Catalyst 6500 upgrade headlines Cisco Live 2011

At Cisco Live 2011 in Las Vegas, Cisco assured customers it would return to its roots, bringing home that message with a Catalyst 6500 upgrade and a UCS refresh.

After a tough year, Cisco Systems had a lot to prove at Cisco Live 2011 Las Vegas last week.

In the past year, Cisco's share of the Ethernet switching market slipped to 68.2% from 73.1%, and its stock price hit an all-time low. On day one of Cisco Live, rumors hit the press that Cisco would lay off anywhere between 5,000 and 10,000 employees, overshadowing CEO John Chambers' keynote in which he promised to bring the company back to its core competency technologies and streamline priorities.

Specifically, Chambers said the company would focus on five core objectives:

  • Switching and routing, coupled with security and mobility.
  • Video
  • Collaboration
  • Data center
  • Business Architecture

Cisco Catalyst 6500 upgrade   

As part of the move to show its renewed focus on core competencies (rather than consumer-oriented businesses like the Flip camera, which it dumped this spring), Cisco announced a major upgrade to the Catalyst 6500.

The refresh is centered on the Catalyst 6500 Series Supervisor Engine 2T, a 2-terabit card that triples the throughput capability of the 6500 switch from 720 Gbps to 2Tbps and adds virtualization segmentation. Cisco execs compared the $38,000 Supervisor 2T to HP's A9508 switch, saying customers can triple the performance at one third of the cost with this upgrade.

Read more details about the Cisco Catalyst 6500 upgrade from Also read about why HP believes it will continue to steal market share.

Cisco Unified Computing System upgrade

Some of Cisco's newer endeavors may have been lackluster, but its push into the server market has been quite fruitful. Cisco is now second in the blade server market in the U.S. and third worldwide. What's more, the company now claims north of 5,000 Unified Computing System (UCS) customers.

In light of this success, Cisco announced a major UCS upgrade at Cisco Live 2011 that will bring greater speed and capacity to switching and server I/O and promises a deeper level of automation – the holy grail of cloud networking.

The upgrade includes the release of a new fabric extender, virtualized Network Interface Cards (NICs) and UCS software that will simplify the management of complex virtualized environments and enable automation for multi-tenant networks.

Read more about the Cisco UCS upgrade from

Where is the long awaited Cisco Nexus 7009?

Both the Catalyst 6500 upgrade and the UCS refresh announcements received positive feedback from attendees, but many Cisco users wondered when the company would release the Nexus 7009. The 7009, first discussed at Cisco Live 2010, will have a smaller form factor and be much less expensive, while offering some of the speed and functionality of 7000. Cisco was mum at the conference about an official release date, but rumors have it that the 7009 will be out this fall.

Read more about what users have to say about the rumored Cisco Nexus 7009.

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