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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.

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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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An SD-WAN Bill of Rights

Screen Shot 2015-08-27 at 11.23.24 AMIn my last blog post, I talked about the business outcomes customers are looking to achieve when evaluating SD-WAN solutions. However, if you are going to invest in an SD-WAN solution, it is also important to think about the trends that might impact your WAN and remote sites in the next few years. Are you prepared for trends like digital disruption or the Internet of Things (IoT), which are transforming businesses and creating new sources of competitive advantage?

Today’s leading businesses are constantly reinventing themselves to disrupt the market, and they are using the latest technology to do so. Businesses that want to accelerate their digital transformation and stay ahead of the competition need a dynamic network that enables constant reinvention, all on demand. Organizations will need fast IT capabilities that accelerate business innovation through IT simplicity and insights.

Traditional WANs have been built for static applications and are managed using multiple management tools that make it difficult for IT teams to reconfigure and troubleshoot the network when responding to business needs. Solutions for moving to hybrid WAN by augmenting your network with lower-cost connectivity like the Internet, or improving application experience and security, are a first step but still tend to be a static solution.

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The Evolution of Networking Software

As a long time networking veteran, I’ve watched our industry change and respond to a wide variety of disruptive changes. I remember PictureTel ISDN videoconferenchqdefaultes on the IBM PC. Then came  IP video conferencing in the early ’90s.  Things picked up 1991, when Microsoft launched Windows Media Player 1.0.

Though Windows Media Player and Microsoft Multimedia Extensions arrived without much fanfare, they ushered in the ability to record and playback audio, and display high-performance graphics on the desktop PC — a feature, prior to that time, reserved for high-end graphics workstations such as the Commodore AMIGA.

But these capabilities were the foundation that led to video streaming in 1995. And, as we know, the future of the Internet, and the network, would never be the same.  (Obligatory Rick-roll omitted)

Today, I watch younger generations (such as my own children) take for granted the networks that are all around them. Social media as we know it was (and is) clearly fueled by our endless appetite to create and share content with the whole world.  Unlike the Internet of the 1990’s, today, you can do it all from the palm of your hand. Read More »

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