Tag: Cisco

Cisco has another victory against Arista

the Cisco kidCisco’s long running court battle against Arista appears to be going the networking giant’s way.

A US trade judge ruled that Arista used Cisco’s network device technology in its ethernet switches without permission.

Judge Mary Joan McNamara of the US International Trade Commission in Washington, said that Arista had infringed two patents owned by Cisco. The ruling could lead to an order banning the import of Arista’s products into the United States.

Cisco filed the complaint at the ITC in December 2014, alleging that Arista was infringing six of its patents, which relate to improving the speed and performance of networked computers and devices.

The products accused of infringement include Arista’s 7000 series of switches, which generate most of that company’s revenues.

Arista general counsel Marc Taxay said the company looks forward to presenting its case to the full commission as it strongly believes that its products do not infringe any of the patents under investigation.

Cisco’s general counsel, Mark Chandler, said: “Our goal has always been to protect technological innovation, and stop Arista from using our patented technology.”

In June, the ITC ordered an import ban on Arista’s products that infringed several other Cisco patents.

The US Trade Representative allowed that order to go ahead in August, but US customs officials last month ruled that Arista could resume imports of its redesigned switches because they were not within the scope of the ban.

There is a trial currently underway in California, where Arista is defending against claims of copyright and patent infringement brought by Cisco.


Cisco kid crosses the Rio Grande

Poster - Rio Grande (1950)_02While a big chunk of Mexico is trying to cross into the US, it appears that the  networking equipment maker Cisco wants to go the other way.

Cisco plans more than $4 billion worth of expansion in Mexico between 2016 and 2018..

Cisco’s Chief Executive Officer Chuck Robbins made the announcement during a meeting with Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto, the government said in a statement.

The expansion would boost output in Mexico of products ranging from routers, servers, switches and wireless access points, as well as spur the creation of 270 jobs and 77 indirect jobs, the government said.

It was unclear how much of the sum announced had already been set out in the company’s plans for the country.  Or what would happen if the US builds a dirty great big wall between the two countries.

Cisco blames comic radiation for router failure

the Cisco kidNetworking giant Cisco has come up with a novel reason why its some of its routers were less than 100 per cent – cosmic radiation.

A Cisco bug report addressing “partial data traffic loss” on the company’s ASR 9000 Series routers contends that a “possible trigger is cosmic radiation causing SEU soft errors.”

A reader of Reddit’s networking section asked if anyone had seen ‘cosmic radiation’ as a cause for software errors in a bug report before?  Since the fix was to reload the line card, how on earth does that stop the radiation of distant stars stuffing up your router?

Some readers confirmed that cosmic radiation might be a thing, but its “gotten a bad rep as it’s not well explained and it’s not the be-all and end-all of outages.”

However most people thought that it was rubbish as cosmic radiation does not home in on a specific part of the router. It would also hit the control plane and other parts. ECC memory tends to make this a non-issue.

Cisco said that it has conducted extensive research, dating back to 2001, on the effects cosmic radiation can have on its service provider networking hardware, system architectures and software designs. Despite being rare, as electronics operate at faster speeds and the density of silicon chips increases, it becomes more likely that a stray bit of energy could cause problems that affect the performance of a router or switch.

Cisco wrote a  blog about the topic  in January 2012. In an effort to minimize the impact of radiation from “Single Event Upsets” (SEUs), it wanted to redesign our technology with custom silicon chips and software, and adopt protocols that use resiliency features.

Arista Networks loses appeal against Cisco’s trade ban

the Cisco kidThe U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC)  has upheld an import ban on Arista Networks ethernet switches which it thinks infringe Cisco’s patents.

The decision follows a complaint from  Cisco filed in December 2014 about the switches, which are used in computer data centres and servers.

