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Sorry to say good-bye

All good things must come to an end, even a popular blog
Submitted by Brad Reese on Thu, 03/11/10 - 7:16pm.

The editors here at Network World are sorry to say good-bye to Brad Reese and his popular On Cisco blog. Brad has been a staple here at Cisco Subnet for three years. During that time, he has covered every aspect of the Cisco landscape, never failing to intrigue readers with his often controversial style. But all good things run their course and Brad has decided that it was time to dedicate more time to his business ventures.

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Tolly lab test creating major dust-up among Cisco and HP data center gurus

Cisco moves quickly to discredit results of a lab test that unfavorably compared Cisco's UCS with HP's BladeSystem.
Submitted by Brad Reese on Thu, 03/04/10 - 10:06pm.

Kevin Houston's excellent blog - Blades Made Simple, has generated a fascinating "sparring match" between Cisco and HP data center gurus.

This ongoing "technical duel" is being fueled by the controversial results of The Tolly Group's recent lab test that was commissioned by HP:

HP BladeSystem c7000 with ProLiant BL460c G6 Servers vs Cisco UCS 5100 with B200 Servers Network Bandwidth Scalability Comparison

Source: The Tolly Group

Even Kevin Tolly has made an appearance within the sparring match:

"I would like to clear up a misconception in some of the postings about the test. The test was not utilizing the uplinks on the HP Virtual Connect for anything but a small amount (less than 100Kbps) of management traffic.

"The test compares intra-chassis communications in the case of HP this traffic is within the c7000 chassis vs. a Cisco UCS (a logical system created by a single blade Chassis+Fabric Extenders (FEX)+Fabric Interconnect)."

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Cash appears to be Cisco's 4th most valuable product

Valued at $32.2 billion, network switches appear to be Cisco's most valuable product.
Submitted by Brad Reese on Wed, 03/03/10 - 11:24am.

Trefis is a new financial platform that lets you see how a company's products impact its stock price.

According to its website:

"Led by MIT engineers and former Wall Street professionals, the Trefis team builds a model for each company's stock price so that in a single snapshot, Trefis can show you the relative importance of products that comprise a company's stock price."

Interestingly for Cisco, the Trefis stock price model shows that cash appears to be Cisco's 4th most valuable product:

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Cisco competitor Extreme Networks looking to capitalize on Nexus 5000 shipping delays

Extreme reports that its global partner base is seeing 3 month delays on shipping the Nexus 5000.
Submitted by Brad Reese on Mon, 03/01/10 - 11:05pm.

More than 2 months ago I blogged about Cisco's widespread and severe component supply shortages and when Cisco released its F2Q10 financial results on February 3rd, it certainly appeared Cisco had been making progress in cutting its product lead times.

However, only 2 days before Cisco released its F2Q10 results, Channel Reseller News reported:

"Cisco partners have complained that severe kit shortages have left them struggling to fulfil orders on time. Lead times on deals – particularly those involving 10 Gbit Ethernet technology such as the new Nexus switches – now stand at as long as five months, partners report. Gary Dobson, sales director at Cisco Premier partner Dynamic Technologies Europe (DTE), said he was quoted a lead time of 24 May on a pre-Christmas order for a government agency deal. He said DTE could lose the contract if the equipment is not on site by 31 March."

As those looming Nexus 5000 shipment deadlines approach, Cisco competitor Extreme Networks is offering channel resellers the opportunity to experience the timely shipment of its competing "Top-of-Rack Switch," the Summit X650.

According to Paul Hooper, chief marketing officer of Extreme Networks:

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Force10 targets the large installed base of Cisco's end of life Catalyst 6509 chassis

Force10 will sell at a lower price its chassis-based C-Series C300 switch against any new Cisco 6500 Series chassis.
Submitted by Brad Reese on Fri, 02/26/10 - 7:33pm.

Back on October 8, 2009, Cisco published again the end-of-sale and end-of life dates for its large installed base of Catalyst 6509 Chassis. Exploiting this formidable opportunity until the end of September 2010, Force10 will sell at a lower price its chassis-based C-Series C300 switch against any new Cisco 6500 Series chassis. Moreover, authorized reseller partners who generate more than $1 million in qualified C300 switch net sales to Force10 will receive an additional 10% cash rebate.

According to Force10, its C300 chassis solution surpasses the density and switching performance of the Cisco Catalyst 6509, supporting 384 line rate GbE ports and 64 line rate 10 GbE ports, in the same footprint as the Cisco Catalyst 4510R.

