Melrose wanted to maintain an active, innovative network that was efficient and made sense from a financial standpoint. The city chose the Cisco Unified Computing System (UCS) with FlexPod as the underlying technology to provide IT services to 18 sites within the city, including a variety of agencies such as the public school system and the police and fire departments.
The Melrose school district, for example, has about 1,300 computers spread across seven buildings, which requires a lot of networking infrastructure and the capability to meet many, diverse demands. The school system in Melrose is a particular source of pride for the city. In fact, Melrose High School was recently ranked among the 1,000 best public high schools in the nation by Newsweek. Thus, it was important for the city to meet expectations and future demand with technology that would help continue the tradition of educational excellence.
The Software Defined Networking (SDN) market evolution is having a major effect on networking job roles. New careers in IT are being built, focusing more on complex services and architectures rather than systems.
A recent survey by Cisco found that 71 percent of IT professionals intend on using SDN technology this year for a number of reasons, ranging from creating more programmable networks to simply reducing costs.
With these shifts in mind, new talent needs arise for IT professionals to accommodate evolving industry job roles.
Through the years, market transitions and technology disruptions have introduced IT knowledge gaps. Knowledge of networking fundamentals is no longer enough. Now, network professionals must understand networking systems with integrated security, wireless and voice capabilities. Cisco is leading the charge to provide direction and proper learning paths and resources to help address these challenges.
Listening to our community, we’ve determined new skills and job roles require a deeper understanding of deployments and troubleshooting of SDN architectures, as well as familiarity with SDN specific troubleshooting tools.
Just as we have been all along, Learning@Cisco is investing heavily in creating education and certifications programs to help our community evolve skills in order to continue to be the driving force of innovation in networking.
Watch below as I discuss Learning@Cisco’s efforts around SDN further.
Open and broadly inclusive, the GENI research project is designing an updated replacement for the current Internet. A new frontier would include faster data speeds, new approaches to network security, and a wide range of new features and functionality. And because it’s open, this virtual laboratory offers opportunities for researchers to test new network strategies at scale, without disrupting Internet traffic. By taking “virtual slices” (entire virtual networks running on the same physical infrastructure), many different versions of a new Internet can operate in parallel.
So how are engineers playing in this digital sandbox?
Colleges and universities continually innovate to address the changing demands on them -- increased demand by millenials for virtual offerings, pressure to keep costs down, and the changing needs of the community for a skilled workforce. These demands combined with ongoing resource constraints -- limited budgets, classroom space and faculty resources -- consistently drive the need for new delivery methods. We have seen many universities expand offerings and reach with distance learning, online learning and most recently MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses). The most successful programs have proven to be hybrid offerings, where students receive face-to-face instruction or guidance in addition to their independent study.
This six-part series focuses on transformation of the traditional higher education system in the United States. Read parts 1 through 4 on the Cisco Education blog.
At Cisco we are seeing outstanding examples of change, some of which have been highlighted throughout this blog series. Others, unfortunately, are one-time interventions, and tend to be unsustainable. We’ve seen a number of video implementations, for example, that have gone nowhere because they were not part of a larger strategy or plan, and training and culture were never addressed. Across the country, outdated, disconnected video equipment lays scattered in classrooms, lecture halls, and IT departments. How can we ensure that these improvements can intrinsically change our higher education system in the United States, and across the globe? We strongly believe that technology can help in this area as well.
Scale can take place within a university and across university systems, especially when video technologies such as Cisco TelePresence are employed. This videoconferencing solution is easier to use, higher quality, and provides an immersive experience that rivals the one found in the classroom.
Paradise Valley Unified School District in Phoenix, Arizona is partnering with National Lambda Rail, a National Research and Education Network, to connect with universities and other higher education institutions to deliver joint classes. With just one teacher and Cisco TelePresence, PVUSD is now providing instruction to students at multiple schools simultaneously.
Duke University is using Cisco TelePresence to create a virtual lecture hall, and expand the reach of its MBA program beyond the shores of the U.S., thereby increasing access and generating new revenue streams. Now, their business school students can access professors, guest lecturers and business leaders from around the world. In this way, Duke is extending the in-person classroom environment across multiple campuses and into the business world.
Finally, Cisco recently announced WebEx Social, a new, enterprise collaboration platform that combines the power of social networking, content creation, and real-time communications and collaboration. We believe that WebEx Social has the power to drive the sustainable change required by higher education systems across the globe.
Along with Cisco TelePresence, Duke University uses WebEx Social to provide faculty, staff, and students with a single, unified platform to access learning management systems, student information systems, and other applications for academics, extracurricular activities, and career information. WebEx Social is also coupled with tools for voice and video collaboration within the same platform. As a result, the traditional experience is evolving into dynamic, group-based learning that is often taking place outside of the traditional classroom setting.
Our vision is that WebEx Social will be used by higher education systems worldwide to connect and collaborate, and share best practices, course content, resources and more, helping drive the scale required to transform the entire system. We believe that this tool is an agent for change, and will revolutionize the way in which higher education institutions deliver the business of education.