Gaining Control and Visibility of Web 2.0 Applications with Broadcom’s App-IQ

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April 30th, 2012

Every corporation’s application portfolio is undergoing a massive transition, thanks to mobile and cloud computing plus Web 2.0 applications such as social, peer-to-peer, browser-based file sharing, etc. Clearly there are economic and corporate productivity gains in mobile and cloud computing, but not knowing what applications are flowing over an enterprise network can impact enterprise productivity. Broadcom’s App-IQ technology, which is available as an integrated feature in its latest generation of Enterprise LAN Ethernet switch solutions, promises to provide the enhanced technology for Web 2.0 traffic visibility and control.  Together with integrated WLAN capabilities, these switch solutions form the cornerstone of leading switch OEM products, as they deliver on the promise of mobility and visibility required in current and next-generation networks. I talk with Sujal Das, Director of Product Marketing at Broadcom, about its App-IQ technology and the visibility it provides to IT business leaders to control applications flowing over their networks. 

Which Network Services Need To Be Available In Modern Networks?

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January 16th, 2012

Modern corporate networks are under increasing pressure to support a wider variety of applications thanks to mobile and cloud computing, desktop virtualization plus video traffic having skyrocketed. Not only are bandwidth rates increasing from 1 to 10 to 40 GbE, but most importantly network services are needed to manage and support a different application portfolio mix and network access methods. Network services such as firewalls, WLANs, network diagnostics and monitoring plus application performance acceleration are needed to deliver a consistently excellent user experience. Cisco recently announced an upgrade to its popular Catalyst 6k with the availability of the Supervisor 2T that included re-vamped high performance service modules to deliver these network services. Goyal, product line manager at Cisco Systems joins me to discuss which network services need to be available in modern networks.

Download “A Comprehensive Testing of Cisco Systems Catalyst 6500 Sup2T” report here.

Catalyst 6500 Sup2T 802.1ae MACSec Throughput Performance

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November 30th, 2011

MACsec encryption has become increasing popular and important to campus network design, but previous switch performance degraded when encrypted traffic was passing through it. Here we show that the catalyst 6500 does not suffer a performance degrade while MACsec traffic is passing through it. We tested the Catalyst 6500 via the cPacket Networks cTap 10G passive probe to verify traffic flows were either MACsec encrypted or unencrypted. We found that there is no material difference in throughput performance, other than 802.1ae encryption key overhead, thanks to 16 additional bytes per packet. The cPacket passive probe also measured line rate throughput performance. This is a great short video that verifies how the old encryption performance penalty is now gone.

Download “A Comprehensive Testing of Cisco Systems Catalyst 6500 Sup2T” report here.

Cisco Systems Catalyst 6500 Sup2T VSS Throughput Performance

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November 30th, 2011

One of the most impressive network design options available on the Catalyst 6500 is the use of VSS. Connecting two Catalyst 6500s equipped with Sup2Ts creates a virtual switch, adding each switch’s performance while operating as a single switch thus eliminating spanning tree in favor for active-active links. We configure two Catalyst 6500s via VSS. We measure throughput performance to verify that VSS throughput rates are equally high performance as the MPLS and VPLS scenarios. Check out the two-Catalyst 6500 configurations we deployed for this test.

Download “A Comprehensive Testing of Cisco Systems Catalyst 6500 Sup2T” report here.

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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