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Introducing Cisco Active Advisor – A Free Cisco Tool For Your Network

July 8, 2014 at 5:01 am PST

Dimension Data recently came out with their 2014 Network Barometer Report. The report has business and technology insights based on data gathered from 74,000 network devices in 32 countries. Some of the findings are counter-intuitive, like failure rates and mean-time-repair (MTTR) are lower for obsolete equipment. See press release here, and download the full report here (requires registration). Also, check out their Google+ hangout on Wednesday July 9th.

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Based on this exhaustive report, Dimension Data’s top recommendation is:

“Have an accurate inventory of your network estate.”

The very fact that this is a top recommendation shows that creating accurate network inventory is hard. Otherwise, customers would already be doing this, and Dimension Data wouldn’t need to make it their top recommendation.

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We are doing our part to make it easy for customers to create an accurate inventory of their network devices. Cisco Active Advisor is a free cloud-based service that can scan your network for Cisco enterprise and small business products such as Catalyst switches, routers, wireless access points, wireless controllers, and more. It provides valuable information on these products such as security vulnerabilities (PSIRTs), product lifecycle (End of Sale, End of Support), service contract status, warranty status, and more. You can view the report in an elegant web-based interface, and setup alerts. Cisco Active Advisor is ideal for small and mid-size networks. Read More »

A Major IT Shift – Delivering Business Outcomes

During geek-fests like CiscoLive, it’s easy to become hypnotized by all the amazing technology. So many smart people are innovating in so many amazing ways. When the party’s over, though, we all need to get back to business. Not just CIO’s and CTO’s -- everyone in IT needs to focus on business outcomes -- now more than ever. Here’s why.

IT is under increasing pressure to innovate and help deliver business results, as evidenced by several new data points in our industry. Understanding these trends and next steps can help IT, business, and operations teams all work better together to deliver more value from technology.

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IWAN Wed: What’s more important? Uptime or Cost?

Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 5.25.06 PM“Location, Location, Location” is what you need to keep in mind for real estate in the physical world.  But in today’s
enterprise environment where everything is virtual and many critical apps are in  the data center or cloud, the most important thing is connectivity.

So welcome to the era of connectivity, connectivity, connectivity!

As connectivity is so important, what can we do to ensure the uptime of the branch WAN connectivity without increasing costs?

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Get On With It! Your Cloud is Waiting

Sound familiar? We hear that term all the time. We hear it at home, we hear it at work, we keeping saying it to our elected officials. It’s a term often used when we are frustrated with progress. It doesn’t matter what the task is, we just want it done!

At Cisco we do a lot of research. We talk to customers to understand their needs, we survey customers to predict what their needs may be and we engage with the analyst community to understand how our industry is changing. Working from this feedback we aim to make an impact on the market with great products.

Moving to the Cloud has been a hot topic for the past few years and it has been amazing to watch the progress. Just two years ago, our Cloud Connected Survey highlighted the challenges Enterprises were facing as they tried to migrate to the Cloud, with Security being one of the top concerns. The Cisco product team responded to those concerns with the Cloud Services Router 1000V aiming to help Enterprises to ‘get on with it’ and accelerate their migration to the Cloud. Read More »

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Glue Networks Software-Defined WAN Deployed at MWH Global

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Software Defined Networking is at the center of many discussions and debates regarding networking, and right fully so. It means many different things to many different people, and there is a lot of confusion and discrepancy in the term.  You can ask 10 different people what SDN means, and you will get 10 different answers. If you ask me, SDN is today what cloud was five years ago.   I won’t attempt to define what exactly SDN means, but what I will say is that like cloud, the value of SDN will clarify itself over time with powerful use cases and meaningful applications.  Case in point, at the Spring 2014 Open Networking User Group (ONUG) meeting in New York City, the ONUG board of directors proposed nine different use cases that were most likely to be in an RFI/RFQ in the next 12 months.  From these use cases, the IT business leader community at ONUG chose Software Defined WAN as the most critical use case in open networking today.

While the idea of SDN in general is exciting and powerful, most companies are in the planning stages of their SDN and automation vision.  Most believe it will take at least two to three years to architect and realize the benefits of automation across the enterprise.  What’s driving SDN is the promise of the following benefits:

  1. Management: Manual -> Automated Networks
  2. Configuration: Box Centric -> Network Wide
  3. Speed/Agility: Weeks/months -> Minutes
  4. Interoperable: Closed system -> Open System

Currently, there are very few, if any, companies who have completed their SDN strategy.  Partially because it’s quite complex with many permutations, and partially because it’s so important to get it right.  While planning for SDN and automation in the enterprise, there are two key things to consider:

  1. SDN applications must add value to the existing network today
  2. SDN applications must be able to integrate into the customer’s vision for SDN and automation.

There will be a transition between beginning and end state, but any SDN tool being considered must show value on the network as it is currently deployed and allow for integration with future architectures and platforms.  If these considerations can be met, there is a clear reason to begin deployment today.  Companies desire a mature solution in global production that enables value through SD WAN, meeting all of the benefits above, not just the promise of those benefits.   Glue Networks can provide these benefits. Read More »

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