In a blog post on the company’s website on Monday, Cisco general counsel Mark Chandler said the import ban was to start on Tuesday. The ITC said Arista infringed three Cisco patents relating to managing and securing communications networks. The ruling excludes the import of Arista’s network devices, including its 7000 series of switches, which generates most of that company’s product revenue. It also prevents the sale of domestic supplies of the imported products.

Arista’s general counsel, Marc Taxay, said the company has redesigned the software in its switches and believes it is in “full compliance” with the ITC’s orders.

“Our primary focus remains the continued supply of non-infringing products to our customers,” he said.

Arista also said it would appeal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.  Arista has not received approval from the ITC for the redesigned products.


Cisco patches against “NSA” bacon

cameron_pigGateCisco has patched its software against hacking tools called extra bacon which are believed to have been nicked from the NSA.

Two of the cyberweapons were trained on Cisco flaws which would allow the spooks to take over crucial security software used to protect corporate and government networks.

In a statement, Cisco said that it had immediately conducted a thorough investigation of the files released, and has identified two vulnerabilities affecting Cisco ASA devices that require customer attention.

“On Aug. 17, 2016, we issued two Security Advisories, which deliver free software updates and workarounds where possible.”

An unknown group of hackers dubbed the Shadow Brokers posted cyberweapons stolen from the so-called Equation Group, the National Security Agency-linked outfit known as “the most advanced” group of cyberwarriors in the internet’s history.

One of the cyberweapons posted was an exploit called ExtraBacon that can be used to attack Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) software designed to protect corporate networks and data centres.

Cisco researchers explained in a security advisory that the vulnerability in the Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP) code of Cisco Adaptive Security Appliance (ASA) Software could allow an unauthenticated, remote attacker to cause a reload of the affected system or to remotely execute code.

ExtraBacon was a zero-day exploit, Cisco confirmed. That means it was unknown to Cisco or its customers, leaving them open to attack by anyone who possessed the right tools.


Cisco lays off 20 percent of staff

the Cisco kidNot content with just decimating its staff, the network gear maker Cisco  is laying off about 14,000 employees, representing nearly 20 percent of the workforce in a move that even the Roman Emporer Caligula would think was a bit mean.

The cuts are still secret but the news has found its way to the press. The announcement is expected in the next few weeks. This is all because Cisco is moving from a hardware to a software based outfit.

Apart from Cisco, the other tech giants, which have announced job cuts in the face of PC industry decline in recent years, are Microsoft,  HP and Intel. In fact the  winner so far has been Vole which liberated 18,000 jobs in 2014. HP Inc said in September 2015 that it expected to cut about 33,300 jobs over three years. Intel said in April that it would slash up to 12,000 jobs globally, or 11 percent of its workforce.

Cisco increasingly requires “different skill sets” for the “software-defined future” than it did in the past, as it pushes to capture a higher share of the addressable market and aims to boost its margins.

Cisco has been investing in new products such as data analytics software and cloud-based tools for data centers, to offset the impact of sluggish spending by telecom carriers and enterprises on its main business of making network switches and routers. The company has already offered many early retirement package plans to Cisco’s employees..


Apple squashes “right to repair” bill

Details of Man working with electrial components

Details of Man working with electrial components

Extensive lobbying from Apple has managed to save its users from a bill which would have meant they could have helped save the planet by repairing their own gear.

The New York state legislation that would have required manufacturers to provide information about how to repair devices like the iPhone so they could be fixed locally and kept going long after Apple believed they should be scrapped.

But the bill mysteriously failed to get a vote, ending any chance of passage this legislative session. Similar measures have met the same fate in Minnesota, Nebraska, Massachusetts and New York.

It is a quaint way that US lobby groups keep their steel-capped boots on the throats of democracy by gumming up the proceedings.

New York State Senator Phil Boyle (R) who sponsored the bill was disappointed that it was not brought to the floor.

Gordon-Byrne said lobbyists from IBM, Apple, Xerox and Cisco were particularly active in working against the legislation.

