Cisco has announced a new generation of its popular ISR platform (G2, fittingly), and also announced an initiative/architecture called Borderless Networking. The ISR upgrades are performance enhancements to the earlier models based on what Cisco calls the “Service-Ready Engine” that can support Linux applications directly, not through the older AXP insert card.
Borderless Networking is harder to pin down, however. It appears to be what a Cisco PR video calls a “recommitment” of Cisco to some core technologies rather than a new announcement. But it is possible that Cisco will offer something new and substantive there. From the positioning, it appears to be a service-layer strategy focused on creating an “IT control plane” from Cisco’s data center and virtualization technology. Whether it’s real or slideware is the question.
Cisco often makes announcements like this to anticipate announcements by competitors, and a number of them may be planning something in the service layer area within the next month. As we’ve noted, this is a critical area, and if Cisco can create a credible “IT control plane” based on data center virtualization, it could have an impact in the space. Recent trends within Cisco management and organization, however, seem to suggest a de-emphasis on software products and on network abstraction and management, key ingredients in a service-layer strategy.