Lippis Report 188: Cisco Deepens the Visibility and Control Attributes of the SecureX Framework to Deliver Context-Aware Mitigation

March 20th, 2012

SecureX is the network security framework that Cisco launched last year. The company has now deepened SecureX to bolster its ability to provide SecOps greater visibility of applications and network traffic, and control of network security resources to mitigate exploits faster and more effectively by providing context- aware security information brought on by Bring Your Own Device or BYOD plus cloud computing applications and services. Cisco achieves this through its new ASA-CX Context-Aware Security capabilities, expanded support for Security Group Tagging or SGT within TrustSec enabled devices, and the addition of device profiling functionality in the IOS of its routers, switches and wireless access points. All of this security technology works with its Identity Services Engine or ISE—Cisco’s identity and access control policy platform.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lippis Report 187: Software-Defined Networking Needs a Bigger Definition

February 28th, 2012

There are multiple definitions of Software-Defined Networking or SDN. But this is common in a new breakout space for the computer networking industry that’s evolving fast. The most common SDN definition is based upon splitting the data plane or the forwarding hardware of an Ethernet switch from its control plane or the logic that controls how packets flow from ingress to egress. But this definition alone is too limited and needs to be expanded. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we offer the industry a broader SDN definition and view.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lippis Report 186: UC SME Market Heats Up with New Announcements from Avaya and Siemens

February 14th, 2012

The Unified Communications market has twisted and turned over the past eighteen months, thanks to mobile and cloud computing plus the huge uptick in web plus video collaboration. This market has recovered from the 2009/2010 downturn with a gusto as providers expand UC to include collaboration and mobile platforms while targeting the red hot Small- to Medium-sized Enterprise (SME) market that consist of some seven million employees. With only a third of SMEs having a communication strategy plus less than a quarter with a deployed UC solution, the SME market is huge and wide open. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we take a look at Avaya’s and Siemens’ new UC offering for the SME market from a traditional voice vendor perspective and explore non-traditional SME offerings from Apple, Google, Facebook, Cisco, Microsoft, et al.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lippis Report 185: Why Software-Defined Networking and Virtualized Networking Are Inexplicably Linked

January 29th, 2012

Computer networking vendors have been increasing the speed and port density of their Ethernet switches while reducing power draw and price per port. But while Ethernet switching hardware marches on linearly, thanks to 10, 40 and 100GbE, networking software is taking a different historical path as the pace of compute and network technology evolution has diverged, with networking lagging. Highly virtualized server deployment has broken traditional networking approaches on multiple levels, for example. In response, the industry is now developing a “virtualized infrastructure” or “stack” to add network flexibility. To close the technology gap, Software-Defined Networking (SDN) is promoted as the new “organizing principle” to deliver network software and service value. While it will be, likely, years before SDN’s organizing principles take hold, I propose that these two industry activities are inexplicably linked and phased; here’s why…

Read the rest of this entry »

Lippis Report 184: Network Services to Differentiate Next Generation of Campus Core Switches

January 9th, 2012

During the middle of 2012, a few firms will introduce core switches for campus networking. Many of these products will be based upon merchant silicon such as HP Networking’s A10500 Series Enterprise Core Switch. While these products will boast performance advantage, they will find it difficult to win share against established firms such as Cisco’s Catalyst 6500, thanks to its investment in network services. In this Lippis Report Research Note 184, we explore the importance of network services and their role in campus network design.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lippis Report 183: 2012 Predictions

December 20th, 2011

In this Lippis Report Research Note 183, we provide our very popular annual top 10 2012 industry predictions that were provided by Andre Kindness, senior analyst at Forrester Research, Nick Lippis, CEO of Lippis Enterprises, and Zeus Kerravala, principal at ZK Research. We take a look into the year ahead and provide our view as to what will come to pass. This Research Note is based upon the “2012 Networking Industry Predictions” Lippis Report podcast.

The following are our top 10 2012 Networking Industry Predictions.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lippis Report 182: Top 10 Findings: The Cloud Network Industry Test of 10/40GbE Fabrics

December 5th, 2011

The Fall 2011 Open Industry Network Performance and Power Test Report is now available. Since our Spring 2011 test, we added four products from three vendors to the 11 products from eight vendors already tested. We now have data on 15 data center switching products from nine vendors in the new report to be released after Thanksgiving. Our cloud networking test of 10 and 40GbE is now the industry benchmark for cloud networking. In fact, only those companies that are sure of their product(s) enter the test at Ixia’s iSimCity. We found that 40GbE is hard, and thus you have to give credit to the vendors that go through the testing—in this test, those vendors are Extreme Networks, Brocade and Alcatel-Lucent. These firms have high performance data center switching product that is Enterprise and Cloud service provider ready. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we share our the top 10 findings from this round of testing. Lippis Report subscribers can download the 125-page report here, free of charge.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lippis Report 181: Early Results of the Lippis Report Open Industry Cloud Network Evaluation of 10/40Gbps Ethernet Fabrics at Ixia’s iSimCity

November 7th, 2011

During the weeks of October 10 and October 31, 2011, at Ixia’s iSimCity, the Lippis Report conducted its third industry test of cloud networking data center switches operating at 10 and 40GbE. In just six short months, the industry has moved forward by breaking all previous records of data center switch speed, power consumption, port density and bandwidth. We added four products from three vendors to the eleven products from eight vendors already tested. We now have data on fifteen data center switching products from nine vendors in the new report to be released after Thanksgiving. During May 2011 Interop, we had eleven vendors provide verbal commitment to participate in this Fall industry test (remember it is free for vendors to submit products to test). As the deadline for signed agreements came, this field of eleven dropped to three because their products were simply not ready. 40GbE is hard, and thus you have to give credit to the vendors that go through the testing—in this test, those vendors are Extreme Networks, Brocade and Alcatel-Lucent. These firms have high performance data center switching product that is Enterprise and Cloud service provider ready. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we share our insights gained from testing all these products and provide the topic cloud networking industry trends taking shape now.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lippis Report 179: New Design Principles in Campus and Data Center Networking: In the Age of the Next Gen Catalyst 6K with Supervisor 2T