Force10 C300 Product Matrix:

Naturally, Force10 has HP resellers directly in mind with this promotion, because according to Andrew Stewart - vice president of worldwide channels and sales operations for Force10 Networks:

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HP ProCurve leveraging know-how of Cisco's certified engineers

Accelerated training by ProCurve might be a career advantage for Cisco's engineers.
Submitted by Brad Reese on Thu, 02/25/10 - 2:35am.

Amazingly, it appears HP ProCurve is leveraging Cisco's worldwide army of certified engineers to its own advantage.

And how is ProCurve doing that?

Well, ProCurve's pitch appears quite simple:

Since Cisco engineers already have the knowledge needed for networking excellence, ProCurve is leveraging that know-how and expertise by showing Cisco engineers the similarities and differences between Cisco and HP networking products, including product features and configurations as well as areas of interoperability between Cisco and HP equipment when they’re deployed in the same network.

ProCurve is accomplishing that objective by offering accelerated training to Cisco CCIEs and accelerated training to Cisco engineers who hold professional level certifications.

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U.S. Supreme Court denies bid by Cisco's cofounders to overturn $19.5 million punitive damage award

Cisco's 20th anniversary celebration as a public company appears to be turning out a bust for Cisco's co-founders, Len Bosack and Sandy Lerner.
Submitted by Brad Reese on Tue, 02/23/10 - 11:50pm.

This month, Cisco is celebrating its 20th anniversary as a public company. However simultaneously, Cisco co-founders Len Bosack and Sandy Lerner are being forced to payout millions in an arbitration panel’s award to David C. Soward, following an angry, bitter, lengthy and very quarrelsome business dispute between the 3 former business partners.

Below, you can see that on February 22nd of this week, the U.S. Supreme Court turned away an appeal made by Bosack and Lerner, leaving intact a lower court ruling that upheld an arbitration panel’s award to Soward:

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Alcatel-Lucent knocked off Juniper and is now No. 2 in SP edge router market share

It's the first time in ten years that a vendor other than Juniper has occupied the No. 2 position.
Submitted by Brad Reese on Tue, 02/23/10 - 2:57pm.

Network research firm, the Dell’Oro Group, reports that Alcatel-Lucent gained almost five percentage points of service provider edge router market share in 2009, reaching 20%, the first time in ten years that a vendor other than Juniper has occupied the No. 2 position.

According to Basil Alwan, president of Alcatel-Lucent’s IP Activities and head of carrier portfolio strategy:

"Dell Oro’s report for 2009 reinforces the market success and momentum that we started back in 2004 and that continues to this day. The service provider edge is where operators define and deliver services for residential, mobile and business customers, making it a key focus for capital investment, despite the tough economic environment throughout 2009. This is the market opportunity that Alcatel-Lucent’s service router portfolio is ideally suited to address, and the reason we’ve taken another five points of market share in the last year."

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Together, Cisco and Juniper lost 10% of the worldwide router market in 2009

Meanwhile, Huawei and Alcatel-Lucent gained share.
Submitted by Brad Reese on Fri, 02/19/10 - 10:44am.

Network industry research firm - Infonetics, published this week its 2009 4th Quarter Service Provider Routers and Switches Forecast Report, revealing vendor market share standings for the quarter and 2009.

According to Michael Howard - Infonetics co-founder and principal analyst:

"The top two vendors in the service provider router space, Cisco and Juniper, together went from owning 69% of the worldwide router market in 2008 to 59% in 2009, while Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei, and others gained share. Interestingly, smaller player Tellabs pushed past Ericsson in 2009, putting them in the top five for the first time. Tellabs had an especially strong year based on their focus on the mobile sector. All six of the top router vendors posted strong double-digit revenue increases in the fourth quarter, and we expect modest growth in the router segment to continue in 2010 as carriers carry out fixed-mobile convergence strategies for their router networks."

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Cisco's storied past as the most valuable company on earth

This week Cisco celebrated its 20th anniversary as a public company.
Submitted by Brad Reese on Thu, 02/18/10 - 3:04am.

