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Cisco CEO Sees Potential in Move to 400G

Cisco continues to grow several aspects of its global business, including intent-based networking, SD-WAN, collaboration, and higher connectivity speeds. Cisco continues to grow multiple aspects of its global business including intent-based networking, SD-WAN, collaboration and higher connectivity speeds.

 By Sean Michael Kerner | Posted Feb 15, 2019
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Cisco's CEO Chuck Robbins is having a good year so far, thanks to the continued strong performance of his company and its growing technology portfolio.

Cisco reported its second quarter fiscal 2019 financial results on Feb. 13, with revenue coming in at $12.4 billion for a 7 percent year-over-year gain. Looking forward, Cisco has forecast guidance for continued growth in the 4 to 6 percent range year-over-year for the third quarter.

So what is driving Cisco's continued growth? Multiple factors are at play, but a primary one is the shift to the cloud and the need for more automation.

"With a continued expansion to the cloud, the increasing connectivity of users and devices and the need to secure their enterprises, our customers are facing the most complex and dynamic IT environment we've ever seen," Robbins said during his company's second quarter earnings call.

Though there are challenges, every customer segment of Cisco's business, except for its service provider business, grew in the second quarter. The service provider business declined by one percent year-over-year, leading also to a decline in Cisco's routing business.

Intent-based Networking

Among the larger efforts that Cisco is undertaking is a move toward intent-based networking, which provides intelligence and automation for networking infrastructure.

"We are now extending our industry-leading security and intent-based networking capabilities to new IoT edge platforms, connecting devices throughout the enterprise with unprecedented scale, unparalleled flexibility, and control," Robbins said. "Going forward, you will see us continue to extend our intent-based networking innovations across the portfolio with subscription-based offers that will enable our customers to adopt a consistent architecture across every domain."

Cisco is also growing its reach to literally anywhere, with its Data Center Anywhere effort that was announced on Jan. 28.

"Two weeks ago, we announced a new architecture that extends a data center to wherever the data exists and across all applications running anywhere," Robbins said. "We introduced several new innovations to extend our multi-cloud leadership with ACI Anywhere, HyperFlex Anywhere, and cloud center capabilities."

400G

At the core of all networking is bandwidth, which is now set to grow with the introduction of 400 gigabit networking components. It's an area that Robbins is confident Cisco will excel at, helping enterprise data centers, service provider and web-scale networks scale up.

"With global Internet traffic expected to increase threefold over the next five years, our customers are facing an exponential demand for capacity," he said. "To address their need for speed and performance, we continue to innovate to drive the industry's transition to next generation high-speed networks of 400 gig and beyond."

To help on its journey to support the demand for 400G, Cisco acquired silicon photonics vendor Luxtera in December 2018 for $660 million.

"Our acquisition of Luxtera will further augment our existing capability around silicon and optics, enabling our customers to build the fastest and most efficient networks," Robbins said.

Sean Michael Kerner is a senior editor at EnterpriseNetworkingPlanet and InternetNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @TechJournalist.

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