Is Insieme Cisco's Nuova 2.0?

Looks like they're cooking up the next-gen Nexus switches, with storage

Is Insieme Nuova 2.0? Sources say the Cisco spin-in is developing what are essentially the next generation Nexus platforms, and has been granted all intellectual property for the Nexus 5000 and 5500 lines, including the ASIC and software engineers.

What they are actually building is still up for speculation. A recruiter's letter says Insieme is building something to support OpenStack and distributed data storage. Some of the most thoughtful speculation is here, at SIWDT. W.R. Koss believes Insieme is building a next-gen platform optimized for 100G Ethernet and storage, adding storage to Cisco's Unified Computing converged infrastructure play and perhaps riling up current allies EMC and NetApp. The Insieme system would be backward compatible with the Nexus installed base, he believes.

We think so too. Our sources also say Insieme might be working on a high capacity modular aggregation switch, optimized for 100G Ethernet, that's intended to take in tons of software programmable ToRs. The brains behind it would be a Layer 4-7 SDN -- think Embrane -- controller appliance, our sources say. But don't bet on OpenFlow access to Insieme switch tables - something like CiscoFlow would be our guess.

And when will all this appear? Koss guesses 18-24 months; first half 2014 at the earliest. Sounds good to us.

In the meantime, expect additional Nexus platforms perhaps later this year or early next, continued focus on the Catalyst 6500, and nothing from the "Jawbreaker" project. Our sources tell us Jawbreaker, a merchant silicon-based marketing exercise to counter Juniper's QFabric, is officially dead. It was born of Cisco's Catalyst switching group, approved by the higher ups in the data center switching group, but disapproved by the Nexus engineers that left Cisco to join Insieme - they were not working on a Jawbreaker parent switch, as we previously reported, but an alternative architecture with which to counter QFabric.

Jawbreaker won out, and then virtually all of Nexus later left for Insieme. To work on what appears to be a successor to the Nexus 7000, and its associates.  And then to be spun back into Cisco and receive a rich pay day when the Insieme switches ramp.

Must suck to be in the Catalyst group. Or not. They'll be busy -- the Catalyst 6500 has a lot more life left in it, our sources say. The backplane can be easily rebuilt and the capacity will continue to be doubled. They'll milk that old cash cow while Insieme incubates its golden egg.

More from Cisco Subnet:

Meet Cisco/Insieme's recruiter

Cisco poaching rivals for SDN spin-in

Cisco incubating software-defined network startup?

Cisco's collaboration jab

Cisco losing router sales to HP?

Cisco helps user welcome BYOD 

Cisco's NDS purchase more than TV

Cisco: "We've never been more relevant"

Cisco: Customers drove us to block Microsoft/Skype

Critical milestones in Cisco history

Follow all Cisco Subnet bloggers on Twitter.Jim Duffy on Twitter



Copyright © 2012 IDG Communications, Inc.

The 10 most powerful companies in enterprise networking 2022