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Tune in to Networking Field Day 11 – Switching Innovation—Everything Runs on Switching

networkingtechfielddayNetworking Field Day 11 is tomorrow and will be live streaming this Thursday, January 21st, from 2:00-4:00pm.

For the uninitiated, Tech Field Day is an event hosted by Cisco where delegates come and listen to a technical deep dive by a Cisco expert in a presentation and discussion format. These delegates range from bloggers, speakers, freelance writers, and podcasters that have a public presence that has an immense influence on ways that products and companies are perceived by IT practitioners. There are a few different branches of Tech Field Day: Networking Field Day, Wireless Field Day, Virtualization Field Day, and Storage Field Day.

#NFD11 will be a two-hour session where we’ll showcase a few different Cisco technologies to 12 delegates. We’ll be discussing the provisioning of Nexus switches using Puppet, IOS 16.x, Programmable Fabric Using VXLAN/BGP-EVPN, and LED lighting powered by Cisco Catalyst switches. Before we dive into those topics, we’ll kick-off our session with an introduction from Senior Director of Data Center and Enterprise Switching Carl Solder. Read More »

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The Wizard of nOZ (Part 1)

I am going to show you how to discover one of the best kept secrets within Cisco’s portfolio.  A service that when our customers become aware of it, it becomes a must-have for their environments!

There is no man behind the curtain, pulling strings, making various noises and effects like the famous movie inferred by the title of this blog.  This blog is about CMCS– Compliance Management and Configuration Service.  What’s that you ask? CMCS is a service that utilizes the head end management system to the collector Cisco uses in its Network Optimization Service (NOS).   CMCS is a powerful compliance, management and configuration service.

For example, what would it feel like if you could say with certainty, on any given day, that your network was in compliance with the chosen security standard for your company or industry?

Read More »

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Step into the IT Fast Lane with Automated Integration

Last month, Japan’s Kenichi Ito broke the world record for the 100 meter dash – running on all fours – with a time of 15.71 seconds. Known as “the monkey man,” having perfected the art of moving like a monkey on the ground, Ito sprints on his hands and feet towards the finish line. His performance is reminiscent of Samuel Johnson’s famous adage about dogs that can walk on two hind legs, “It’s not done well but you are surprised to find it done at all.”

But this is exactly what many enterprises are still doing today – building and managing their network on all fours when they should be sprinting on their toes. With network speeds now often exceeding 100 bits per second, traditional approaches to harnessing today’s hyper-distribution of information aren’t sufficient. What’s needed is “Fast IT.”

Fast IT: The Quick Definition Read More »

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Ten Tips to Put Your Cisco Network on a Healthy Footing in the New Year

CiscoNetworkNY_400x265“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can instill in us,” reflected Hal Borland, a renowned American author and journalist. As we enter 2016 it is pragmatism that matters most to network professionals. How can you address risks from as yet unknown threats? Free up time from routine network maintenance and redirect it to strategic IT tasks? Assure that your infrastructure doesn’t suffer from the use of obsolete or aging equipment? Expedite problem resolution when network issues can’t be avoided?

Here you’ll find practical answers to these and other critical questions about streamlining your network installed base management. Not all the tips originate with me. Customers shared several, while others come from years of Cisco experience in optimizing the network experience.

As more enterprises move toward digital transformation there is no better time than now to make sure your network is fit for the future. January is the month when health club memberships spike as people commit themselves to a healthier lifestyle. Why not take the opportunity to use the list below to ensure your own network’s fitness (without even leaving your desk)? Read More »

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Snort your way to PCI compliance

When organizations look to secure their retail stores, branches, or points-of-sale, meeting the required mandates for Payment Card Industry (PCI) security compliance quickly becomes the number one prioritized focus area.  In fact, the 2015 Verizon PCI compliance report demonstrates this when it states that the number of companies that fully complied with the payment card industry (PCI) security standards during 2014 rose to 20 percent from about 11% in 2013. While this standalone increase in compliance is great, Verizon also notes that less than a third of the companies were fully compliant a year later after successful validation. The major takeaway here is that it is unfortunately easy to fall out of compliance if organizations don’t take the appropriate steps to maintain their security.  With 69% of consumers admitting that they will be less inclined to do business with a breached company, it is increasingly important for reaching and maintaining PCI compliance to be one of the highest priorities for organizations.

PCI Requirement 11 demands that organizations have a sustainable network and application vulnerability management program and that evaluates the overall effectiveness of security measures in place across the organization.  In a very telling sign, most organizations that suffered a breach were not compliant with Requirement 11.  Intrusion detection and prevention systems (hereafter, “IPS”) technology play a critical role in helping meet PCI compliance by monitoring all traffic in the cardholder data environment and issuing timely alerts to suspected compromises. Of course, simply having the technology is not enough.  Considering many organizations fall out of compliance due to maintenance, it is absolutely critical that IPS engines are updated with new signatures and rule sets to ensure that new threats are stopped.

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Here, at Cisco, we’re happy to announce that our Cisco Integrated Services Router (ISR) 4000 Series  now come equipped with Snort IPS to help customers meet these PCI-compliance requirements at the branch. Read More »

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