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Top February Stories Enterprise Networks

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Top Stories
 APIC_EM_2Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) Enterprise Module Introduced at Cisco Live MilanOn January 28 at Cisco Live Milan, Enterprise Networks introduced a new software-defined networking (SDN) solution that will change the way customers operate their networks, substantially reducing network complexity and amplifying network intelligence. With this announcement, Cisco is set to transform current IT to fast IT.The new Cisco Application Policy Infrastructure Controller (APIC) Enterprise Module automates network configuration and troubleshooting and enables IT managers to substantially reduce the time it takes to perform operational activities so they can better respond to new business opportunities. Through its open and programmable approach, the Cisco APIC Enterprise Module massively simplifies configuration, provisioning, policy enforcement, and compliance.The new Cisco APIC Enterprise Module was featured in the opening keynote at Cisco Live Milan on January 28, delivered by Rob Lloyd, president, development and sales, and was also introduced in its own webcast, which you can now watch on demand. Read More »

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Data Center Replication: WAN Optimization vs. Bandwidth Upgrade

During the past years WAN optimization devices were used to optimize end-user traffic mainly. Employers connecting to remote applications can achieve better user experience if a couple of WAN optimization are deployed. Typically web applications, file sharing and email can be well accelerated: end users can increase their productivity with a little investment.

On the other side providers usually offer free bandwidth upgrade during a contract renewal.

So the question are:

  • Can Data Center replication take advantage of WAN optimization?
  • Can a Bandwidth upgrade always supersede WAN optimization?

The answers are, as always: it depends. Read More »

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Enforcing Application SLAs over Hybrid Networks

In the world of IT, we drive toward operational consistency for greater efficiency and improved security. If everything runs the same across all our locations, it’s much easier to train staff and manage the network. However, operational consistency may not provide the flexibility IT needs to keep up with ever changing business priorities that require IT to open offices or roll out new applications faster. For example, if a business wants to open a new office in a developing region, standard carrier services like MPLS can take months to provision, and cripple productivity unless alternative services can be quickly deployed. Likewise, IT may need to suspend services like guest WiFi if they are unable to protect mission-critical applications.

Cisco Intelligent WAN (IWAN) is a solution that gives IT flexibility and control so they can quickly respond to new business requirements immediately. For example, IWAN allows IT the choice to run a hybrid network environment with consistent and easy-to-scale security, while providing IT control and automation capabilities to ensure the highest quality application experience for their users. Read More »

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Is Your K-12 Network Ready for Common Core Standards?

What do IT and K12 Common Core Standards have in common? Forty-five states, the District of Columbia, four territories, and the Department of Defense Education Activity have adopted the Common Core State Standards. 100% of each of these states’ schools must update their network infrastructure to support the mandated online testing capabilities. Enter district IT.

Technology is a key component when it comes to achieving the objectives of these standards. The objective is to augment the learning experience through the use of wired and wireless devices and enhance skills such as communication, collaboration, research, critical thinking and tackling problems. The mandate is computer based assessments. This promotes more personalized leaning. The students are also acclimated to use technology effectively for productive life activities in the future.

The combination of common core standards adoption with BYOD or 1:1 initiatives, results in an exponential growth in addressing endpoints, bandwidth, and security. Schools are looking to upgrade their existing networks to be able to handle the current and future requirements of these standards.

Deploy K-12 Common Core-Ready Networks 20140121 Read More »

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WAN Management – Not on Your Watch

AM63512Network Operations Centers can be somber places.  I’ve seen quite a few during my last two decades in technology.  To monitor and manage a vast network is equal parts nerve racking and mind numbing boredom as you stare at wall-to-wall screens, waiting for an alarm to go off.

Over the years, networks have grown to be more and more complex because there are so many interdependent factors that affect their behavior. These factors include traffic flows, network typologies, network protocols, hardware, software, and most importantly, the interactions among them.

More frightening, the steps required to do these very complex network-wide changes are in many cases still manual.  In most enterprises this is done box-by-box one at a time – both time consuming and error prone.  On top of that you’ve got to make sure that you’ve calculated for variance with lots of different flavors of swtiches and routers in the field.  For example, to leverage a powerful feature such as Performance Routing (PfR), which can double your capacity, each WAN router must be properly configured and the overall WAN architecture adapted to the applications requirements. This can take many man-hours to implement, troubleshoot and optimize – which explains why most IT organizations spend 80-90% on operations, leaving little time for much needed innovation. Add in security, QoS, and mission critical applications and within seconds you can see this akin to kicking a sleeping beast. Once we move to the massive number of devices that are expected for the Internet of Things (IoT), then it simply becomes an unsustainable exercise in failure. Read More »

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