Cisco has announced data center technology innovations in three key areas: networking, hyperconverged infrastructure, and hybrid cloud orchestration which will enable application-centric hybrid cloud deployments. Cisco continues to lead data center innovation with SDN-ready Nexus switches that deliver cloud scale 10/25/40/50/100Gpbs, with up to 10 times performance improvement at industry leading price points. The new switching platforms provide the scale, telemetry, security, and performance needed for distributed containers and microservices, as well as the lossless traffic needed for IP storage and hyperconverged infrastructure. The new switches give Cisco customers a two-year innovation advantage over competitive technology.

Cisco also unveiled Cisco HyperFlex™ Systems, built on Cisco's industry-leading UCS compute platform, which brings a new architectural approach to hyperconverged infrastructure. Cisco HyperFlex Systems simplify policy-based automation across network, compute and storage for the widest set of enterprise applications. Cisco HyperFlex surpasses first generation hyperconverged solutions, which were severely limited in terms of the performance, flexibility, and operational simplicity required by today's IT environment of microservices, containers, new applications and clouds. This expands Cisco's portfolio of complete software-defined infrastructure -- from compute with UCS, network with ACI and SDN solutions, to now HyperFlex for storage.

In addition, Cisco announced its intent to acquire CliQr Technologies Inc. The CliQr CloudCenter platform will provide customers with comprehensive yet simplified, application-centric orchestration for private, hybrid and public clouds. CliQr provides customers with a single, intuitive platform that helps customers manage the entire application lifecycle across hybrid IT environments, whether simple or complex. The CliQr platform ties business applications to heterogeneous data center infrastructure, running across bare-metal, containers and virtualized environments.

These announcements are the first of many hardware and software innovations Cisco plans to bring to market in 2016. The goal is to help customers achieve highly secure, simplified, scalable and cost-effective data centers that keep pace with the speed of business, and accelerate adoption of hybrid cloud environments.

Cisco HyperfFlex™ Systems
Based on Cisco's award winning UCS technology, Cisco HyperfFlex™ Systems represent the next generation in hyperconverged infrastructure with a leap in technology that delivers the industry's first complete end-to-end hyperconverged solution. The HyperFlex portfolio extends Cisco's UCS and converged infrastructure businesses, which together have over 50,000 customers worldwide. The HyperFlex series makes an ideal platform for customers deploying enterprise applications in their data centers, and for remote and branch offices where hyperconverged infrastructure is expected to become a multi-billion industry over the next three to four years.

HyperfFlex customer benefits include:

  • Plug-n-play setup within minutes, not days, with flexible, adaptive and independent scaling of compute, network as well as storage capacity
  • Powerful data management services such as rapid clones and non-intrusive snapshots with always-on inline deduplication and inline compression, yielding up to 80% reduction in the data footprint
  • Engineered from the ground up to deliver 30% reduction in TCO and up to 40% higher performance than competitive solutions, extending hyperconvergence to a wider spectrum of enterprise workloads

Cisco Next Generation Nexus Switches and Software: Speed and Telemetry
Cisco's ASIC innovations power its next generation switches, enabling customers for the first time to transition to 25/50/100Gbps at the cost and density of today's 10/40Gbps networks, with an increase of up to 10 times the bandwidth.

The new Nexus 9000 switches deliver:

  • Industry leading performance for 100Gbps, with 25% more non-blocking performance, at 50% the cost of comparable solutions, plus greater reliability and lower power
  • Real time network telemetry at 100Gbps wire rate, enabling network security with pervasive NetFlow and fabric wide troubleshooting
  • The ability to scale up to 10 times in IP addresses and end points at cloud scale, and support over a million containers per rack.
  • Unique cloud services with adaptive capacity and congestion control, allowing customers to support lossless traffic for IP storage, hyperconverged and converged infrastructure on a single unified fabric that enables application completion times 50% faster than traditional competitive platforms. 
  • Future-proofing with cloud economics for the transition to hyperconverged infrastructure and applications based on microservices and containers

In addition, Cisco is announcing:

  • Software enhancements that enable ACI support for Cisco Nexus 7000 switches, protecting customer technology investments in the most common deployment scenarios.
  • New Cisco Nexus 3000 data center switches, which continue to bring architectural choice for customers who prefer merchant silicon-based solutions, are based on industry-leading chips and deliver 25/50/100Gbps. Cisco offers the industry's broadest data center switching portfolio and is the industry leader in merchant silicon platform sales, with over 10 million ports shipped on the Nexus 3000 family.

Automation with Cisco Nexus Fabric Manager
The new Cisco Nexus Fabric Manager automates the complete fabric lifecycle management with a simple point-and-click web interface, and offers automated configuration snapshots and rollbacks. Nexus Fabric Manager builds and self-manages a VXLAN-based fabric, dynamically configuring switches based on simplified user-based actions. An IT manager can fully deploy a VXLAN-based fabric in just three steps, complete with zero touch provisioning, and can upgrade all fabric switches to a new software release in only four mouse clicks.