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With Cisco Mobility Express and CMX 10.2, their Beauty Lies in their Simplicity

In the time it takes to get up from your desk, walk downME_APs the hallway and make a cup of coffee, a Cisco Mobility Express enterprise-level wireless network can be configured and deployed. You don’t even have to be chained to your desk to configure the dashboard; it can all be done via a mobile app while you’re at the coffee machine.

Introduced on September 15th, Cisco Mobility Express is geared toward small to medium-sized organizations (about 150 employees) and delivers the same type of Cisco advanced features that larger companies get for a fraction of the cost. These preconfigured features are all based on Cisco best practices. Cisco Mobility Express has a virtualized control function on a master access point, which means that no physical WLAN controller appliance is required, with up to 24 APs serving as subordinates.

Following the recently introduced Cisco Aironet 1850 802.11ac Wave 2 Access Point, we are introducing the Cisco Aironet 1830 Access Point. Both support the latest Wi-Fi standard: 802.11ac Wave 2. Due to an increase in bandwidth-intensive applications, Bring Your Own Device policies and the Internet of Things, studies show that within three years, wireless traffic is expected to triple. There is going to be a push for networks that support 802.11ac Wave 2 because they have the speed—three times faster than networks that support 802.11n—and bandwidth needed to support these extra devices.  Both the Aironet 1850 and 1830 access points can run in Mobility Express mode and other Cisco deployment modes.  Read More »

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Digital Vortex: How Not to Be the 40% That Will Fail!

VortexAt least 40% of businesses will fail at staying digitally agile.

Among 941 business leaders in 12 industries surveyed, 43% percent confirms that they “either do not acknowledge the risk of digital disruption, or have not addressed it sufficiently.” This disquieting statistic is accompanied by another finding: in each industry, four out of ten (40%) incumbents surveyed, whose market shares are dominant today, will be displaced by the digital disruption within five years (Digital Vortex, Global Center for Digital Business Transformation. June 2015). Yet, only 25% says they’re actively pursuing a solution or willing to disrupt themselves in order to stay competitive.

For further reading about this Digital Vortex study, check out my colleagues’ blog: At the Center of the Digital Vortex – Chaos, Disruption, and Opportunity.

In this blog, I’m not going to discuss the study or its methodology with you. Instead, I will talk about the one common denominator that all businesses across industries have – the WAN – the savior for those 40% at risk of being displaced. Read More »

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Verizon Becomes the First Service Provider To Offer Cisco IWAN

Verizon Becomes the First Service Provider to Offer Cisco IWAN

Today, Verizon announced a new software-defined WAN service, becoming the first global carrier to incorporate Software Defined-WAN as a key component of their managed network service offers. We are excited that Verizon has chosen Cisco Intelligent WAN (IWAN) as the foundation for this new service, which will give Enterprise customers even more flexibility when choosing how to purchase their SD-WAN solution.

Cisco recently published an “SD-WAN Bill of Rights”, a guide designed to help you evaluate SD-WAN solutions as you prepare your WAN for digital transformation. Together, Cisco and Verizon are strengthening your ability to achieve two of these “rights”: The Right to Choose Your WAN Connectivity and The Right to Flexible Deployment Models.

Read More »

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Increase Your Network Operations IQ

This is the time of year when summer vacations end and students head back to the classroom. For those of us who have school-age children like me, it’s important that we know that their academic environment provides access to tools and information that will ensure successful learning. Knowledge of our children’s academic resources gives us the power to help shape their educational outcomes.

Perhaps surprisingly, improving young minds is a bit like improving network operations. As in academia, IT environments are highly dynamic – networks support multiple office locations, configurations change frequently to meet business demands and applications require flexibility to meet future trends, such as the Internet of Everything (IoE). Network operations are optimized when IT teams have access to the resources and device data they need to ensure successful business outcomes.

School is in Session: A Network Operations Aptitude Quiz

Do you know if you have all right automation and analytic tools to effectively manage the operational lifecycle of your network equipment? Here’s a simple network “IQ” test to find out. For the following questions, answer “yes” or “no”: Read More »

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Improve Your Backbone, Improve Your Business

Cisco recently announced the Cisco Catalyst 6840-X backbone switch to address new network backbone needs, especially in space constrained deployments.

According to the Visual Networking Index, Network traffic has grown exponentially over the last several years, and this trend is expected to continue into the foreseeable future. By 2018, there will be over 20 billion networked devices, a 100% increase from 10 billion in 2011. Business IP traffic is expected to reach 13.1 exabytes per month in 2016[1].

While devices grow in number, wireless connectivity speed is increasing. Gigabit wireless (802.11ac) enables a network that is three times faster due to its 1.3 Gbps capacity.  802.11ac Wave 2 more than doubles that.  Thus, the bottleneck is moving “up the network” from wireless AP to the access uplinks. With 1G becoming the standard for access switch ports, access switch uplinks will need to move to ubiquitous 10G and 40G.

To help improve business, networks must be capable of scaling well beyond the needs of today to deal with the traffic of tomorrow while at the same time providing investment protection.  While most Enterprise network engineers agree with this approach, the actual number of enterprises moving in this direction is still relatively small. According to a report published by the Dell’Oro Group, it’s not a technology issue – there are plenty of products on the market to handle 10G – but the economics of the network upgrade remain the key challenges, such as equipment cost, expense of upgrading and future proofing.

Cisco is changing those economics by offering easy, cost effective, network upgrades to support the explosion of mobile devices and video applications. The Cisco Catalyst 6840-X Series Switch is a prime example. Read More »

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