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Secure and Optimize the Networking World with AI-powered Innovations

Posted by Frank Yang on Jun 11, 2024

I attended Cisco Live 2024 in Las Vegas. I enjoyed the conference and exhibitions, particularly the keynote talks featuring 7x Super Bowl Champion, Entrepreneur, and Philanthropist Tom Brady, McLaren Racing CEO Zak Brown, and F1 Team Driver Oscar Piastri.

Since I attended Nvidia GTC 2024 in April (see my blog here), I can’t help but compare the two great events. While both companies are making significant strides in their respective fields, their focus areas differ.

Cisco Live 2024 Nvidia GTC 2024
Overall Focus Secure and optimize the networking world with AI-powered innovations Lead the charge to enable AI and grow AI as an industry
Digital Ambition Digital Resilience focuses on enhancing the robustness of digital experiences across diverse networks by preventing, detecting, and responding. Digital Twins refers to virtual (digital) replicas of physical systems, allowing for real-time simulation and analysis.
Key Solutions Ethernet-based full stack AI infrastructure. Nexus Hyper Fabric partnering with Nvidia GPU Blackwell, Superchip GB200, and rack system DGX GB200
Network Areas Enterprise data center, enterprise campus and branch, and service provider Cloud data center, hyperscale, and edge
AI Networking Ultra Ethernet (UEC)-based solutions, e.g. Cisco 8100 series, Nexus 9300 series InfiniBand-based solutions, e.g. Quantum-X800 series
800G Networking QSFP-DD 800G optics OSFP 800G optics

Note: This small table certainly is just a summary of the standout comparisons of the two conferences but is not meant to cover the entirety of the two conferences and exhibitions.

At Cisco Live 2024, the discussions were not limited to AI. The conference covered a wide range of topics, all of which are highly relevant in the current technological landscape, ensuring that attendees were well-informed and up-to-date with the latest trends and developments.

One of the ongoing trends highlighted at Cisco Live 2024 was software-defined access (SD-Access) in Enterprise Campus and Branch networking. Based on software-defined networking (SDN) principles, this network architecture approach is revolutionizing network access control, offering enhanced flexibility, efficiency, and security.

A session provided by C-Packet on the show floor showed that Enterprise Data Center networking is primarily running at 100Gbps.

The Enterprise data center market is expected to see 400G+ represent 16% by 2025, according to Dell’Oro data. VXLAN-EVPN was still a very hot topic. I was impressed not only that there were so many technical sessions on this data center fabric technology but also that the sessions were packed with attendees.

In the area of service provider networking, Cisco emphasizes routed optical networking. The routed optical networking is Cisco’s term for IP over dense wavelength division multiplexing (DWDM) or IPoDWDM. IPoDWDM utilizes 400G ZR Coherent pluggable optics and allows IP routers to be directly connected to open line systems (OLS) to bypass transponders. I blogged about the IPoDWDM concept before; see my blog here. IPoDWDM provides lower costs, lower overall power consumption, and network simplification.

In summary, Cisco Live 2024 was a resounding success from content, exhibition scale, and turnout perspectives. The event was a testament to the thriving and dynamic nature of the technology industry. I truly enjoyed it.

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400GBASE-ZR+ 0dBm Coherent QSFP-DD SMF C-Band Tunable 600km DDM Transceiver 400GBASE-ZR+ 0dBm Coherent QSFP-DD SMF C-Band Tunable 600km DDM Transceiver

Frank Yang
Senior Product Management Leader
Approved Networks
Senior product management leader with extensive experience in strategic planning, product line management, product marketing, I.T. software and hardware engineering.