Cisco\u2019s 4Q and year-end financial reports highlight growth in many categories that are important to enterprise customers including wireless, campus switching, routing and security products.\nCEO Chuck Robbins said that the company\u2019s fourth quarter boasts the strongest product-order growth rate the company has seen in over a decade, citing a 30% product order growth year on year, and more than 17% order growth versus pre-COVID Q4 fiscal 19 product bookings.\n\n\u201cIn Q4, we saw double-digit revenue growth in campus switching, Catalyst 9000, high-end routing, wireless, and in our Zero Trust solutions, along with strength in our security endpoint portfolio. We also had a very strong adoption of our Acacia optical solutions,\u201d Robbins said.\nHe also addressed the company\u2019s progress shifting toward software and services, challenges of the processor shortage, and the growth of 400Gbps gear.\nThe Cisco software story\nCisco began moving wholeheartedly into software several years ago, and that move is paying off\u2014literally.\u00a0 The company said software sales bested $4 billion\u2014about 31% of the vendor\u2019s total revenue during its fiscal year 2021 fourth quarter.\u00a0The numbers represent an increase of 7% over the third quarter and 6% year-over-year, Robbins said.\nThe company has said this growth makes it one of the largest software companies in the world\u2014a point it reiterated this week.\n\u201cThe benefits of our shift to software and subscriptions are clear and they are helping both Cisco and our customers move with greater speed and agility,\u201d Robbins said during the earnings call. \u201cFor perspective, software represented 31% of our business in Q4, and for the full year, when combined with our services business, they represent over 53% of revenue, clearly highlighting the success of our continued business transformation.\u201d\nIn additions, Cisco\u2019s subscription revenue grew 9% in Q4 and 15% for the full fiscal year, according to the company.\nThe software growth dovetails with Cisco\u2019s move toward a consumption-based selling and pricing structure as well, Robbins said.\n\u201cOver the last year, we introduced an impressive number of new capabilities across our entire portfolio, while also doubling down on more flexible consumption models, including our core networking capabilities as a service highlighted by the recent launch of Cisco Plus,\u201d Robbins said.\u00a0\nThe Cisco Plus network-as-a-service promises to deliver networking, security, compute, storage, and applications with unified subscriptions that are simple to use, Cisco says.\nWhile the company plans in the next few years to introduce what will likely be myriad service options under Cisco Plus, for now it features just two. The first, Cisco Plus Hybrid Cloud, includes the company\u2019s data-center, compute, networking, and storage portfolio in addition to third-party software and storage components all controlled by the company\u2019s Intersight cloud-management package. Customers can choose the level of services they want for planning, design and installation.\n\u201cWhile still in its early days, Cisco Plus directly aligns with our transformation goals around driving more subscription-based recurring revenue via the cloud,\u201d Robbins said.\nChip shortage, price hikes\nThe tech industry continues to feel the impact of the semiconductor shortage. In Cisco\u2019s case, Robbins said he expected the supply challenges and cost impacts to continue through at least the first half of the company\u2019s fiscal year and potentially into the second half.\u00a0\nThe shortage has raised prices on some Cisco gear.\n\u201cWe did put in place a price increase; very selective, very targeted, only on the products where we were seeing the higher component costs,\u201d Scott Herren, Cisco\u2019s financial officer told analysts on the financial call. \u201cThat went into effect August 7th, but we always honor quotes that are out there for 30 days, beyond that price because it goes\u2014maybe those quotes were produced before the price increase was put in.\u201d\nCisco\u2019s competitors are feeling the pinch too with Arista\u2019s CEO and president Jayshree Ullal recently summing the situation up like this: \u201cThis is the worst I\u2019ve seen it. And there have been some big ups and downs. And more than the worst I\u2019ve ever seen it, I think it\u2019s also going to be prolonged,\u201d Ullal told analysts at that company\u2019s recent financial call. Everything from copper shortages and wafers to manpower, logistics, and freight has been impacted, Ullal stated.\u00a0\n400G ethernet growth\nThe move toward 400Gb ethernet gear has been gradual, but the need for increased speeds in high-end data centers and cloud-service companies is increasing, especially now with so many remote and hybrid workers needing robust access speeds.\nCisco gave an indication of how the 400G ramp-up is going.\n\u00a0\u201cIn Q4, 400G ports, our orders were up 668%, and for the year, 400G port orders were up 831%,\u201d Robbins said. \u201cWe have over 400 customers that have deployed, and we\u2019ve taken orders for almost 180,000 ports total.\u201d\nThe Dell Oro Group recently wrote that the emergence of new products will be a big overall growth driver over the next five years.\n\u201cNetwork operators see 400G as a logical step to increasing network capacity at lower costs for hardware and operations. The ecosystem of 400G technologies, from silicon to optics is ramping, and throughout 2020 a broad range of routers supporting 400G will become commercially available,\u201d wrote Shin Umeda, Dell Oro vice president in a blog about 400G growth.\n\u201cStarting in 2021, large-scale deployments will contribute meaningful market. By 2024, we expect 400G to generate almost $3 billion in manufacturers\u2019 revenue and to be widely deployed in all of the largest core networks in the world,\u201d Umeda wrote.