No GA yet for Cisco's enterprise SDN

APIC Enterprise Module still in controlled release a year after initial general release date

Cisco’s enterprise SDN controller is still in controlled release a year after it was first supposed to be generally available and months after an updated GA date. The APIC Enterprise Module shipped in February in controlled release to “multiple” customers who are using it in production, Cisco says, including IBM, which is using it on behalf of German airliner Lufthansa.

General availability of APIC EM is still to be determined, said Jeff Reed, vice president and general manager in Cisco’s Enterprise Infrastructure and Solutions group, at this week's Cisco Live conference in San Diego. Cisco’s awaiting feedback from customers before deciding when it will go into general release.

Meanwhile, Cisco will unveil an IWAN – Intelligent WAN, Cisco’s umbrella terms for its ISR-AX and ASR1000-AX access and edge routers – application for APIC EM next month. It will include PKI security key management and integration with Cisco’s Prime Infrastructure 3.0 management system.

Automated WAN and access network and policy configuration are the target applications for APIC EM. Cisco is also developing APIC EM applications for security, collaboration, services and licensing, and network management, and also plans to build out the portfolio through APIC EM’s partner ecosystem. Today, the ecosystem includes Citrix, Glue Networks, ActionPacked Networks and Radware.

In other enterprise news, Cisco says it has seen triple digit growth for the Catalyst 6800 switching line as customers transition their Catalyst 6500 campus backbones to the newer switch. Sixty-five percent of the Catalyst 6X00 growth in the last quarter was attributable to the 6800, said Rob Soderbery, Cisco senior vice president of Enterprise Products and Solutions.

Soderbery wouldn’t discuss the Supervisor 6T that’s believed to be coming for the Catalyst 6807-XL. The Sup 6T will increase per slot bandwidth of the 6807-XL to 440Gbps, double that delivered with the current Sup 2T. It’s expected in about a year.

Overall, Soderbery says the Catalyst business is accelerating and sustainable growth is back in the enterprise.

Collaboration is one driver.

“Rowan (Trollope, senior vice president and general manager of Cisco’s Collaboration Technology group) radically reduced the price of TelePresence and he’s driving a lot more volume,” Soderbery says. “His business is up 5% or 10%, but he’s up 3X in volume and down 66% in price. So that’s driving ports. We’re seeing security drive refresh cycles, we’re seeing IoT drive, and digital business. What digital business translates to in many cases is at the edge: a new patient tracking systems in a hospital or more video in a retail store… I’m doing something at the edge that’s just driving the market. So we’re seeing real strength in the switching business as well as access routing that looks to be sustainable.”

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