Cisco celebrated its 20th anniversary as a public company this week. And what a ride it's been for Cisco shareholders. For example, in 1999, the average Cisco employee had over $250,000 in stock appreciation. Furthermore, at one point on March 27, 2000, Cisco's stock market capitalization of $569 billion made it the most valuable company on earth. Let's take a quick trip down memory lane... 1990

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Cisco goes public on February 16, 1990, and is listed as "CSCO" on the NASDAQ (National Association of Securities Dealers Automated Quotations).
Cisco's public offering values Cisco at $224 million.
Cisco reports revenues of $69 million with 251 employees during FY90.
On August 28, 1990, Cisco cofounder Sandy Lerner was fired by Cisco's Chairman who was also its original as well as sole venture capital investor/backer - Don Valentine; upon hearing the news of Sandy's firing, her husband and fellow Cisco cofounder - Len Bosack, resigned to show his support for her. The two later sold all of their Cisco founder's stock passing up what should have made them the wealthiest couple on earth.

How to setup Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) with LEGO Blocks

Learn the 4 steps of an FNF configuration.
Submitted by Brad Reese on Fri, 02/12/10 - 9:30pm.

Network performance vendor - Plixer International believes that Cisco's Flexible NetFlow (FNF) is the future of NetFlow technology. Continuing its role as "NetFlow's technology evangelist," Plixer developed the following tutorial on how to setup standard fields in FNF for inclusion in my ever growing collection of Cisco How-To Tutorials.

However, please keep in mind that Plixer is keenly aware I lack any kind of "technical aptitude" whatsoever, and that's why Plixer made a few LEGO Block comparisons along the way in order to help me achieve a better understanding of FNF:

Here are the 4 steps of an FNF configuration:

1. Create an FNF 'record' and define the fields you want exported.
2. Create an 'exporter' which tells the router where to send the Netflow 'record'.
3. Create a 'monitor' which tells the router which 'records' to send from which 'exporter'.
4. Apply the 'monitor' to the interfaces you want flows collected from.

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Cisco CEO John Chambers sells 2.2 million shares of his Cisco stock 5 days after announcing Cisco was back to record profits

The day after the Saints won Super Bowl XLIV, John Chambers cashed in 2.2 million of his Cisco shares.
Submitted by Brad Reese on Thu, 02/11/10 - 2:57am.

During Cisco's F2Q10 earnings call last week, Cisco CEO John Chambers bragged:

"We're back to record profits."

The next day I blogged about Cisco's F2Q10 accounts receivable issue:

"Year over year (YOY), Cisco's accounts receivable soared by $1.344 billion, an increase that was a whopping $618 million more than Cisco's net sales increase, which was just a mere $726 million."

Fast-forward another 4 days and John Chambers sells 43% of his Cisco stock:

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61 CCIEs dropped out of Cisco's highly coveted cert program over the last 30 days

For the 3rd month in row, the worldwide CCIE R&S count dropped.
Submitted by Brad Reese on Tue, 02/09/10 - 7:43am.

According to Dual CCIE #18532 R&S/Security - George Morton:

"Over the last 30 days we have seen CCIEs drop their highly coveted certifications at a much greater rate than net new CCIEs.

"61 CCIEs dropped out of Cisco's prestigious certification program during the month of January 2010 alone.

"For further clarification, let's do the math together:

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Cisco IP phones praised in email to then Alaska Governor Sarah Palin and First Dude, Todd Palin

Finally, the House will have decent phones instead of ones that are one step above the rotary dial!
Submitted by Brad Reese on Sun, 02/07/10 - 3:04am.

In collaboration with, Crivella West Incorporated - a knowledge discovery company, digitized, analyzed and arranged this e-mail collection of former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, First Dude Todd Palin and 7 members of Palin's staff.

In the following internal email dated May 7, 2007 addressed to then Alaska Governor Sarah Palin (email address: and First Dude Todd Palin (email address:, Erika Fagerstrom - Executive Residence Manager & Assistant to the First Gentleman Alaska Governor's House, praised the installation of new Cisco IP Phones in the Alaska Governor's Mansion:

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New markets for Cisco not generating revenue, Chambers says

It's interesting to listen to Cisco CEO John Chambers during conference calls.
Submitted by Brad Reese on Fri, 02/05/10 - 7:15pm.

I've got to admit that I've been "kind of harsh" when blogging about Cisco CEO John Chambers lately.

So thought I'd loosen up this time and blog about interesting statements made by Chambers.

Racking my brain, I kept thinking about John Chambers and his duck quacking!

How in the heck could I find something as interesting as that to blog about?

Well, I think I've found it.

