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Striking the Right Balance: Innovation v. Equipment Spending

According to industry studies, capital equipment costs account for between 10 and 15% of the annual network budget for most organizations. While operating costs far exceed capital expenses in the budget, it is still very important to get the most from every dollar used to purchase new networking systems. This is especially true as business requirements and technology advancements continue to apply pressure to existing network devices and designs.

Your network must keep pace, but your budget is not unlimited. In essence, you must save without sacrifice. How can you continue to innovate, while reining in equipment spending?

Here are the Five Ways (plus a bonus practice) to control network equipment spending, while ensuring your network fully delivers in support of your organization’s goals.

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Calling all investors: Predict Cisco’s next big business idea

Our I-Prize competition is down to the semifinals! Many of the contestants are global teams who are now collaborating to create their video proposals. We’re using the latest Cisco collaboration tools to make it easy. If you’d like to see how well you can do as an innovation investor, sign on to the I-Prize site where you can invest ‘IP points’ in ideas you think are best. If your idea makes it to the finals, you’ll earn more points. The best investor will win an exciting prize (and bragging rights!)

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The Technology Behind Borderless Networks: From ISR G2 to CleanAir

CleanAir’s Best of Interop 2010 Award evokes the Borderless Networks architecture once again. The concept of Borderless Networks is simple enough when you think about it from the perspective of the user – it’s about the need for access and connectivity anywhere, at any time, on any device. But how can technology practically deliver this vision of the network?

I’m reminded of a quote attributed to one of the greatest innovators of all time — Leonardo DaVinci. He said, “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.” Within the Borderless Networks Architecture, there is indeed much sophisticated technology working to meet this “simple” user ideal.

A series of technology innovations starting with the ISR G2 continuing through CleanAir have contributed to concrete progress towards fulfilling the promise of  Borderless Networks. Let’s take a look back at this series of advancements to better understand where we are today.

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Ding, Ding–that’s the end of round one!

We’ve successfully wrapped up the first round of our second I-Prize competition! Successful semi-finalists are being notified that they’re moving on to the next round, where they’ll be getting Flip cameras and coaching from Cisco’s Emerging Technology Group as they refine their ideas and prepare to present them for a chance to move in to the finals. The I-Prize community can cast their vote to help select the winner!

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Assuring service delivery with NetScout and Cisco

Being in the networking industry for a decade and a half, I’ve seen many problems come and go. The problem of management though, has frequently vexed the best of vendors. Whether it be device, network, or application management, customers appreciate better management tools and processes that can help reduce operational complexity, give them better visibility through proactive monitoring and ultimately make their assets more productive.

The management scenario in the branch office is no different. As the number of branch offices continue to grow, it is vital to ensure a seamless work experience. Data center consolidation and cloud computing are driving the concept of “lean” branch offices. However, as rich-media services and new applications pervade these distributed offices, bringing cost-effective network and application performance visibility can provide service assurance.

Cisco’s premier solution for branch offices is the Integrated Services Router Generation 2 (ISR G2). Recently, we announced the availability of the NetScout nGenius probe on the router, both in the Application Extension Platform (AXP) NME and Services Ready Engine (SRE) form factors.

The virtualized probes of NetScout’s nGenius Integrated Agent on the ISR G2 provide the same functionality as the nGenius hardware probes including packet-flow visibility, key performance indicators and short-term, on-demand packet capture.

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