Right to repair laws would protect consumers and help the environment by insuring that devices last longer, thus reducing electronics waste. If you or a business can affordably repair a broken device, you may have less incentive to buy a new one, the logic goes.

The Corporate oligarchs who have rule the US since the country revolted against its lawful constitutional monarch, oppose right to repair legislation because it would relax their total control over their products.

Consumer Technology Association once claimed that anyone posing as a repair shop to reverse-engineer such a device to create counterfeit devices.

New Yorkers will have to wait until next year before right to repair legislation has another chance.


Big Names line up on the Internet of Thongs

Internet of thingsThe big names in the industry are banding together to form the Open Connectivity Foundation or OCF to set standards for IoT devices.

The names include ARRIS, CableLabs, Cisco, Electrolux, GE Digital, Intel, Microsoft, Qualcomm and Samsung, which have agreed to work closely with one another to set rules and specifications to guarantee a singular advancement in the field.

“The OCF’s vision for IoT is that billions of connected devices (appliances, phones, computers, industrial equipment) will communicate with one another regardless of manufacturer, operating system, chipset or transport. With the OCF fulfilling this promise, anyone – from a large technology company to a maker in their garage – can adopt the open standards of OCF to innovate and compete, helping ensure secure interoperability for consumers, business, and industry,” OCF says.

So far the companies who have signed up have been working on IoT. Samsung has come up with shedloads of ideas and Microsoft’s Windows 10 and Azure appear to be showing how it is done.

Terry Myerson, executive VP of the Windows and Devices Group at Microsoft said: “We have helped lead the formation of the OCF because we believe deeply in its vision and the potential an open standard can deliver. Despite the opportunity and promise of IoT to connect devices in the home or in businesses, competition between various open standards and closed company protocols have slowed adoption and innovation.”

IT industry bellwether Cisco is ok

the Cisco kidThe tech industry breathed a sigh of relief after Cisco reported a bigger than expected quarterly profit.

Cisco is one of those companies that shows the general state of the technology industry as it always tends to suffer when there is any downturn.

However this time the company saw higher demand for its routers and security products.

Cisco is shifting to high-end switches and routers and investing in new products such as data analytics software and cloud-based tools for data centres.

Revenue in the company’s routers business rose five percent to $1.85 billion in the second quarter ended January 23, Cisco said.

Revenue in the switches business, the company’s biggest, fell four percent to $3.48 billion.

Its security business, which offers firewall protection as well as intrusion detection and prevention systems, recorded an 11 percent rise in revenue to $462 million.

Cisco boosted its current share buyback plan of $97 billion, of which $16.9 billion was remaining, by $15 billion.

The company forecast third-quarter adjusted profit of 54-56 cents per share and revenue growth of between one to four percent, excluding revenue from its customer premises equipment business, which it has sold.

Net income rose to $3.1 billion, from $2.40 billion last year. Cisco isn’t really boring, honestly.

Cisco buys the stairway to internet-of-things heaven

the Cisco kidIn a bid to get into the internet based cars and medical devices market, Cisco has written a $1.4 billion cheque to buy a start-up called Jasper.

Jasper makes a software platform that helps monitor these devices once they are online.

Rob Salvagno, Cisco’s vice president of corporate development, said that the Internet of Things has been a priority for Cisco for the past few years.

“We’ve been keeping an eye on this market and what we noticed was that Jasper represented a unique asset. We believe they are the largest Internet of Things service platform of scale today,” he said.

Cisco, has bought dozens of smaller companies over the years, is shifting its business toward high-end switches and routers and investing in new products such as data analytics software and cloud-based tools for data centres.

Jasper is the largest deal for Cisco since it acquired security company Sourcefire for $2.7 billion in 2013.

Jasper was close to having an IPO. Jasper’s chief executive, Jahangir Mohammed, will stay on with

Cisco and run a new Internet of Things Software Business unit once the deal closes in the third quarter.

Cisco will have to complete with IBM, General Electric and Microsoft.