News Release

Cisco Builds on Data Center Switching Leadership

Introduces 8-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet module
Sep 25, 2006

SAN JOSE, Calif. - September 25, 2006 - Cisco Systems ® today addressed key customer trends that are driving change in the data center with new products and offerings for its Cisco® Catalyst® switching portfolio that help enable more scalable architectures, easier operational manageability, and comprehensive resilience.

The new offerings further build out the Cisco Service Oriented Network Architecture (SONA)-based data center framework, which defines how customers can effectively deploy and manage server, storage, computing, and networking resources across their company. Among the introductions today include:

  • A data center-optimized 8-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet module for the Cisco Catalyst 6500 Series switches, designed to be able to deliver up to a 60 percent increase in local switching performance while lowering 10GbE price-per-port by approximately 30 percent;
  • The Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3040 for the Fujitsu Siemens Computers PRIMERGYTM Series Blade Server chassis, adding to Cisco's portfolio of blade switch solutions already available through IBM, HP, and Dell;
  • An online scripting community called Cisco Beyond, which will enable customers to share event-driven scripts and device-management best practices, resulting in increased manageability, control, and resiliency for Cisco switches and routers that support the Cisco IOS Embedded Event Manager (EEM) technology.

"The data center is the consolidation point for provisioning multiple services that drive an enterprise's business," said Zeus Kerravala, vice president of Enterprise Enabling Technologies at the Yankee Group. "Ethernet switching is the foundation for many of those services. And with today's announcements, Cisco continues to extend its leadership in delivering Ethernet switching-based solutions."

Cisco Extends 10 Gigabit Ethernet Leadership

Cisco expanded the high-end of its switching portfolio with the introduction of an 8-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet module for its Catalyst 6500 Series switches. The new module increases the architectural scalability of the Catalyst 6500 and complements the platform's innovative operational manageability and comprehensive resilience capabilities. Because the Catalyst 6500 continues to deliver the most value behind each switch port, Cisco continues to be the market share leader in high-end switching markets such as 10 Gigabit Ethernet, which the research firm, the Dell'Oro Group, recently confirmed in its latest available report ("Ethernet Vendor Total Table 2Q06").

The Catalyst 6500 Series 8-port and 4-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet modules are typically deployed in the data center, distribution, and core layers of a customer's network. The 8-port 10 Gigabit Ethernet module will help enable high-performance server aggregation, LAN access uplink aggregation, and connectivity within the core where higher-density 10 Gigabit Ethernet is required.

Orbitz Worldwide, a brand of Travelport, Inc., is a leading online travel company offering leisure and business travelers a wide selection of low airfare from more than 400 airlines, deals at more than 65,000 lodging properties, car rental, cruise and vacation packages. Orbitz Worldwide includes consumer travel web site brands such as Orbitz® and CheapTickets® in the Americas, ebookers® and® in EMEA and® and® globally.

Orbitz Worldwide deployed a Cisco Catalyst-based 10 Gigabit Ethernet infrastructure to address the company's steady growth, supporting a significant technology project for the brand's multiple web site operations globally. The Catalyst 10 Gigabit Ethernet network replaced a legacy one, which the company cited for not only constraining growth, but for causing significant network outages.

"Since its deployment, the Cisco network has shown that we can easily support our company's business growth objectives, as well as provide the 24x7 uptime required for worldwide business operations," said Bahman Koohestani, Chief Information Officer for Orbitz Worldwide. "Cisco's balanced approach to network performance and reliability is crucial for an online business where literally, every minute, every second counts."

Reuters is a global information company, providing indispensable information tailored for professionals in the financial services, media, and corporate markets. In 2005, Reuters, the last remaining media giant to leave London's historic Fleet Street, moved its headquarters to a new 280,000-square-foot, 10-story office building in the Canary Wharf, Docklands.

"Reuters new showcase network is built on Catalyst 6500 Series switches, chosen for their converged network capabilities and high performance," said Chris Birch, Regional Head Service Delivery, EMEA for Reuters. "The Catalyst 6500 Supervisor Engine 720 switch engines create a 720 Gbps backplane to support 10 Gigabit Ethernet bandwidth down to the wiring closets."

Cisco's Newest Blade Switch

As a solution to address scalability and consolidation requirements within the data center, many enterprise customers are increasingly turning to blade servers, a server architecture that houses multiple server modules, or "blades", in a single chassis. To help ensure consistent network security, high availability, and quality of service with Gigabit Ethernet performance, blade server vendors rely on integrated blade switches, which provide network services from the server edge out to the clients at the network edge.

Cisco today added to its industry-leading portfolio of blade switches with the Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3040 for the Fujitsu Siemens Computers PRIMERGY Blade Server Series chassis, which will help these customers reduce operational complexities and costs. The new solution expands Cisco's architectural scalability for blade switches by adding to an already rich portfolio. Cisco currently offers the Cisco Catalyst Blade Switch 3000 Series for Dell, HP, and now Fujitsu Siemens Computers blade server chassis, as well as the Gigabit Ethernet Switch Module for the HP p-Class BladeSystem and the Intelligent Gigabit Ethernet Switch Module for IBM e-Server BladeCenter.

"The Fujitsu Siemens Computers PRIMERGY blade servers offer low power consumption and increased performance for memory-intensive applications for data center applications. The Catalyst Blade Switch 3040 takes advantage of Cisco's undisputed leadership in driving switching innovations and delivering solutions," said Jens-Peter Seick, vice president, Enterprise Server Business at Fujitsu Siemens Computers. "The integration of Cisco switches into our PRIMERGY blade servers enhances our Dynamic Data Center offerings. Customers are asking for more integrated solutions and many see integrated blade servers as a determining step towards dynamic IT. This powerful combination helps our mutual customers realize the full benefits of intelligent networking services to their data center deployments."

Increased Operational Manageability through Cisco Beyond

Cisco IOS Embedded Event Manager, or EEM, is a powerful device and system management technology integrated into specific Cisco switches and routers. EEM helps customers harness the network intelligence intrinsic to Cisco IOS and customize behavior based on network events as they happen. Cisco Beyond is a new scripting community that provides an easy-to-use, web-based file-sharing system where customers, partners, and other users can download and share EEM scripts.

As with similar online communities, Cisco Beyond is intended to benefit users of all knowledge levels. Less experienced EEM users will benefit by taking advantage of best-practice examples available within the community. More experienced users, such as those from consulting and training organizations, can showcase their knowledge capital while learning additional tips and tricks from other experienced users.

Pricing and Availability

The Catalyst 6500 8-Port 10 Gigabit Ethernet module with the new Distributed Forwarding Card 3C (DFC-3C) is available now starting at a list price of $37,500. The Catalyst 3040 Blade Switch for the Fujitsu Siemens Computer PRIMERGY blade servers is expected to be available in the next 30 days and is expected with a list price of $4,300. The Cisco Beyond scripting community is targeted to be available in November 2006 at More information can be found at