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Cloud for Local Government Global Blog Series, Cloud and the Smart City: A Brighter Tomorrow

In my last blog, I discussed the benefits of Smart City cloud management capabilities. An intelligent IP-enabled network unites multiple services onto one infrastructure, allowing for tight operations management and lower expenses. Operating this network remotely, through the cloud, further enhances the capability for sustainable, effective city management.

As Smart City visions emerge in various projects in local government, we will see a combination of new ways of thinking, designing, planning, executing, and managing. Busan, South Korea has already discovered the powerful benefits of cloud infrastructure to create Smart+Connected Communities solutions. The government partnered with companies to create a Mobile Application Center to utilize city assets and the connected network. (You can also watch a video series, “Cities of the Future,” on Songdo, South Korea and how this new connected Smart City was designed, planned, and built.)

There are some important steps that other cities and governments can take to harness the power of the cloud to become more connected, efficient, and sustainable. A process on how to answer the Smart City call to action is further outlined in Cisco’s POV paper, “Smart City Framework,” and video.

1.     Use one intelligent, multiservice IP network.

This is the overarching mantra of a Smart City—connect systems and services to improve city livability. While it can seem daunting, it’s important to remember the long-term benefits of a connected city, especially using cloud management. Some of the most promising Smart City projects have shown that it’s possible to use the network to achieve some major goals of state and local government, including efficient city management and economic, social, and environmental sustainability.

Savvy government leaders are recognizing the untapped power of the network and incorporating its potential into the early stages of planning and development. Many cities have experimented with including information and communications technology (ICT) solutions through small-scale “proof of concept” projects. Since budgets are so limited, it can be difficult to adopt a purely centralized approach, which means trying new techniques and learning from the enterprise sector.

2.     Build a foundation for public-private partnerships.

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Cisco Continues Mobile Innovation with Updated WebEx Meetings for Android App

We are proud to announce Cisco WebEx Meetings for Android version 3.0, available today in the Google Play store. Web conferencing is one of the leading applications being used on mobile devices.  With over four million mobile downloads, WebEx is the leader in mobile conferencing.  Supporting iPhones and iPads, Android smartphones and tablets and the new BlackBerry 10, WebEx has broad device support with the strongest feature set.  Our WebEx app allows users to start, join and schedule, and host WebEx meetings.  In the meeting, users can quickly connect audio, chat with participants and see shared content in both portrait and landscape orientation.  We continue to invest in and introduce new functionality for WebEx Meetings on mobile platforms and our user base continues to grow.  On Android alone we have seen a 248 percent year-over-year growth.

 

Cisco WebEx Meetings for Android

WebEx Meetings for Android

IDC estimates that by 2015 the number of mobile workers will reach  Read More »

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A Delicious Experience: Connecting Kids in Rural Ghana with Kids at Hershey’s via Telepresence

I am often asked what it takes to create a successful telepresence experience. Usually, I respond with requirements like: a high-speed network, great lighting, good acoustic space and the right equipment. However, after a trip I took late last year, I’m going to add “stable power” to the list, and here’s why.

In late 2011, my customer The Hershey Company – you may have heard of them – invited me to be involved with a new project they were kicking off with the goal to enrich the education of underprivileged youth in both the U.S. and Ghana. Hershey wanted to create a common, virtual classroom so 80 elementary students could learn together based on a curriculum developed by teachers in both Hershey, Pennsylvania, and Ghana. The obstacle they faced was how to connect the students, which ultimately led to my visit to Ghana.

Throughout the summer of 2012, I worked with the Hershey Telepresence support team to equip a space at the Milton S. Hershey Foundation headquarters with a C90 codec, two Precision HD cameras, an AudioScience Microphone array, a document camera and some displays. The plan was to duplicate this setup at the Assin Fosu school in Ghana. The ever-revealing reality of a “less than ideal” environment for telepresence required scaling back the Ghana design to an SX20 codec, one display, two microphones and a document camera. The endpoints at both locations were then registered to a VCS Expressway to enable firewall traversal and easy connections across the public Internet.

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Latest Oracle Java Patches and Security Best Practices

Java exploits account for 87% of total web exploits - Cisco 2013 Annual Security Report

This month’s release of the Oracle Java SE Critical Patch Update includes patches for 42 vulnerabilities. Vulnerabilities in the Oracle Java SE Java Runtime Environment (JRE) component have received widespread attention as of late because of the potential for an attacker to bypass security restrictions, access sensitive information, execute arbitrary code, or cause a denial of service condition. To make matters worse, Java vulnerabilities are often harnessed by exploit packs with tremendous success.

Many in the industry, as well as Cisco analysts, advise against having Java installed unless absolutely necessary. And if you must have Java installed, they advise using only the Java plug-in and Java Web Start provided with the latest JDK or JRE 7 release. But is there more to it than that?  Read More »

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Evolution of Virtualized Routing

Hello, and welcome to my blog. As a new member of the Enterprise Networking’s Solutions Marketing team, I’ll be writing about connectivity to the cloud, Software Defined Networking (SDN) and virtualized routing. You can expect to learn details around Cisco’s architecture and product offerings in these topics. Further, based on your comments, I can go into as much detail as necessary.

First, a brief background. I moved to the Bay Area last November from Boston after almost 20 years in New England (in Boston), so I will be musing about culture shocks between the two coasts. I may also learn to like the Warriors and Niners, but I will always be a Celtics and Patriots fan. Read More »

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