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Powerful API’s Unlock Location-based Services

We’ve all been there, seen it, and even done it ourselves. We’re talking or texting on our phones while walking around the isles of our favorite store. Half the time people are in a venue they’re more fixated on what’s happening on their phone than what’s around them. What about those brick and mortars around us? How can they get our attention when our noses are in our devices?

The way people use their devices may never change, but the way in which businesses interact with their mobile phone loving customers can. Cisco’s Customer Mobile Experiences (CMX) solution provides businesses with the technology to leverage the mobile trend to their advantage by serving smartphone carrying visitors, guests, passengers, shoppers and students location-based services to get their attention.

Among these tools is a valuable set of API that can unlock location-based services, such as indoor navigation and push notifications to create a more personalized mobile experience.   Read More »

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Cisco Announces Intent to Acquire Memoir Systems

Today, I am pleased to announce Cisco’s intent to acquire privately held Memoir Systems, a company that develops semiconductor memory intellectual property (IP) and tools that enable ASIC vendors to build programmable network switches with increasing speeds. This acquisition will enable the proliferation of affordable, fast memory for existing Cisco switch ASICs and will help advance Cisco’s ASIC innovations necessary to meet next-generation IT requirements.

Currently in the data center switching market, denser infrastructure and data-intensive workloads are driving demand for higher port density (feeds) and greater bitrates (speeds). At the same time, the accelerating growth of scale-out (non-virtualized) Big Data applications like Hadoop are driving increasing East-West data traffic – furthering the need for greater data center network density. Unfortunately, the physical memory in typical ASIC switch chips cannot cope with the design requirements for these more intense needs and as a result, can become the bottleneck that limits the density and performance of future data center switches.

To help solve the ASIC memory issue, Memoir currently licenses soft-logic IP, which speeds up memory access by up to 10 times. It also reduces the overall footprint this memory takes up in typical switch ASICs.  As a result, this technology allows the development of switch and router ASICs with speeds, feeds, and costs typically not possible with traditional physical memory design techniques. This differentiation is critically important as port densities and port speeds move from 10G to 40/100G.

The acquisition of Memoir Systems is expected to close in the first quarter of Cisco’s fiscal year 2015. The Memoir team will report into Cisco’s Insieme Business Unit, under Senior Vice President, Mario Mazzola.

I look forward to seeing Memoir’s technology used across Cisco’s future ASIC projects. Memoir’s technology and strong team will allow Cisco to continue to innovate at the chip level and advance our ASIC and overall networking strategies.

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Why a Next-Generation Firewall Must Be Threat-Centric

In an earlier blog, we discussed the importance of a visibility-driven approach to Next-Generation Firewalls (NGFWs) and the need for capabilities that offer full visibility and contextual awareness into everything on networks since we know you can’t protect what you can’t see.

In addition to offering an unprecedented network visibility foundation, a NGFW must also be threat-centric to stop advanced, multi-vector threats, both known and unknown.

This means offering integrated threat defense for better control to combat these attacks across the attack continuum—before, during, and after an attack.

In complex environments, delivering integrated threat defense means ensuring that best-in-class capabilities, such as third-party tested and market-leading Intrusion Prevention Systems (IPS), Advanced Malware Protection (AMP), and URL filtering work together to protect against threats coming from multiple vectors.

Other NGFWs have not offered best-in-class network security capabilities in their devices, but rather, rudimentary versions of them. In addition, these solutions are poorly integrated and cannot share intelligence between security layers, making advanced threat detection and remediation difficult, if not impossible. Read More »

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Cisco’s Visual Networking Index: Understanding the Evolution of Internet Users, Devices and Connections

Today’s networks are an essential part of business, education, government, and home communications. Many residential, business, and mobile Internet Protocol (IP) networking trends are being driven largely by the combination of video, social networking, and advanced collaboration applications, termed “visual networking.”  In fact, total Internet traffic has experienced dramatic growth in the past decade alone. Take a look at this interactive infographic from Cisco that shows key trends and forecasts the growth of global IP traffic from 2013 to 2018. You can choose a category and filter the geographic regions in the map to view the impact of global IP traffic. According to Cisco’s Visual Networking Index (VNI), globally, there will be 20.6 billion networked devices by 2018, up from 12.4 billion in 2013. VNI is part of Cisco’s ongoing effort to forecast and analyze the growth and use of IP networks worldwide. VNI also forecasts that global Internet Protocol (IP) traffic will increase nearly three-fold over the next five years due to more Internet users and devices, faster broadband speeds and increased video viewing. Global IP traffic for fixed and mobile connections is expected to reach an annual run rate of 1.6 zettabytes – more than one and a half trillion gigabytes per year by 2018.

So who and what are responsible for the projected increase in overall internet traffic?

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Fragmented Channels – Integrated Views – The New Virtuous Cycle

Virtuous CycleThe subject of fragmented channels, which is fragmenting audiences, has been written about frequently. Advertisers though, secretly still long for the “glorious” days of focusing on just a few major channels and is one of the reasons why the rare shows that can predictably garner mass audiences (Super Bowl in the US, World Cup Soccer, personality driven radio shows etc.) attract a very high premium.

However, rather than chasing the very few predictable high-audience opportunities, the marketing dollar is much better invested in building up the complete view of your audience by integrating multiple touch points through which they are engaging with your brand. The audience has not disappeared – it is simply spending a smaller slice of time engaged through a particular medium. But brand loyalty is still as real as it ever was in the days of the “MAD MEN“.

And what’s more, the benefit of this integrated view is not simply to drive better marketing and sales leads (which it will), but to also inform corporate strategy – for your stakeholders are talking to you all the time, leaving behind breadcrumbs of valuable information if you are willing to take the effort to piece them together and read them. However, this remains challenging, though progress has been made.



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