parts of the PC market as well as losing market share to other vendors meant its growth rate wasn’t as great as in the past.
Gartner estimates that the top 10 companies bought $125.6 billion of semiconductors, accounting for 36.4 percent of the whole market in 2014.
After Samsung and Apple, the remaining eight top ten buyers were HP, Lenovo, Dell, Sony, Huawei, Cisco, LG Electronics and Toshiba.
The entire semiconductor market worldwide amounted to $339.9 billions last year.

 

UK open to security abuse

ciscologoA report from networking giant Cisco revealed that only 41 percent of UK companies have good security processes in place.
That places it well below India at 54 percent, and below the US at 44 percent and Germany at 43 percent.
But the situation is worse in Asia.  Only 36 percent of Chinese enterprises have adequate security while Japan has only 24 percent.
Cisco’s annual security review reveals that hackers are moving from compromising servers and operating systems to target individual users’ browsers and emails.
Some of the favoured techniques are Snowshoe spam, which generates many spam emails from a large range of IP addresses to avoid detection.
Attackers are also taking advantage of the relatively weak security of JavaScript and Flash by attacking both at the same time.
According to the survey, less than 50 percent of firms patch and configure systems to ensure security.
The survey canvassed executives at 1,700 companies and it appears there is a gap in perception with 75 percent thinking their security tools are very effective, while the reality is quite different.

 

Integrated infrastructure booms in EMEA

server-racksA report said that integrated infrastructure and platforms – that is to say vendor systems containing servers, disk storage, networking kit and systems management software – grew by 38 percent in the third quarter of last year.
IDC said vendors turned in revenues of $616 million in the quarter, a year on year growth of 38.2 percent for the EMEA (Europe, Middle East and Africa) in the quarter.
Eckhardt Fisher, research analyst at IDC, said the growth is linked to fast spreading adoption of business intelligence systems and the perceived benefit to enterprises that brings.
The market leader for the integrated infrastructure division saw VCE as the leader, followed by Cisco-Netapp, and then HP.
Cisco grew its share by close to 163 percent for the quarter, compared to the same quarter in 2013.
VCE also took prime position in the integrated platforms sector, followed by Cisco-Netapp and HP.  But here HP belonged strongly – growing by 271 percent in the quarter.
The entire market for the third quarter shipped 238 terabytes – up 63.5 percent compared to Q3 2013.