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Cisco will ride the 802.11ac Wave2

If you recall, back in the early days of 802.11n, the Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) rolled out the 802.11n certification program in phases.  Here we are several years later and in that same fashion, the WFA has split the IEEE 802.11ac specification into two certification phases: Wave 1 and Wave 2.

Last week we announced the availability of our 802.11ac Wave 1 Module for the 3600 Access Point and along with that, our intention to develop an 802.11ac adaptive radio module that will support the second phase of 802.11ac, or Wave 2. Most of the 802.11ac discussion in the last year has been focused on Wave 1, so we want to kick off the conversation about the second phase, Wave 2.

80211ac1
If Wave 1 promises increased wireless performance to address the increasing demand for higher performance including growing number of clients demanding higher performance for applications such as HD video streaming, then Wave 2 will stun you with its ability to provide even more throughput beyond the 1.3Gbps that Wave 1 provides as well as a number of other features that will further improve wireless connectivity. It is like taking a really good rock song and adding more cowbell to it.

SNL jokes aside, with the additional features packaged in Wave 2 comes the opportunity for further innovation in Cisco’s Wireless portfolio. We feel that it is important to stay ahead of the technology curve so that customers can plan and benefit from these advances sooner rather than later. So let’s discuss what features are coming with 802.11ac Wave 2. Read More »

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Shedding More Light on MDM

May 7, 2013 at 5:00 am PST

My friends at Cisco’s TechWiseTV have taken MDM to heart and have offered some keen insight from a geek’s POV (point of view) into MDM. Starting with a primer on MDM, Networking 101: MDM, Jimmy Ray answers the questions on what is MDM and what can it do for my organization in his entertaining and educational white board approach.

Read More »

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Watering Hole Attacks an Attractive Alternative to Spear Phishing

“Watering Hole” attacks, as evidenced by the recent attack involving the U.S. Department of Labor, are becoming increasingly popular as alternatives to attacks such as Spear Phishing. In a “Watering Hole” attack, the attacker compromises a site likely to be visited by a particular target group, rather than attacking the target group directly. Eventually, someone from the targeted group visits the “trusted” site (A.K.A. the “Watering Hole”) and becomes compromised.

Cisco identified suspicious GET requests made to the www.sellagreement.com, a malicious site which was recently linked with the Department of Labor attack. According to the evidence we have, the sites www.kforce.com and www.sbc.net were among those compromised during this attack. The webpages that were serving malicious content from these sites were mostly job-search related, but several requests to www.sellagreement.com lacked a “Referrer:” HTTP header entirely. Read More »

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IDC White Paper: Converged Systems Support Datacenter Transformation

May 6, 2013 at 3:00 pm PST

A new white paper from IDC discusses how converged infrastructure solutions from Cisco and EMC, through VCE, can enable IT organizations to deploy a highly virtualized, highly efficient computing infrastructure. For those new to the converged systems topic, VCE was formed by Cisco and EMC to build converged infrastructure systems that dramatically reduce the complexity that would otherwise be required to bring together technology components.

IDC highlights that the data center is changing and IT companies are adopting standards in hardware and software that will allow the entire infrastructure to be operated and managed more easily. IDC states that if standardization, flexibility, and simplification are not already top priorities for an organization, then complexity and inefficiencies can emerge as chief drivers of operational costs. To prove this point, IDC conducted platform migration studies in 2010 and 2012 and found that more than 50% of all sites were actively working on platform migration and that each migration targeted 40% or more of legacy systems (i.e. RISC/UNIX). The drive to consolidate workloads and to reduce costs continues to accelerate.

The white paper includes profiles from companies that have recently migrated from legacy RISC/UNIX platforms to VCE Vblock™ Systems and realized significant improvements in performance and reduction in server deployment times.

The paper conclusion summarizes that converged infrastructure solutions deployed as part of a data center transformation strategy can reduce IT staff costs, maintenance and management costs, and power/cooling costs.

The full length IDC white paper can be found here. Please also go to the following hyperlinks for more information on RISC/UNIX Migration, Cisco and EMC, and VCE Vblock Systems.

If you are attending EMC World this week, please come by the Cisco booth in the Solutions Pavilion to learn more about Cisco and EMC solutions.

Real World Demonstration of MAP for IPv6

andrewyourtchenkoBy Andrew Yourtchenko, Technical Leader, Network Operations Systems Technology Group

As any geek, I find it a lot of fun to get some hands with the new technology -- be it a new gadget, new product or a solution.

It’s not very often that I have a chance to play with a whole new protocol. EANTC (European Advanced Network Testing Center) interoperability testing gave me such a chance. The bulk of the work happened on EANTC premises in Germany this past February. The overall activity involved many representatives from various vendors making their devices talk to each other. The goal is to test the protocols in several areas, including MPLS, SDN, and IPv6, but the highlight for me was the testing of MAP (Mapping Address and Port) -- a new protocol to enable the sharing of IPv4 addresses by several customer premise devices without keeping the state at the service provider end.

This protocol is being developed by IETF, and has two flavours, the standards-track “MAP” which uses encapsulation to transmit the packets, otherwise known also as MAP, and the experimental track “MAP-T” -- which uses the address family translation in order to send packets, instead of the encapsulation. Read More »

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