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#CiscoPublicSafety – Giving Power Back to the People with IoE

August 1, 2014 at 6:10 am PST

If you haven’t read Cisco’s Tae Yoo’s recent post on the Huffington Post ImpactX site, you should. It’s a great look at the power of the Internet of Everything (IoE) to help mankind. Yes, humankind. It’s a powerful statement, but I think it’s true.

With the example of disaster and relief efforts, the post highlights how technology continues to be more accessible every day. When seconds count, such as in the 2010 Haiti earthquake and Superstorm Sandy in 2012, technology is already impacting lives and will continue to get event better.

“Our world and our connections are growing and accelerating at a pace never experienced before. In 1984, there were only 1,000 Internet devices. By 2020, the number is predicted to reach 50 billion. This astounding growth and velocity also brings with it some astounding opportunities that we can use to benefit humanity.”   -- Tae Yoo, Senior Vice President, Corporate Affairs, Cisco

Read the full post, and let us know how you see IoE impacting humankind.

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Cisco ACI Fabric Simplifies and Flattens Data Center Network

On July 18th, Cisco IT turned on the first deployment of Application Centric Infrastructure (ACI) fabric at its engineering data center in San Jose. By using ACI fabric to simplify and flatten the data center network, we can reduce network operating costs as much as 55 percent and incident management roughly 20 percent. Take a peek at the ACI fabric inside our engineering data center:  Read More »

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Behind the Network @ Mobile World Congress: Site Surveys

In my last blog I discussed setting the stage in preparation for the Wi-Fi network for Mobile World Congress 2014 which supported more than 80k devices over a span of 4 days. Today I’ll talk about one of the many site surveys we conducted at the Fira Gran Via to ensure the success of our high density network.  Full details in the white paper here.

High Density Wi-Fi deployments and site surveys go hand in hand. Pre-installation and post-installation site surveys account for the most effective way to identify the contours of your RF coverage and eliminate potential multipath distortions, hidden nodes, and other coverage issues. Special attention was given to the large keynote auditorium halls in order to keep a check on the additional RF coverage needs to accommodate the high density of users packed in a very close range.

sitesurvey1

View of inside the Hall-4 Keynote Auditorium (23000 sq ft) before the Facebook keynote session

sitesurvey2

Site Survey analysis used to measure the RF coverage in Hall-4 keynote auditorium

The Hall-4 auditorium was one example of such a high density area with the 2000 person capacity area had a peak connection of 1924 concurrently connected Wi-Fi devices distributed across 16 Cisco APs while the Facebook keynote was in progress, with a max load of 530 Mbps of internet traffic. To avoid an RF overlap, the ceiling mounted APs above the auditoriums were converted to monitor mode. Using the final pre-keynote site survey data, the RF profile for the Hall-4 auditorium was tweaked, and RRM automatically optimized the coverage to the desired degree by adjusting the Tx power levels. Read More »

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How Internet of Things Is Transforming Public Safety

How Internet of Things Is Transforming Public Safety

Use Case 1: BYOD for Police Officers

The Internet of Things refers to connecting currently unconnected people and things, and it’s transforming public safety. This blog explains how police officers can securely use commercial smartphones and tablets in the field. Future blogs will describe other ways to use the Internet of Things to improve communications, collaboration, and operations.

Police officers are clamoring to use their iPhones, iPads, and Android devices for work. For law-enforcement agencies, allowing bring-your-own-device (BYOD) is appealing because it can save money, and mobile apps for law enforcement improve situational awareness.Public Safety using Land Mobile Radio

Until now, two things have stopped police departments from allowing BYOD. One is governance. To use smartphones and tablets for incident response, departments need a way to enforce standard operating procedures. Lacking this, the NYPD recently had to remind officers to use radios instead of smartphones for official communications. Here’s the article in the New York Post.

The other block to BYOD is that smartphones and tablets haven’t been able to connect to conventional land-mobile radio (LMR) networks. It’s a safe bet that LMR networks will be around for a long time because of their reliability.

