My wife had the opportunity to be a volunteer at the recent 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympic Games. She was one of those ubiquitous “blue-jackets” who blanketed the city, helping people with transport, ticketing, crowd control and whatever else was needed. (Locally, we referred to them as the Smurfs). It meant a lot of early mornings, late evenings and weekends for her, but it was a terrific chance to be a small part of a big event.
As luck would have it, during the same time, I was working on the lead-up to our recent Cisco Borderless Access event. Which meant – you guessed it – a lot of early mornings, late evenings and weekends, as we tried to make this a truly global launch. For a period of a couple of months, our primary mode of communication was notes on the kitchen table and text messages to each other’s phones.
Yesterday, we announced the next step forward in Cisco’s Borderless Networks architecture. There are a lot of new products and technologies that fit into the launch. This post can serve as your at-a-glance summary for understanding all the various new components from Cisco and how they can impact your network. Within the network infrastructure, we gave a significant boost to Catalyst switches, ISRs, and ASRs. New innovative systems and services bolster video performance, network integrity, cost of ownership, device lifecycles, and business readiness. Cisco EnergyWise continues to expand its influence over energy consumption and costs. New secure access technologies form the basis of Cisco’s Borderless Security Architecture. The goal is to deliver the promise of “Borderless Access” while keeping the network secure at the same time.
Technically, it’s not even a city. It is a town. Possibly one of the newest zip codes in America. Not surprisingly, it is also one of the hardest hit by the mortgage crisis. Let it be unnamed given that I’m using it for illustrative purposes. How does a town like this survive, or even thrive, given budget cuts, foreclosures and property tax defaults?
Cost cutting is an obvious answer. Some administrative staff were let go. Vendor contracts were re-negotiated. Additional government funding was solicited where possible. Mostly common-sense stuff.
There was also some stuff that was uncommon. Somebody did an analysis and came up with some a “bright” idea. They figured that if the street lights on the non-arterial roads could be turned into blinking red lights instead of red, yellow and green, they could actually save a lot of energy and thereby the cost.
Needless to say, after the initial confusion (when most people initially thought the lights were non-functional, and then came to the realization that it was a deliberate act from the town administration), there was a lot of hue and cry. “What? Blinking red lights all the time? No green or yellow? What about safety? What about those who don’t stop. Off with their heads!”
Our expectations for how we can use technology to connect people and organizations have changed drastically, even in the past few years. We want to live in a world without the borders that have traditionally hampered our ability to innovate, collaborate and deliver services. Cisco’s Borderless Networks architecture is paving the way for this vision in a number of concrete steps that began with the launch of the ISR G2 in October 2009. The ultimate goal is for the network to render tasks, which previously required a great deal of time and resources, painless and effortless. Imagine if the network could carry the burden of global connectivity for you…with the click of a button.
For example, what if you wanted to send critical, rich data and applications to remote locations around the world instantaneously?