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Cisco has introduced an updated line of Catalyst switches and routers meant to make enterprise networks more programmable, application-centric and optimized for the burgeoning Internet of Everything trend.
The new switches and routers, which were unveiled Monday at the Cisco Live event taking place this week in Orlando, Fla., are part of the Cisco ONE Enterprise Networks Architecture, the networking giant's next-generation Borderless Networks Architecture that uses open APIs to make networks more programmable, flexible and aware of the applications they support.
"We view this announcement as truly changing the game for our customers and for IT organizations," said Inbar Lasser-Raab, senior director of Enterprise Networking marketing at Cisco, in an interview with CRN.
The primary aim of the Cisco ONE Enterprise Networks Architecture, along with the new networking gear introduced Monday, is to help organizations deploy and optimize a new, smarter breed of business applications. Hospitals, for example, could leverage the Cisco ONE architecture to deploy location-based services that automatically push out a patient's records to a doctor's tablet when the doctor walks into that particular patient's room, Lasser-Raab said.
Cisco views this new, application-centric architecture as a key enabler of both software-defined networking (SDN) and the Internet of Everything, a trend Cisco projects to drive 50 billion connections between people, data and a new generation of "smart" objects by 2020.
Among the new Cisco gear unveiled Monday to support Cisco ONE is a refreshed Catalyst 6800 Series of switches. The new family consists of the Catalyst 6807-XL modular switch, the Catalyst 6880-X semi-fixed switch and the Catalyst 6800ia Instant Access switch, all of which are targeted at campus deployments.
Kathi Bomar, technical solutions architect, routing and switching at World Wide Technology, a St. Louis-based solution provider, said the new Catalyst line not only represents a massive refresh opportunity for Cisco partners, but proves Cisco's commitment to the Catalyst line moving forward.
"There's been this perception in the industry, I think, since Nexus was announced several years ago, that Cisco was moving away from the large Catalyst switching arena," Bomar told CRN. "I think this [Catalyst] 6800 announcement really positions this platform as being the enterprise campus, core aggregation platform for the next five to seven, or even nine years."