Making BYOD Work for Law Enforcement

The good news is that with the right technology, officers can securely use iOS and Android mobile devices on the job. And departments don’t have to change their existing dispatch operations or their LMR networks to make BYOD work. The solution has four pieces:

Dan O'Malley and Rick the Radio Guy

How the Internet of Things is Transforming Public Safety can support BYOD with the new release of Cisco IPICS 4.8 and Cisco Instant Connect

 

  • A secure, available broadband network that can be used for public safety. Thanks to the new 3GPP standards, commercial service providers can give priority to public safety traffic. This is crucial during disasters, when networks tend to be congested. New Zealand Police, for instance, uses Vodafone’s public 4G/LTE network, and Vodafone can give priority to police traffic.   U.S. public safety agencies will soon be able to use the FirstNet network. The Quantum Virtualized Packet Core is a software application that routes data over LTE networks.  The Cisco Quantum™ Virtualized Packet Core (QvPC) is one of the industry’s first commercial virtualized evolved packet cores, the new Cisco Quantum Virtualized Packet Core (vPC ) solution redefines the paradigm of agility for service providers.  A brief overview about how QoS over LTE can be provided using 3GPP standards can be found at the post on Quality of Service in LTE networks.
  • Secure, reliable VoIP. With Cisco IP Interoperability and Collaboration System (IPICS), officers can join talk groups using any device: Department-issued radios. iPhones, iPads, and Android devices with either a cellular or Wi-Fi connection. IP phones. Laptops or PCs. Even traditional phones. The Cisco IPICS Mobile Client, called Cisco Instant Connect, makes a smartphone work just like a PTT radio.
  • Secure mobile apps for law enforcement. Many are available. For examples, see iPhone apps available from the PoliceOne website, including a guide to recovered firearms and Spanish for police. New Zealand Police uses Intergraph Mobile Responder to extend computer-aided dispatch to smartphones. Mobile mapping applications help to create a common operating picture. To secure the connection and the device, Cisco provides solutions such as AnyConnect, Cisco Identity Services Engine, and Cisco Mobility Services Engine.
  • Flexibility to communicate with new kinds of devices and media in the future. The newest Cisco IPICS software, version 4.8, includes a Software Development Kit (SDK). Public safety agencies and systems integrators can use the SDK to embed Cisco PTT communications into mobile apps. A mobile app that maps the locations of first responders, for example, could have a button to start a PTT session.

    Cisco Instant Connect enabling secure mobile communication for BYOD

    Cisco Instant Connect enabling secure mobile communication for BYOD

More Flexible Communications Doesn’t Need to Cost More

The Internet of Everything approach can actually cost less than a straight radio network. One reason is that commercial, off-the-shelf (COTS) mobile devices can provide many of the same capabilities as more expensive digital radios. Support costs can also decrease because Cisco provides end-to-end support for Internet of Things solutions built from products from Cisco and our ecosystem partners.

In summary, with the right governance, BYOD can be a boon for public safety, improving situational awareness and relieving budgets. To securely allow mobile devices, you need the right broadband network, Cisco IPICS, and well-selected mobile apps.

To learn more please visit, Cisco Internet of Things,  and  www.cisco.com/go/ipics.

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Cisco MDS for Small to Cloud-Scale Data Centers

Superior Platforms, Scale, and Operational Simplicity

 Data Center trends like  Virtualization, Solid State Drives, DC consolidation and Data Explosion are putting a tremendous amount of strain on the infrastructure. These challenges need targeted and multifaceted approach. It has to be holistic solution to the problems rather than point products for each unique problem. Data Centers require improvements in performance, flexibility, scalability, and reliability and ease of management. To address that Cisco revamped the MDS product line, the journey we started last year when we introduced 9710 and 9250i.

9710 – Director Class Switch with 3x the performance of any director, 384 ports of line rate 16G FC, highest reliability and flexibility.

9250i – Services Appliance supporting 10G FCIP, 16G FC and 10G FCoE in addition to IO Acceleration, Data Mobility Migration in compact 2 RU form factor.

We had a great success with the product line with steepest ramp and amazing customer feedback. Building on the success we have added new members to the product family and extended the innovation to allow for simpler management and scalable deployments.

