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Networking in 2010 and Beyond — 3 Mega-Trends

Every year, global research firm IDC issues a new set of predictions that drive their view of technology advancements and adoption – not just over the coming year, but also their five-year forecast horizon. I recently attended IDC’s virtual conference focused on their outlook for networking. While IDC’s research is the place to go to view their specific predictions and forecasts, I thought I would offer my own thoughts on some of the mega-trends I see not only behind IDC’s predictions for enterprise networks in general, but also Cisco’s own Borderless Networks initiative.

So what are these mega-trends driving the future of networking?

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How Internet standards are born: Part 2

Continuing from where I left off in my conversation with Eliot Lear, I recently talked with Fred Baker, another Cisco standards expert, about the ins and outs of network standards development. Fred has been in the networking industry for over 30 years, and has held numerous positions within the IETF, one of the major Internet standards bodies. He chaired the organization from 1996-2001 and currently chairs the working group on IPv6 operations. Here, Fred answers my questions and gives us a sneak peek into how standards critical to the Internet and network technology are made.

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The Top 3 Security Challenges to Borderless Networks in 2010

At Cisco, we’ve talked a lot of late about business trends that are creating the need for “Borderless Networks.” Businesses have increasingly mobile and global workforces that need to be able to connect anywhere, at any time, from any device. But these same business trends and the technological innovations working in tandem to support them introduce a dilemma. How do we build seamless networks that are also secure to address new opportunities?

In 2010 and beyond, there are three major on-going developments in both workforce behavior and technology that will present challenges to the security of the network:

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Got a Network Outage? Blame it on Santa!

Ah…the beginning of a New Year. Better yet – a new decade! The resolutions, the inspired ideas and of course all the holiday weight to lose. It was a good break. Like last year, Cisco had an enforced shutdown with the majority of company going on “vacation”. It was good not to come back to an e-mail backlog. The clock had indeed stopped.

It has been 10 days into the New Year already, and it already feels like a Loong time. The year seems to have begun on a positive note though. Retails sales were up in the holidays. Job losses, while still high, seem to be declining. Many companies have started hiring. Emerging markets are buoyant. The Burj Khalifa helped reach new heights. And boy, did the box offices rock to Avatar grossing Na’vigating themselves to movie history. Earthquakes (including a recent one that shook our San Jose office last week), realty, and attempted terrorist attacks have certainly put a damper on things, but there is something in the air this time around that was completely missing last year – Optimism!

From a theme of “Innovate to survive”, the mood has shifted to a theme of “Innovate to thrive”. The most excitement has been with consumer gadgets. People are willing to spend on entertainment either for themselves, or because their kids bug Santa and put him in overdrive. Most kids in my neighborhood seem to have these smartphones. Texting is no longer cool. They need to update Facebook and upload their videos, making the iPhones among the top gifts of 2009. iPhone ruled 2009 and the holiday season, alongwith its other Apple ibrethren. A variety of eReaders, gaming consoles, and of course the big screen TVs made news. Cool stuff was hot. Cisco’s own Flip cameras had the cool factor. I was gawking at the Flips in Costco, when the sales person told me to “grab them before they’re gone”.  I did.

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How Internet standards are born

I recently had the chance to catch up with Eliot Lear, a Consulting Engineer at Cisco who has been involved in the open standards movement for over 20 years. Eliot has submitted eight Requests for Comments (RFC), the documents that form the basis of Internet standards. Over my time here, I’ve come to understand how important standards efforts are to Cisco, and I wanted to find out more from one of our very own experts. Here Eliot’s answers my questions.

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