CiscoLive! is next week. With more than 23,000 people expected to attend, there’s no event more popular with IT professionals who pride themselves on their networking expertise. As I prepare to travel to San Diego for the occasion, I wanted to share my perspective on how IT organizations can better operate and protect the networks that are the digital backbones of their companies.
Chances are you’re already realizing numerous benefits using either Cisco SMARTnet or Smart Net Total Care (SNTC) Services. We know, because we regularly poll Cisco enterprise customers on how they’re succeeding with each service. We also know that most of us like to have our cake and eat it, too. That’s one reason why we have decided to combine these two services into one powerful and flexible service under the Smart Net Total Care name.
The move to Smart Net Total Care creates more flexibility and more value for you when it comes to supporting your company’s network. “Flexibility” means you can choose to only to use the basic features of the combined solution or take full advantage of SNTC’s extended feature set. Put simply, you can choose only the basic support capabilities traditionally found in SMARTnet or reach higher to access the added value of proactive smart service features in Smart Net Total Care to optimize the full lifecycle of all your Cisco equipment. You can also choose a Do-It-Yourself (DIY) deployment or, if you want a fast boost up the learning curve, we will make available assisted deployment options from Cisco. Flexibility means you choose the approach that is best for you. Read More »
Tags: cisco live, smart net total care, SMARTnet, SNTC
In a recent post, we discussed Dimension Data’s 6th Network Barometer Report and its recommendations. Detailed in this exhaustive report, Dimension Data has found that 32% – about 1/3 – of all Service incidents are related to Human Error*. (* 6% Configuration Errors and 26% Other human errors)
We’re all human and we all make mistakes – that’s the way we learn. However, in this era of constant connectivity, with mobility and the Internet of Everything growing rapidly, there is an ever-increasing demand on your network to perform, be available and stay secure. Incidents of IT failure are becoming more and more costly, not only from an operational aspect, but even more so from the loss of uptime, data and customer satisfaction. What if you could have 33% less service incidents, while using 32% less resources, keeping your network as stable as ever? That’s where Cisco Active Advisor can help you!
It’s no secret that Cisco Active Advisor is a huge time saver – Cisco Active Advisor is a free cloud-based service that automatically discovers Cisco Enterprise Networking products with no hardware or software installation, and can not only keep you up-to-date on important lifecycle milestones, but also analyze your network health and offer recommendations for improvement.
Cisco has compiled a set of Best Practices Designs, based on experience gained from multiple TAC and escalation cases, engineering testing and customer interviews, into a set of recommendations that can improve reliability, availability and performance of your network. Read More »
Tags: catalyst, cisco active advisor, Cisco Wireless LAN, Enterprise Campus Infrastructure, switching, wireless lan controllers
One of the great things about Cisco Live is the people you meet. While the classes, hands-on labs, and speaking sessions are all great, if you’re willing to take the extra step beyond the convention center, you can meet people you will continue to learn from all year.
To facilitate this – this meeting of people that can sometimes feel a bit awkward – I’ve set up two activities that should be fun and help overcome some of the awkwardness: #GeekSlices & #SelfieBINGO!
#GeekSlices is a big, informal pizza & beverages gathering. Think of this as a great opportunity to meet others in the community over a drink and tasting some of the best pizza ever. EVER.
To join us, just sign up http://tweetvite.com/event/GeekSlices (If you really really don’t want to use twitter, come find me in the social media lounge or the Data Center booth to get details.)
#SelfieBINGO – Is a big game of BINGO where you find people on each square, take a selfie with them, and tweet it. It’s fun because it basically gives you a list of 25 new people to seek out at Cisco Live. If you’re playing, these are people who have self-selected as willing and interested in meeting new people. We’ll be playing throughout the week. Read More »
Tags: #CLUS, GeekSlices, SelfieBINGO
The WAN: Then and Now
The Wide Area Network (WAN) has been at the foundation of enterprise networks for decades: responsible for connecting people, applications and data across a large number of locations. Traditionally, the WAN was relatively static and a “set it and forget it” configuration methodology was acceptable and effective. Management tools were simple and straightforward, yet limited. As an example, while studying for my Routing and Switching CCIE lab exam 15 years ago, I had to become proficient in command line interface, node-by-node configuration and WAN troubleshooting. In order to ensure timely completion of the exam, the use of notepad (scripts) and CLI shortcuts was imperative.
15 years later, many of us still manage our WAN’s in the same way: using text files, simple automation tools and scripting engines on a node-by-node basis. While this is reasonably effective on a small-scale network, similar to Metcalfe’s Law, the complexity of the network is equal to the number of nodes on the network, squared.
Today, application, cloud, security and other imperatives require the WAN to be dynamic and flexible to meet business needs. The agility and frequency of change the WAN requires is increasing exponentially. In addition, the price/performance of broadband relative to private lines (MPLS/Frame Relay) and the availability of cellular (3G/4G/LTE) has encouraged the adoption of hybrid architectures reducing cost, but increasing complexity. The business is asking IT to do more with less, leverage existing hardware to contain costs, support past and future applications, and be more agile. In order to keep up with these transitions and business requirements, the enterprise needs better tools. Read More »
Tags: Glue Networks, Gluware, IWAN, SDN, SDWAN
Today, I am pleased to announce that we will be showcasing the Cisco Intelligent WAN (IWAN) Application for the APIC-EM controller with early adopter customers at Cisco Live San Diego next week. For those of you familiar with Cisco’s SDN solutions, the APIC-EM builds on Cisco’s ACI architecture to extend Software Defined Networking from the Data Center to the WAN and Access areas of your network.
Before diving into the IWAN App, you might be wondering what is “Software Defined Networking for the WAN” or “SD-WAN” is. The simple answer is that the same benefits that SDN brings to the Data Center can be applied to the Wide Area Network. SDN for the WAN is all about moving from feature by feature configuration to policy and intent driven management. Benefits achieved include reduced costs to operate the WAN and optimize bandwidth. It’s about improving your application experience, enabling digital experiences in your remote branches, and enabling you to move to cloud based applications without giving up on application performance. Finally, it’s about WAN resiliency. Crucially, you must achieve all of this while maintaining end-to-end security and this requires enhancing security capabilities.
Sounds like a lot? It is, and that’s why we (and most of the industry) are so excited about the changes happening in the WAN. To boil it down, as I talk to customers about evolving their WAN architecture to meet the growing bandwidth and performance demands generated by mobile devices, digital stores, cloud based applications, and IoT sensors – to name a few – customers are focused on a short list of business outcomes:
- Greater business agility with faster application delivery
- Reducing costs with simplified operations and management
- Improving business continuity with high availability and resiliency
If these business outcomes sound familiar it is because we are addressing them today with our Intelligent WAN Solution (IWAN) and have been talking about them for the past few years. What’s unique about Cisco is that we have built IWAN to be integrated with our industry leading ISR and ASR 1000 routers while many others have chosen to go with a pure overlay. By combining the strengths of IOS XE software with rock solid hardware to provide detailed visibility across all layers of the network, the Cisco IWAN solution has a much more intimate understanding of network conditions and can make better and faster decisions about how to direct traffic over the WAN. IWAN also retains all of the inherent resiliency, security, and self-healing aspects that routing protocols were developed to provide. Combine this with Cisco’s industry-leading security portfolio as well as our end-to-end vision for policy based infrastructure (ACI) and we have a solution is pretty hard to beat. Read More »
Tags: APIC-EM, IWAN, IWAN App, SD-WAN, SDN