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Improving Email at Cisco Part 1 – The IT Technology Side

My personal email has 4 characteristics that drive me crazy:

  • I get way too much email
  • Most of my emails are a waste of time
  • Emails carry the risk of, very rarely, nasty virus payloads (or link you to sites that have worse)
  • Despite all this, I can’t live without email Read More »

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Cisco Partner Summit 2014: Bruce Klein on the Cisco Partner Ecosystem

April 2, 2014 at 7:30 am PST

I can’t believe just one week ago, we were right in the middle of Cisco Partner Summit 2014. What a great event! In case you missed any of the information, be sure to check out the day one, day two and day three recaps from last week.

We have additional coverage of Cisco Partner Summit 2014 coming this week, with more executive interviews and a final recap on Friday, April 4.

Bruce Klein, Senior Vice President, Worldwide Partner Organization took time out for an interview right after wrapping up Cisco Partner Summit last week. He sat down with the Cisco Social Media Team and gave us his thoughts on the event, the Cisco Partner Ecosystem and key partner takeaways.

It is always great to speak with Bruce and I hope you found this interview helpful. We will have more coverage on Cisco Partner Summit tomorrow, so let’s keep the conversation going. As always, let me know how we are doing in the comments section below.

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IWAN Wed: Faster Service Delivery with NFV

As part of our IWAN series I wanted to take a closer look into what trends are impacting the Service Providers. My previous blog talked about how Enterprises can use the CSR 1000V  to migrate to the Cloud. This week I wanted to talk about how Service Providers are using the CSR to deliver services to their customers.

Historically Service Providers deliver services like routing, firewall and VPN to customers by installing multiple hardware products at the customer site. At the customer site the location where the customer and Service Providers network meet is referred to as the customer premise equipment or CPE. The hardware installed at the CPE is often specialized for different network functions, and the architecture and associated management systems are designed by the Service Provider. This approach provides reliable network services to business customers however it can become complex as more network services are added and it is not very flexible when it comes to adding new services. As a result when businesses demand more services or capacity, Service Providers can be slow to respond and will ultimately see an increased time-to-revenue.

Network Function Virtualization (NFV) aims to overcome these challenges by allowing network services to be moved, or instantiated, in various locations in the Service Provider network on demand and without the need for the installation of specialized hardware equipment.  For NFV to work it requires industry vendors like Cisco to virtualize network functions like routers just like we did with the CSR 1000V. We took our IOS XE operating system from the Aggregation Services Router (ASR) 1000 which was already tried and tested in Service Providers networks and turned it into a virtual form factor that can be run on any off-the-shelf x86 server. Cisco has many more products that are in virtualized form factors and the list includes but is not limited to:

•    Virtual Wide Area Application Services (vWAAS)
•    Virtual Wireless LAN Controller (vWLC)
•    Virtual Mobility Service Engine (vMSE)
•    Virtual Security Gateway (VSG)
•    Virtual Network Analysis Module (VNAM)
•    Virtual Identity Services Engine (vISE)
•    Virtual Adaptive Security Appliance (vASA)
•    Nexus 1000v vSwitch (N1Kv)

The primary benefit of NFV is the ability to use the same data center equipment and management tools that Service Providers currently use for their internal networks to host and manage network functions for their customers. The new vCPE has a reduced hardware footprint, simplified infrastructure and requires less customization. Core network functionality shifts to the Service Provider network where the  pooling of resources increases flexibility allowing them to deploy services faster and scale them according to customer demand.

The benefits to of NFV are significant, however the transition will take some time due to the complexity and size of Service Provider networks. Look out for more blog posts around NFV and the vCPE as I explore in more detail the challenges of moving to this new architecture. In the mean time I encourage you to download a new CSR case study about MiroNet AG, a Swiss Cloud and Infrastructure provider that is using the CSR to deliver new differentiated services to its existing customers while simultaneously attracting new customers.

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5 Mistakes to Avoid When Implementing a BYOD Policy

April 2, 2014 at 12:15 am PST

With about 90 percent of Americans owning a cellphone and 58 percent of them having a smartphone, it’s no wonder that BYOD — Bring Your Own Device — is growing in popularity in the workplace. Not only do businesses benefit by saving money, but employees are able to use their devices to connect to their office’s network from anywhere.

