Light Reading

Cisco's Insieme Building Massively Scalable Switch

Craig Matsumoto
News Analysis
Craig Matsumoto
8/24/2012
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Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO) spin-in Insieme is working on a switch that can support at least 100 ports of 100Gbit/s Ethernet, Light Reading has learned.

Even though Insieme has been at it for at least (checking wristwatch) five months, that's probably not enough time to finish something as big as that. Especially given the Insieme team's (and Cisco's) penchant for ASIC design.

The box may also include a controller for software-defined networking. That would jibe with the common theory that Insieme was created as part of Cisco's overall SDN strategy.

Massive scale could be a bigger part of the startup's charter, though. Cisco is facing increased competition from switch vendors thanks to the capabilities of merchant chips. Companies such as Arista Networks Inc. , Extreme Networks Inc. (Nasdaq: EXTR) and Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. have produced high-end switches using chips from Broadcom Corp. (Nasdaq: BRCM). (See 10G Ethernet Switches Pass the Test.)

For more



—Craig Matsumoto, Managing Editor, Light Reading

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^Eagle^
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^Eagle^,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:22:57 PM
re: Cisco's Insieme Building Massively Scalable Switch


I have been waiting for a switch like this to emerge for some time.  Interesting that it is going to emerge from Cisco (apparently first).... wonder what Arista is doing for this space?  likewise Juniper and others.  


depending on features, this could be a killer platform in some key applications.


Curious minds want to know more.


sailboat

desiEngineer
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desiEngineer,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:22:56 PM
re: Cisco's Insieme Building Massively Scalable Switch


From Webster


jibe: to shift suddenly and forcibly from one side to the other —used of afore-and-aft sail


jive: to move along rhythmically


I tried to pick the most appropriate meanings out of the options given by Webster.  "Jibe" didn't jive with the sentence.



-just sayin'


Pete Baldwin
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Pete Baldwin,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:22:56 PM
re: Cisco's Insieme Building Massively Scalable Switch


Point taken, but my Merriam-Webster says:


jibe -- to be in accord: Agree

myhui
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myhui,
User Rank: Moderator
12/5/2012 | 5:22:55 PM
re: Cisco's Insieme Building Massively Scalable Switch


Maybe this will be the first switch to use optical interconnect between circuit boards?

desiEngineer
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desiEngineer,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:22:55 PM
re: Cisco's Insieme Building Massively Scalable Switch


Hmm.  You're right - I should have looked at the intransitive verb since you did use it as such.  It's weird because jibe just sounds so wrong compared to jive.  Thanks for the tip.


-desi

BigBro
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BigBro,
User Rank: Moderator
12/5/2012 | 5:22:50 PM
re: Cisco's Insieme Building Massively Scalable Switch


This should not be a surprise to anyone. The whole "Insieme is an SDN play" shpiel is a smokescreen.


Consider the people behind Insieme, and their track record: Crescendo, Andiamo, Nuova were all switching companies, each with their own little twist, and the guys running the show are hardware guys.


The Insieme guys are building the platform that will replace the Cat6k and the Nexus 7000, but if Cisco were to say this in public, they would admit that the Nexus 7000 is a dead-end platform, and that they can't build the next-gen switch internally.


Would you want to be the guy to deliver that message to customers, shareholders, and the Nexus 7000 team? Me neither.


Instead, they cherry-pick their buddies, form an "SDN spin-in", and do what they do best: build switch hardware, and slap software (NX-OS, from the looks of it) on it.


By the way, Insieme now has a website: www.insiemenetworks.com


 

Soupafly
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Soupafly,
User Rank: Light Sabre
12/5/2012 | 5:22:48 PM
re: Cisco's Insieme Building Massively Scalable Switch


Am with bigbro on this one. Out of the posts his reads the most plausible.


I also wouldnt rule out Cisco having other SDN interests, I mean can you imagine them investing in more than 1 thing at a time? Its a shock I know.... :-)

patentchoi
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patentchoi,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:22:08 PM
re: Cisco's Insieme Building Massively Scalable Switch


Given the likely terms of the the spin-in from Cisco's this would not be surprising.


 


Hard to imagine Cisco being truly innovative in this space.

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