Cisco exec shares virtualization vision

Says Catalyst 6500 will play key role

John McCool took over for Jayshree Ullal when the longtime and very visible Cisco data center chief resigned in May. McCool is no stranger though -- he came to Cisco in the Granite Networks acquisition during the industry's Gigabit Ethernet boom in the 1990s. Weeks into his new job as senior vice president of data center, switching and security, McCool shared some of Cisco's plans and visions with Managing Editor Jim Duffy.

What are your priorities as Cisco enters its 2009 fiscal year?

Driving the adoption of virtualized data centers, both around [the Nexus data center switch] but also around the installed base of [Catalyst] 6500s; consolidating services into the data center through wide-area applications support; and looking to drive the next-generation service plan.

What's the data center vision three to five years out?

The overarching vision is an environment that's going to add rich collaboration services to employees in the enterprise that would be location and device agnostic; and information increasingly being delivered by a virtualized data center, either on or off premise through a variety of sources.

How do you plan to further virtual machine-optimize the 6500?

We made major advancements last year in VM-ing that platform with VSS (Virtual Switching System). What we saw as a general trend was a move to larger, flatter Layer 2 designs to support VM and virtual machine mobilization. The downsides of Layer 2 as we all know are spanning tree and spanning tree loops, so there are a lot of reasons people haven't done this in the past. With VSS, we allow customers to bond two 6500s and basically use what previously would have been an active and redundant link to their access switches both as active. So they double the bandwidth of their aggregate switching system and they eliminate spanning tree at the access edge. It's doing well for us in a lot of data center designs and specifically with customers that want to VM-ize their data centers. You'll continue to see innovations in that product line around those kind of techniques.

Can you shed any light on your "Big Bang" project for the campus? [Editor's note: Observers have been speculating that a significant upgrade for Cisco's campus product line, anchored by the aging Catalyst 6500 switch, could follow the recent overhauls of the data center and edge aggregation router product lines.]

No. I can't confirm or deny 'Big Bang'?

Even before I took this role, I got that [commitment to the Catalyst 6500] question quite a bit. I got this before the Nexus coming out as well as when it did come out. We have a large installed base of 6500s; it is the most successful modular switch in history. Obviously, that's something Cisco wants to continue to drive.

What other areas are investment priorities?

Virtualizing services in the branch by centralizing those services in the data center. That's a trend that's here to stay.[Application Control Engine] and applications embedded into the network infrastructure would be another area that we'll continue to drive very heavily.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.
Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jim Duffy

Network World
Show Comments

Brand Post

PC World Evaluation Team Review - MSI GT75 TITAN

"I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it."

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Luke Hill

MSI GT75 TITAN

I need power and lots of it. As a Front End Web developer anything less just won’t cut it which is why the MSI GT75 is an outstanding laptop for me. It’s a sleek and futuristic looking, high quality, beast that has a touch of sci-fi flare about it.

Emily Tyson

MSI GE63 Raider

If you’re looking to invest in your next work horse laptop for work or home use, you can’t go wrong with the MSI GE63.

Laura Johnston

MSI GS65 Stealth Thin

If you can afford the price tag, it is well worth the money. It out performs any other laptop I have tried for gaming, and the transportable design and incredible display also make it ideal for work.

Andrew Teoh

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

Touch screen visibility and operation was great and easy to navigate. Each menu and sub-menu was in an understandable order and category

Louise Coady

Brother MFC-L9570CDW Multifunction Printer

The printer was convenient, produced clear and vibrant images and was very easy to use

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?