Home Business IT Technology Cisco hits back at Juniper's QFabric
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Cisco has made an oblique response to Juniper's QFabric data centre network announcement with a blog posting claiming it has been shipping data centre network products based on a fabric architecture for several years, but which leaves the definition of fabric unspecified.

In the posting, John McCool, senior vice president/general manager of Cisco's Data Centre, Switching and Services Group makes no mention of Juniper of QFabric - launched earlier this week - but says: "It seems the next hot buzzword might turn out to be fabric," and he claims: "For Cisco, 'fabric' in the data centre has defined our data centre strategy and vision for the last three years." (And it seems hardly co-incidence that Cisco's RSS feed also delivered today another blog from McCool: 'The Evolution of Cisco's Data Centre Strategy', dating from June 2009.)

According to McCool's latest blog: "With the introduction of the Cisco Nexus family in January 2008, we also announced the concept of Unified Fabric as a fundamental building block for the data centre. We offered the simple vision of a single fabric to link all the network, compute and storage resources in a data centre as a mechanism to not only reduce TCO but also improve agility and flexibility.

"Since then, we have released a steady flow of products and technologies to deliver on the promise of Cisco Unified Fabric by simplifying the infrastructure with convergence, improving its ability to handle virtual and physical scale and increasing the intelligence of the fabric to increase agility and lower operating costs."

He claimed: "Other vendors in the marketplace are left to play catch-up. In a November 4, 2010 independent report titled 'Q&A: Networking Landscape, Q4 2010' Forrester Research commented that: "To Cisco's credit, it saw the data centre evolution way before any other networking vendor and started to build a set of products and solutions directed at a converged and virtual world."

And he cites a Gartner research note 'Fabric Computing Poised as a Preferred Infrastructure for Virtualization and Cloud Computing' (published just prior to the announcement of QFabric) that urges customers: "Do not overhaul or plan on rip-and-replace fabric development, but impose on vendors' design guidelines that harmonize their solutions with your other data centre infrastructure."


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Stuart Corner


Tracking the telecoms industry since 1989, Stuart has been awarded Journalist Of The Year by the Australian Telecommunications Users Group (twice) and by the Service Providers Action Network. In 2010 he received the 'Kester' lifetime achievement award in the Consensus IT Writers Awards and was made a Lifetime Member of the Telecommunications Society of Australia. He was born in the UK, came to Australia in 1980 and has been here ever since.