Interesting statements (at least in my opinion) made by John Chambers during Cisco's earnings call.

Listening to the Cisco earnings conference call over the phone, I thought for sure that the following quotes were very interesting statements made by Chambers, you be the judge on just how interesting they are:

Interesting Statement Number 1:

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Cisco's F2Q10 accounts receivable soar $1.34 billion year over year!

Year over year (YOY), Cisco's accounts receivable soared by $1.344 billion, an increase that was a whopping $618 million more than Cisco's net sales increase, which was just a mere $726 million.
Submitted by Brad Reese on Thu, 02/04/10 - 7:40am.

Source: Cisco Systems

It's my personal opinion, that it's always a "Red Flag" when a company's accounts receivable increases year over year (YOY) at a higher dollar amount than the (YOY) increase in a company's net sales.

So that's why when Cisco reported a F2Q10 accounts receivable (YOY) increase ($1.344 billion) that was a whopping $618 million more than Cisco's (YOY) net sales increase ($726 million), alarm bells began ringing in my mind.

7 Year Comparison of Cisco's 2nd Quarter Financial Numbers (In Millions)

Cisco 2nd Qtr for the Year 2010 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004
Net Sales
Increase or (Decrease)
$726 (-$742) $1,392 $1,811 $566 $664 $685
Accounts Receivable
Increase or (Decrease)
$1,344 (-$1,272) $1,257 $371 $259 $238 $933
Days sales outstanding
in accounts receivable (DSO)
39 29 39 31 35 34 34

Source: United States Securities and Exchange Commission

During Cisco's F2Q10 earnings conference call, Cisco CFO Frank Calderoni discussed Cisco's accounts receivable numbers:

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Cisco joins growing laundry list of entities paying Melissa Hathaway to be senior security advisor

Former Bush and Obama administration cybersecurity advisor, Melissa Hathaway, appears to be cashing in.
Submitted by Brad Reese on Wed, 02/03/10 - 3:02pm.

Tomorrow at 2:00 PM Pacific Time, Cisco will officially announce paying Melissa Hathaway (best known for authoring the Obama White House treatise - Cyberspace Policy Review), to be a senior adviser to its security team.

Hathaway appears to be cashing in on her government contacts.

View the growing laundry list of entities paying Hathaway to be a senior security advisor:

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Turmoil at Vyatta as Cisco prepares to announce its Q2FY10 earnings?

Dave Roberts - Vyatta vice president of marketing has left.
Submitted by Brad Reese on Mon, 02/01/10 - 6:04pm.

Earlier today, the bio and photo of Dave Roberts - the Vice President of Marketing for open source networking vendor - Vyatta, was still featured on its website (now it's gone).

So what happened in the space of a mere few hours?

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Brocade BCNE most valuable cert on earth

At an average 2009 salary of $146,250 per year, Certification Magazine is ranking the Brocade BCNE as the most lucrative cert on earth.
Submitted by Brad Reese on Thu, 01/28/10 - 5:08pm.

Scrappy data center networking vendor - Brocade, appears to be offering networking gurus the most valuable cert on earth, the Brocade Certified Network Engineer (BCNE) at $146,250, at least according to the average salary rankings of the 2009 Certification Magazine Salary Survey.

Cashing in on the big bucks further, Brocade can also lay claim to the 3rd most valuable cert - the Brocade Certified SAN Manager (BCSM) at $136,020.

Amazingly, Brocade then follows thru with an even more devastating uppercut knockout punch by claiming the 4th most valuable cert too - the Brocade Certified Fabric Designer (BCFD) at $134,100.

In an unprecedented carnage over the last 2 months, Cisco's worldwide CCIE R&S count has fallen by -110, which might help explain why Cisco’s Cisco Certified Internetwork Expert (CCIE R&S) was only ranked 10th at $120,130.

The average salary for a Juniper Networks Certified Internet Associate – Enterprise Routing (JNCIA-ER) is only $95,980:

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Pineapple ratings get dished out to Cisco blogs that rock for 2010

Cisco IOS hints and tricks (still the most interesting Cisco blog around).
Submitted by Brad Reese on Thu, 01/28/10 - 2:08am.

This month, the Thinking problem management! blog dished out its famous pineapple ratings:

Blogs and stuff that rock - Early 2010 edition

According to the Thinking blog, its pineapple ratings are reliant on the non-scientific scavenging of the Meerkats and the attitude of the cobras.

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