September 26th, 2011

By all counts, Cisco’s upgrade of the Catalyst 6K via its new Supervisor 2T, or Sup2T, is its most ambitious and thoughtful yet for the venerable platform. The Sup2T is a 2 Terabit (Tb) platform that triples the previous Sup720 performance. Thanks to the support of Virtual Switching System (VSS), the platform allows two 2 Tbps switches to combine into a single 4 Tbps virtual switch. The Sup2T is a major upgrade to the most widely-deployed switching platform in campus and data center networking in the industry. But while these performance numbers are impressive, it’s the new Cat6K’s network services and pricing that deliver most of the value. From a services’ point of view, the Cat6K stands alone.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lippis Report 178: Nearly 2 Years after HP Buys 3Com for $2.7B, It Has Very Little to Show for IT: Can HP Make It in Networking?

September 12th, 2011

Back in November of 2009, I wrote Lippis Report Research Note 136 titled “HP Plans to Acquire 3Com Accelerating a New IT Convergence Era.” In that Research Note, I wrote

“When 3Com is fully integrated into HP what kind of networking revenue and market share can HP gain? ProCurve + 3Com is approximately $2B of revenue now. With the existing product lines can HP generate $5B, $10B or more of network revenue over five years? Time will tell.”

Well after nearly two years, HP Networking or HPN’s North America (NA) layer 2/3 Ethernet switch market share by revenue is nearly the same, bouncing between 5% and 6.1%, according Dell’Oro, with HPN’s Q2CY11 NA switch revenue share being down to 6%. Considering HPN’s limited results after significant investments in sales, channels and marketing, including its “proof-of-concept” plus “A Catalyst for Change” Cisco Trade-in program, not to mention engineering investment, the question is can HP make it in networking? We attempt to answer that question in this Lippis Report Research Note.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lippis Report 176: PCI 2.0: Maintaining Compliance in a Mobile, Cloud and Virtualized IT World

July 25th, 2011

It seems like every week or so there is news of a massive cyber attack where criminals get away with stealing credit card and other personal data on the order of tens of millions of individual records. Sony, Bank of America, Epsilon, Nintendo, the International Monetary Fund, the US Senate and CIA are but a few of the targets for high-profile cyber attacks that took place in 2011. According to a recent study by the Ponemon Institute, “cyber attacks have recently become more harsh and recurrent. At least 90% of the IT practitioners surveyed claimed that they had experienced one or more cyber breaches within the last year, and 89% of these respondents could not identify the source of these breaches.”

Read the rest of this entry »

Lippis Report 175: Cisco’s Data Center Fabric Weaves Computing, Networking and Storage for iBusiness Outcomes

July 12th, 2011

The tech sector is at a crossroads. In just 18 short months, mobile and cloud computing has fundamentally changed business assumptions and technical underpinnings of IT delivery. And in the process IT business leaders are fundamentally changing their buying requirements and corporate IT investments challenging existing vendor relationships. The tech sector served up corporate IT along technical lines of computing, networking, storage and applications, but these lines are blurring as every major multi-billion dollar IT firm now seeks to deliver vertical offerings comprised of a single rack of compute, storage and networking to address scale and simplicity associated with the new mobile and cloud computing models. Cisco, IBM, HP, Dell and Oracle all are repositioning their data center offers to address the market opportunity and shift to assist IT leaders building iBusinesses. In this Lippis Report Research Note, we dive into Cisco’s Data Center Fabric as it’s the furthest along at integrating compute, networking and storage access for corporate advantage offering a glimpse of IT’s future.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lippis Report 173: Software Defined Networking The OpenFlow Way, Grabs Industry Attention

June 7th, 2011

In Lippis Report 172, I mentioned three huge trends that are starting to interact with each other creating a perfect storm that is gripping the tech industry. One of those trends is the creation of a software ecosystem in the networking market, thanks to the Clean Slate program out of Stanford University that has spawned the Software Defined Network (SDN) initiative and open controller protocol called OpenFlow. I spent a week in the Valley talking to people at Stanford and many industry executives from Cisco, Juniper, Marvell, Big Switch, Nicira, Arista, IBM and others. In this Lippis Report Research Note, I share with you what I learned. OpenFlow-based SDN is being both hyped and in its current state, limited, but it does represent a new paradigm that has the industry abuzz, filled with possibilities.

Read the rest of this entry »

Lippis Report 172: A Perfect Storm Clears a Path for IBM to Re-Enter the Network Market

May 24th, 2011

Three strong trends are taking shape that are so powerful they threaten the status quo of the networking industry. These trends are more like storms than new markets; in fact they represent a major industry discontinuity. The first storm is happening now and is represented by merchant silicon for 10 and 40 GbE chips lowering the barrier of entry for new entrants in the Ethernet switch market. The second storm is much weaker but promises to be just as big, or bigger, than the first. This second storm is the creation of a software ecosystem in the networking industry, thanks to initiatives such as Software Defined Networks (SDN), OpenFlow, Arista Network’s EOS Central, etc. The third storm is the paradigm shift in enterprise IT spending thanks to mobile and cloud computing. These three storms are starting to interact and feed upon each other, forming a perfect storm in the networking industry. The perfect storm is already doing damage, as all major IT firms position product portfolios to navigate through it and prepare for its aftermath of making existing networking legacy.

Read the rest of this entry »