Cisco’s greatest hits, 2014 edition

A busy 30th year for the networking kingpin.

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A fun-filled year for Cisco

It started with TV in the cloud and ended with a lawsuit against a rival. Cisco’s 30th anniversary was filled with major events that shaped the year ahead.

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REUTERS/Lindsay DeDario/Thomas Pete


At the CES conference in January, Cisco announces plans to offer cloud-based TV as an expansion of its Videoscape strategy.

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REUTERS/Yuriko Nakao

I don't remember

A memory glitch in switches highlighted February and impacted Cisco’s earnings in the company’s second quarter, which saw continued pressure from emerging markets, product transitions and service provider softness.

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Expanding the cloud

In March, Cisco announced a $1 billion plan to expand its cloud strategy, including establishing a global Intercloud of interconnected, interoperable cloud provider networks.

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Going south

April saw the unveiling of Cisco’s OpFlex SDN policy protocol, a southbound policy language intended to inform switches of the service requirements of applications so switches – not centralized SDN controllers -- can make configuration and forwarding decisions based on them.

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CiscoLive turned 25

Cisco celebrated the 25th anniversary of its CiscoLive user conference in May with a sobering declaration of business consolidation to come, and an inebriating party to close the week.

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The Tail-f acquisition in June was key to Cisco’s cloud orchestration arsenal, and may have allowed the company to gain entry into AT&T’s SDN. Cisco was added to AT&T’s Domain 2.0 vendor list in December.

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Responding to SDN

Cisco announced pricing and packaging for its Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) components in July, its response to the SDN programmable networking wave sweeping the industry. Cisco also announced that the ACI controller is shipping.

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Pink slips

Six thousand Cisco employees get pink slips in August as the company attempts to reset after a disappointing Q4 and fiscal 2014.

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UCS splash

September saw a significant expansion of Cisco’s UCS server lineup, including modular servers sharing disaggregated resources and a UCS Mini designed for cloud deployments of up to only 15 servers. Cisco said the UCS splash was “the most significant technology announcement” to come from the company in 2014.

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Engineering shakeup

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Scaling back VCE involvement

Despite the joint venture’s growth, Cisco – as expected – in October scaled back its participation in the VCE project with EMC and VMware due in large part to increasing competition with those partners. Cisco never profited from sales of VCE integrated IT infrastructure platforms.

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Joining Open Compute Project

Sixteen months after pointing out its exploitable weaknesses, Cisco in October joins the Open Compute Project, a Facebook-initiated endeavor to open source switch and server hardware.

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Open sourcing security

In November, Cisco open sources the OpenSOC security framework, which is designed to harness big data analytics to combat data loss.

Copyright © 2014 IDG Communications, Inc.