Portfolio

 

a) Three New Products

  1. MDS 9148S – Industries’  most versatile affordable 1RU switch with High-Performance, Easy of Deployment,  Enterprise-class features
  2. MDS 9706 -- Unprecedented investment protection with high performance, reliability and multi-protocol flexibility
  3. High Density line rate 10G FCoE Card -- For customers to adopt high density FCoE in incremental non-disruptive fashion on the existing FC footprint without forklift upgrades.

b)     New Scalable Deployment Options

  1. Much Higher Scalability for SAN Infrastructures.
  2. Dynamic FCoE over Fabric Path
  3. Data migration enhancements for speed, scale and resiliency

c)     New Management Features to automate and provide better end-to-end visibility

  1. Hardware based FC Congestion Detection and Recovery
  2. Integration with Industry leading Platforms
  3. End to End Visibility
  4. Switch Health Score

With the addition of new members Cisco not only has best of the breed products but also broadest product portfolio. This allows customers to design the SAN precisely to their needs from small departmental SANs to the largest enterprises, from traditional LAN, SAN networks to fully converged fabric and everything in between.

Product Portfolio

Attend the Webinar on August 12th 8:00 PST to learn more :  Register Now

 

Lets look at the capabilities of each product in little more detail

  Cisco MDS 9148S: High-Performance, Easy to Deploy, Enterprise-class Fabric Switch

Cisco MDS 9148S Fixed Fabric Switch

Versatile: 9148S pay as you grow model allows customers to start from small base and grow . It allows customers to grow from 12 Ports to 24, 36 and finally 48 without any rip and replace. It allows customers to go from 2/4/8G to 16G FC speeds. It is not only the most affordable switch shipping today across all the possible configurations but with 2x the range of ports it allows unparalleled scalability for future growth.

Ease of use: Power On Auto provisioning which allows   9148 and 9148S to automate switch setup. From getting DHCP, to downloading and applying the software to the final configuration is done automatically. Quick configuration wizard allows the box to be configured in an easy way. It shares the same NxOS as rest of the MDS and Nexus products. Power on Auto Provisioning (POAP) is important for large scale data centers where 9148S will be used as Top of the Rack (ToR) switch and distributed throughout the data center. This saves customer to go from box to box with the serial cable and program them individually. It allows for  rapid, error free and consistent provisioning.

9148S ToR Architecture

MDS 9148 Pay As You Grow

Enterprise Class switch: It offers the rich Enterprise features like non-disruptive software upgrade,32 Virtual SANs (VSANs), Inter-VSAN Routing (IVR), QOS, PortChannels, N-Port ID Virtualization (NPIV), N-Port Virtualization (NPV), Comprehensive Security in addition to redundant power supplies and fans. Its first of the kind switch in the industry to allow hardware based slow drain detection and recovery. It has back to front airflow.

Customer Use Case: Customer will use the 9148S to design small SAN environments like  departmental SANs.  Larger Enterprises will use 9148S as ToR Switch for ease of cabling and ease of Management. In addition to that 9148S will be used for BC/DR or remote locations. Pay as you go model is very attractive to customers as it allows them to grow the port count from 12 to 48 without any price penalty as their network demands grow.

 Cisco MDS 9706: Extending MDS 9710 Director Qualities to a Smaller Form Factor

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It is the highest performance director in the industry. It provides 3X the bandwidth compared to any compact director in the industry. Not only it provide 192 ports line rate performance at 16G but it is designed to provide line rate performance at 32G FC and 40G FCoE when those line cards are introduced without the forklift upgrades using the same type of fabric cards. With 6 fabric cards it provides 1.5Tbps of bandwidth per slot.

In addition to that this is industries first class of directors to offer Redundancy on all critical components including fabric cards. Smaller failure domain, Forward error correction, multi-point CRC checks, predictable and consistent performance for both latency and throughput.

Small to medium enterprises will use 9706 as Middle of the row and end of row switch in addition line rate 16G performance allows it to be used for connectivity to targets in addition to host connectivity. It will be used for both edge core and edge-core-edge designs.

In addition to the pod like deployments where 9RU form factor and 192 ports of line rate at 16G is very attractive.

