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Another “Better Together” Combination: Cisco and Akamai

register for webinarsTwo Companies Agree to Improve Application Delivery Over the Internet and Hybrid WANs

Today, Cisco and Akamai announced plans to work together to deliver the world’s first integrated Application Optimization solution for hybrid WANs, leveraging the Internet as a fast, reliable, and secure WAN option. The anticipated solution would leverage the most widely deployed enterprise router: the Cisco Integrated Services Router (ISR), and Akamai’s new Unified Performance solution.  We believe this collaboration will come as a pleasant surprise for Network and Application IT teams, who can appreciate the value in combining two great things that work even better together, while dramatically lowering their operational expenses.

First, let me explain what Akamai Unified Performance offers. As a proven leader in content delivery over the Internet, Akamai is now providing a new set of caching, and bandwidth optimization technologies to enable high-quality online experiences within “brick and mortar” locations. It basically brings Akamai’s world-class performance and optimization technology into the branch office.  With Akamai Unified Performance, retailers and enterprises can engage customers and employees in new, more immersive experiences through digital media, while alleviating the burden of more traffic over the wide-area network (WAN).

[EDITOR NOTE 11/13/13: The Cisco communities where you’d normally register for webinars are undergoing an update.  You can still register for the Nov 20 and Dec 11 webinars]

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Top 7 Facts to Know about Cisco HD Experience Technology

Last week, we announced at Interop-NY  our newest Indoor Access Point, the Aironet 3700 Series. This access Point includes an integrated 802.11ac radio and is the first and only access point to support a 4×4 MIMO on 802.11ac. This latest Wi-Fi Standard will provide wireless networks better performance and coverage, and address the demand for client access including 802.11ac enabled clients.  Whether you are in Higher Education, K-12, Healthcare, Manufacturing, Retail or other verticals, we are seeing our customers across industries face the same challenges: more users coming onto the network, more users bringing more devices, more devices that are only wireless connectivity (no Ethernet port), more security, OS and application updates on each of those devices. All this drives the larger problem of high density.

Enter the Cisco HD Experience Technology. Available on the new Aironet 3700 Series Access Points, the Cisco High Density Experience or “HD Experience” Technology is a suite of solutions serving up a feature set designed specifically to alleviate the introduction of more clients, bandwidth hungry applications and high density network strain in order to provide an unparalleled user experience.

Here are the top 7 facts to know about Cisco HD Experience Technology:

1. HD Experience Technology is a suite of solutions only available on the AP3700 that helps  OPTIMIZE performance, mitigation, scalability and roaming for High Client Density networks

2. HD Experience is a hardware-based solution on a WiFi chipset designed BY and FOR CISCO. This is *not* software features based on merchant silicon WiFi chipset. HD Experience includes…

3. CleanAir 80 MHz, where Cisco fundamentally retooled the award-winning CleanAir technology to provide the same level of granularity and accuracy of RF interference detection and mitigation across 802.11ac’s 80 MHz bandwidth…but it also detects and mitigates for 802.11a/b/g/n clients as well. Read More »

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Making Boring Logs Interesting

In the last week alone, two investigations I have been involved with have come to a standstill due to the lack of attribution logging data. One investigation was halted due to the lack of user activity logging within an application, the other from a lack of network-based activity logs. Convincing the asset owners of the need for logging after-the-fact was easy. But ideally, this type of data would be collected before it’s needed for an investigation. Understanding what data is critical to log, engaging with the asset owners to ensure logs contain meaningful information, and preparing log data for consumption by a security monitoring organization are ultimately responsibilities of the security monitoring organization itself. Perhaps in a utopian world, asset owners will engage an InfoSec team proactively and say, “I have a new host/app. To where should I send my log data which contains attributable information for user behavior which will be useful to you for security monitoring?” In lieu of that idealism, what follows is a primer on logs as they relate to attribution in the context of security event monitoring. Read More »

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Cisco Kicking Goals with Telstra at Sydney’s ANZ Stadium

In the wake of the Sydney Roosters’ defeat over the Manly Sea Eagles in a classic NRL Grand Final at ANZ Stadium last Sunday, the venue has announced it will roll-out Cisco Connected Stadium Wi-Fi. This will see the iconic venue, the centrepiece of the Sydney 2000 Olympics, joining the likes of Manchester City’s Etihad Stadium in the UK and Eden Park in New Zealand as truly world class venues in terms of the Wi-Fi network available to patrons.

The Cisco Connected Stadium Wi-Fi solution will be rolled out in conjunction with Telstra and will create a best-of-breed environment for heightened audience engagement during sporting events and other major entertainment events which are regularly held at the stadium. The solution was chosen due to its unique ability to provide connectivity to large numbers of people in a densely packed environment and the potential to work in conjunction with Telstra’s digital media capability at the venue to create an integrated engagement platform for the stadium, its sponsorship partners and patrons.

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Four questions every Small Business owner must ask when considering collaboration technology

By Rebecca Leach, Cisco Canada

They say communication is the key to success in a relationship, and that rule certainly applies to the relationship between business owners and their employees and customers. Collaborative technology solutions facilitate that communication through a variety of channels that include voice, conference calls, instant messaging, video conferencing, enterprise social software, and mobile applications. Cisco’s collaboration tools allow employees to be less dependent on physical presence and travel, and be more productive and responsive to the needs of customers and partners. This results in better customer service and an efficient, more innovative workforce.

So, how do you decide what’s right for you? When looking to deploy collaboration solutions, there are four questions all small business owners must ask.

What products and services do you offer?

Collaboration is a broad term, and can include services such as Unified Communications, Cisco IWE, Jabber, and TelePresence. It’s important that small business owners are aware of the various types of technology under the collaboration umbrella and any integration limitations for each. Look ahead and consider emerging technologies, as implementing video collaboration services may differentiate your company from competitors. And some industries, like healthcare, have industry-specific security requirements your collaboration solution must support.

How does your solution support employee devices?

Once you’ve chosen what collaborative products you want your employees to use, you have to consider how they will access them. As more employees purchase their own smartphones and tablets, how these devices are supported becomes paramount in the “Bring Your Own Device” (BYOD) movement. A small business collaboration solution that works with all devices can deliver greater mobile productivity benefits than one oriented to a single manufacturer or desktop systems. So look for a collaboration solution, such as the Cisco BE 6000 that works with mobile devices and desktop computers from any device manufacturer, any operating system and any wired or wireless network location.

How secure are your products?

When selecting a single collaboration service or suite of services, especially with a cloud delivery service model, small business owners need to ensure that there are adequate security precautions in place. Too often small businesses use consumer technology not designed to meet their security needs. Ask about the security of their solutions, and work with your technology partner to define policies and procedures to secure your collaboration services. Look for ways to control who can access your wired and wireless networks, how servers and confidential data will be protected and how you will control remote access from any device while ensuring the security of sensitive or confidential communications.

How much will it cost?

This is a big issue for a small business, it is imperative to implement a collaboration solution that integrates with your existing IT investments because costs are reduced when you can build on top of previous applications. How will the products you’re considering integrate into your current environment? Will additional costs be incurred if customized solutions are required? And don’t be afraid to ask about the Return on Investment (ROI) of the solution. While the initial setup cost for collaboration may be expensive, the service will reduce business expenses such as long distance, utility costs and travel expenses.

It’s important to know the answers to all of these questions before you decide on the collaboration solution that’s right for your small business.

Do you have other questions that SMBs should ask before choosing collaboration technologies? List them in the comments below!

For more of our four-part series on small business technology, read my post on how to find the right financing plan for your business. And for more small business technology solutions, visit our website.