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Third Step to Enterprise Mobility: The Division of Devices

This is the third post in a blog series featuring Vine-format videos focusing on the “Six Essential Steps for Unleashing the Power of Enterprise Mobility”. Be sure to read the first two blogs and watch the videos – First Step to Enterprise Mobility: Build the Mobile Structure and  Second Step to Enterprise Mobility: Go Virtual.

In this blog series, we’ve discussed two important steps enterprises can take unleash the power of enterprise mobility. We’ve covered how building a mobile structure can arm enterprises with the appropriate architecture to increase efficiency and revenue. In addition, we highlighted how enterprises can go virtual by implementing desktop virtualization.

Our third step – preparing for the division of devices – relies on both structure and a mobile workforce. How can enterprises enable and support the proliferation of employee-owned devices without burying their IT department and putting corporate data at risk? Here’s a quick checklist to help make it happen:

mobstep11. Use a unified network infrastructure that facilitates secure, virtual workspace delivery across wired, wireless, VPN, and cellular networks.

As wireless access becomes more pervasive, performance and reliability expectations are the same as what is expected from a wired network. Features such as reliable connectivity, application response times and voice, video and real-time collaboration solutions all depend on a seamless delivery for both wired and wireless devices. This fundamental shift demands that IT monitor and have a unified solution in place  (i.e. a single physical infrastructure) for both corporate wireless LAN (WLAN) and wired LAN. This converged infrastructure will enable the right quality of experience for users, independent of their devices.

A unified network infrastructure can also make sure that IT is able to identify each device connecting to the network and authenticate the person using it.

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Video, More Than Just Faces on Screens

Looking into the crystal ball, I see that video collaboration will not be just about faces on screens, especially for GenY and the young executive. It’s about customizing and manipulating video so that it becomes additive to the business and decision-making process – making the user smarter because of it and the experience “better than being there.”

A recent survey of up-and-coming young executives found effectiveness to be a key driver for visual collaboration. Namely, respondents said they want to be able to see the visual cues that aid in effective communications, to appear present in a meeting, to quickly edit and share video content, and to be able to collaborate on content as if they and their globally-disparate teams are all in the same room. And they want it deployed pervasively.

These requirements are moving visual collaboration from the nice-to-have bucket to the critical-business-tool bucket. Young executives will  expect video to be embedded in mission-critical business applications, much in the same way that email, IM and mobility are today, accessible from wherever they are – Starbucks to the boardroom – and on the device of their choosing. Read More »

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Automating Virtual Network Services: Cisco Prime Network Services Controller at VMworld

Let’s face it – data center network management is a complex ordeal. IT infrastructure is even becoming more complicated as network virtualization, VM mobility, multiple networking models, multi-tenancy, hybrid cloud environments, and networking scalability evolve. But luckily for network admins, there are solutions to help simplify and solve these challenges by automating frequent changes to complex data center networks.

In previous blogs, we outlined the Nexus 1000V InterCloud solution for hybrid cloud networking and the Dynamic Fabric Automation solution for simplifying VM and physical server deployments in your data center network.

A key software component for each of these solutions is our control point for network services deployment, with template-oriented policy management. That control point and management interface is Cisco Prime Network Services Controller (formerly VNMC).

How does Prime Network Services Controller help?  The graphic below shows the vision and some of the key use cases for this software, including:


  • Cisco Prime Network Services Controller is the main control point and management software for Nexus 1000V InterCloud, providing VM workload mobility between enterprise data centers (e.g. private clouds) and a cloud service provider (e.g. public clouds),
  • It is the interface for Cisco’s network security stack (including Nexus 1000V, ASA 1000V & Virtual Security Gateway [VSG] firewalls) using dynamic template-oriented policy management,
  • And finally, it controls network services insertion (e.g. firewalls, load balancers) when provisioning or migrating VMs.

If you are headed to San Francisco for VMworld U.S. next week, come visit the Cisco booth to see these solutions in action.  Here are some of the demos that we’ll be featuring:

  • Building Hybrid Clouds with Nexus 1000V InterCloud: We’ll be showcasing one of the most exciting features in the latest version of Prime Network Services Controller. Come see us deploy a secure network tunnel between your enterprise data center to the public cloud with this solution.
  • Network Services and Cisco Dynamic Fabric Automation: Here, Prime Network Services Controller provides network service automation by working with Cisco Prime Data Center Network Manager (DCNM).
  • Virtualized Network Services: This demo will feature Prime Network Services Controller and vPath integration with Citrix NetScaler 1000V and Imperva SecureSphere running on Cisco Nexus 1000V series switches (on VMware vSphere, of course).

And don’t miss our theatre session on August 27th, 5:00PM PST in the Cisco booth.

For a preview of what you’ll see, watch this video on Prime Network Services Controller with product manager Dedi Shindler from Cisco Live earlier this summer:


If you won’t be at VMworld in San Francisco, you can learn more about Cisco Prime Network Services Controller at

You can also follow the action and stay up to date by following our Twitter handle, @CiscoUM.


Cisco Network Threat Defense Training at SecTor 2013

UPDATE:  Due to low registration numbers for our training, Cisco Network Threat Defense, at SecTor 2013 we unfortunately had to cancel our course.  For those who registered, we appreciate your support and look forward to meeting and delivering the training to you at another venue in the near future.

SecTor 2013, the seventh annual security conference in Toronto, Ontario, CA, will be held October 7-9 at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre in downtown Toronto. The conference provides an unmatched opportunity for IT and Security Professionals to learn the latest security research and techniques.   My colleague, Joe Karpenko and I will present Network Threat Defense Hands-on Training on October 7.

Our training will help you learn about securely deploying network services and to detect, classify, and prevent threats targeting a network. You will use Cisco network devices to configure and deploy advanced IPv4 network threat defenses and countermeasures. Once these defenses and countermeasures have been implemented, you will then validate the effectiveness of the defenses and adjust them to changing network conditions and attack profiles. This will help you to verify, measure, and update your defenses for real world threats.

Cisco is a proud sponsor, as well as training provider, and can save you 10% using discount code ‘CISCO-2013’ or ‘CISCO-Expo2013’ for a free expo pass! Registering for the full conference also provides an additional $100 discount towards training courses.

Please join us at SecTor 2013 in October. Register soon for discounted pricing. Please reach out with questions and we look forward to seeing you in Toronto!

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The Internet of Everything Connected Classroom Starts with Startups

Connected-ClassroomsWhen I think of a traditional elementary or secondary classroom, I think of colorful bulletin boards, desks, pencils and neat piles of books and paper. As students all over the country return back to school, it’s interesting to think about how the classrooms we enjoyed as students (back in the day!) have evolved to include electronic white boards, tablets and other high-tech collaboration tools.

While this technology has fundamentally changed the landscape of the modern classroom, the Internet of Everything is driving education-focused start-ups to enable more connections in and outside the classroom than ever before. Here’s a look at a few start-ups that are revolutionizing how students, teachers and parents connect and learn.

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