January 13, 2011, 3:08 PM — 2011 could be described as "The Year of ..." many things. The tablet market heated up beyond the Apple iPad. 4G wireless took off with the emergence of big-time LTE networks. Governments and hackers screamed for attention by taking down networks, while IPv6 generated interest for giving the Internet a way to carry on.
The shift to cloud computing sped up. Despite hiccups. Data centers took on new looks with the emergence of fabric-switching architectures and a revamped Cisco. And the shape and faces of the industry changed as IBM, HP and Google all announced new leaders. Apple of course will remember 2011 as the year its iconic leader Steve Jobs died. Meanwhile, Microsoft, AT&T and Google made blockbuster acquisition bids.
But as 2011 begins to fade to black, we also look back at the biggest security snafus that made headlines, including data hacks attributed to everyone from the shadowy group Anonymous to China. Some might even want to label 2011 the year of the advanced persistent threat.
2011 was a tumultuously transitional year for Cisco. The company came to the realization that its strategy for growth by entering new markets spread it too thin, distracted it from core markets and hurt profits. It cost thousands of employees their jobs and forced Cisco to scale back on its aggressive growth plans. Cisco also looked to protect and gain share against HP and Juniper while honing its structure to be more responsive to customers.