With responsibility comes risk, though. Here are five mistakes to avoid when implementing a BYOD policy.

Not Training Employees Properly

As with any other new program you put in place, you need to provide the proper training so that everyone involved — your employees — are aware of the risks they’ll face. It’s easy to overlook training when implementing a BYOD policy because people are using their own devices, but that’s exactly when mistakes happen, and then the company becomes vulnerable to external (or sometimes internal) threats. Make sure to educate your employees on what they can and can’t do on your wireless network, and make them sign paperwork so that they’re held accountable.

Not Including a Device Wipe Policy

When you allow employees to connect to your network and hold sensitive information on their devices, it’s important that you have safeguards in place just in case they lose their phones or it gets stolen. One of these safeguards includes being able to erase all the company data on the phone in an instant. Remember to make sure your employees are aware that you’re able to perform this operation so they can back up the data they want to save. Be sure to have them sign a waiver so they don’t have legal recourse in the event their phone is lost or stolen.

Not Taking Into Account That Some Apps Aren’t Safe

When training your employees, it’s important to highlight the importance of carefully considering which apps they can download and which ones they should stay away from. It’s best to simply think that most apps available for download online will steal your sensitive data if you download them. Make sure your company restricts access to any apps that are known to cause problems. Although you want to trust your employees with BYOD, you must monitor their activity so you can institute safeguards to protect them and, more importantly, your company.

Not Creating a Set of Standards for Employees to Abide By

The point of implementing a BYOD policy is to save the company money while providing flexibility to employees. With that said, BYOD can easily offer too much freedom and liberties that employees simply can’t handle without a bit of control. When introducing a new BYOD policy, make sure that you create a set of standards for employees to abide by. These standards should be followed by the person who owns the data, the person who owns the device, and the person who owns the software. Make sure to strictly enforce these standards and have employees sign a document acknowledging them.

Not Reviewing the Company’s Network Issues

No matter whether employees are using smartphones or Samsung tablets, it’s likely they’ll run into an issue when using the company’s wireless network. These issues can range from malware and viruses to loss of security and support issues. It’s important for companies to invest in a support system — no matter the cost or the inconvenience — that’ll help employees overcome these common obstacles. By investing in this support system, reviewing network issues, and taking care of them, you’ll ensure that your company’s applications and sensitive data stay protected at all times.

It’s predicted that 70 percent of mobile professionals will be conducting their business on their own smartphones by 2018. Fifty-one percent of those people will be connected to unsecured networks on their smartphones. With so much risk and reward of BYOD, it’s important companies take every measure possible to safeguard themselves.

Are you working at a company that has a BYOD policy? How effective has it been thus far?

Cisco Nexus 9516 wins best of Interop award

The Best of Interop Awards for 2014 were announced today at 5.30 PM, at the Interop Theater. Cisco Nexus 9516 switch won the Best of Interop award in the Data Center category. Check out for details

Cisco Nexus 9516 is winner in Data Center category

Cisco Nexus 9516 is winner in Data Center category

To learn more about this unique product, you can refer to the following posts.

Best of Interop Finalist 2014 – Meet Cisco Nexus 9516 the new big, bad boy of Nexus 9000 Family

Best of Interop Awards: Cisco APIC and Nexus 9516 Switch Selected as Finalists

I want to extend my congratulations to the entire team at Insieme Network Systems Business Unit and recognize their hard work in developing this award winning switch.

Cisco appreciates the recognition from the Interop judges and it’s a great complement to the recognition the Nexus 9000 is getting from its customers.  Six Nexus 9000 customers deploying Nexus 9000 in their cloud and datacenter environments will be speaking at our live webcast

New Applications Are Knocking: Is your Data Center OPEN for Business?

On April 2 at 1:00PM PDT/ 4:00PM EDT to hear Cisco’s Soni Jiandani, SVP Marketing and Rebecca Jacoby, CIO along with leading technology executives from partner companies.  We will also discuss today’s major technology announcement on OpFlex so join us! Register Here

Press Release

Cisco and Industry Leaders Will Deliver Open, Multi-Vendor, Standards-Based Networks for Application Centric Infrastructure with OpFlex Protocol






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