Some of the specs of the switch are enumerated below

 

  • 1.5 Tbps per slot switching capability

 192 ports of 16G FC line rate today with 100% head room to grow to 32G FC) without forklift upgrade

  • Industries Highest ReliabilityMDS 9706 Details

N+1 Fabric redundancy, smaller failure domains, Forward Error Correction, CRC error checks at multiple points, In service software upgrades,  Crossbar design with central arbitration and Virtual Output Queuing ensure customers not only get highest availability but also predictable and consistent throughput independent of the traffic profile.

  • Unmatched Flexibility

With ability to support both FC and FCoE line cards. With capability to support 2/4/8/10/16G FC and 10G FCoE today and performance to support 32G FC and 40G FCoE on the same footprint.

Industry’s Highest-Density FCoE Module on a FC Director

With 48 ports this has the highest port density and greatest flexibility in the industry. Without any restrictions Cisco customers can now orchestrate FC, FCoE and mixed solutions. FCoE line card afford customers ability to design FC solutions and incrementally deploy FCoE without forklift upgrades and meeting the same features, reliability and availability as afforded by FC.

FCoE Line Card

In addition to hardware we added extensive capabilities to enable small size to cloud scale deployments.

Scalability Enhancements

To support large scale out and scale up deployment models we have increased the scalability limits for the SAN infrastructure. The industry leading scalability numbers allow Cisco customer’s unprecedented future proofing and scalability to Scale out or Scale-up. Finally the Data Mobility Migration has 2x the speed and 8x the scale and higher resiliency.

Simplifying SAN Management

In addition to enhanced capabilities in Cisco tools MDS family is integrated with industry standard tools to provide faster configurations like automated zoning. Some of the examples of the tools are

To address complexity in the data-centers Cisco is focused on SAN Management simplification. First and foremost that is top of mind for customers is slow drain. If there are slow draining devices in the network it chokes the entire fabric. These conditions are transient, extremely difficult to isolate, debug and fix. To detect and recover for these conditions Cisco introduced Slow Drain Detection and Recovery in software in previous generation of devices. Now with the new products we have provided the support for these devices to run the slow drain detection and recovery in the hardware rather than waiting for software to come around polling individual ports every 100 ms which is a life time in the data center. As the table below shows with hardware based slow drain the detection speed has increased 100 times and recovery is of the order of nano seconds rather than 100ms.

 

Platforms Detection Granularity Recovery Action Latency – Start   and Stop
Software-based MDS 9500MDS 9148 100ms 100ms
Hardware-based   NEW! MDS 9700,   MDS   9250i, MDS 9148S 1ms Immediate   (ns)

 

For more info read this whitepaper

 End to End Visibility

In addition to that Data Center Network Manager provides end to end visibility from hosts (virtual or Physical) through switches (MDS or Nexus) into the storage arrays independent of the protocol. DCNM is single pane of glass visibility into the Data Center for both SAN and LAN.

HPRA

Host Path Redundancy Analysis checks the network every 24 hours or customer designated interval if there is end to end dual paths from Host to the target. It checks against port down situations, VSAN mismatches, VSAN Segmentation, LUN mismatches as well as makes sure both the ports are not on the same line cards. Similar activity that used to take months is now down on the fly every 24 hours reducing risk and time to repair. Further more administrators are not surprised by an outage as they have complete visibility for the dual paths.

Switch health score is another unique capability of DCNM (Data Center Network Manager previously called Fabric Manager) to track switch health over time. It allows customer to quickly determine level of risk, isolate and fix the alerts resulting in low health score and track the health of the SAN over time.

 

Health Score

 As I started the discussion today Data Centers need a holistic approach to solving the challenges of the data center. Customers not only need higher performance, investment protection, lower opex and capex, reliability but also ease of management and tightly integrated end to end solution. The solutions and capabilities I described allows us to solve the challenges faced by data centers not only today for the years to come. We introduced MDS products in 2002 and since then we have introduced industries first innovation, just few examples out of that are enumerated below. We will continue to innovate in this space for the next decade.

 

Continued Innovation

 

Prashant Jain

Sr. Product Manager, DCBU

“The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago. The second best time is now”