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Three Steps for IT to Deliver Better Business Results

The situation that many IT people find themselves in today is dripping with irony. They’ve deployed so many innovations over the years to address so many business challenges, that now most of their time is dedicated to simply keeping their systems running. Without incremental resources during these lean budget times, their new innovation cycles decline in direct proportion to their past innovations.

Given the current budget realities, how can IT break out of this innovation trap?

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Networking: Moving From Open to Closed (Part 1 of 2)

“The past is never dead. It’s not even past.”  -- William Faulkner

Networking which is built on open standards is steadily moving to closed and proprietary protocols and going back to the past of mainframes with closed architectures and technologies. With Massively Scalable Data Centers (MSDC) the compute and storage resource are increasingly being connected in proprietary ways. The networks and protocols in these MSDCs is becoming proprietary and potentially moving away from the open TCP/IP standards. And that is a very worrisome trend, not speaking as a vendor but as a networking technologist, who has been in this industry for over 20 years. Let me explain why.

The rise of MSDCs and the growing IaaS (Infrastructure as a Service) from the likes of Amazon, Microsoft, Google is well understood. This IaaS trend is causing more and more enterprises to move their infrastructure into these clouds, instead of buying and maintaining them. Obviously this is affecting networking infrastructure vendors, like Cisco, Juniper et al, and also managed service providers. The effect on infrastructure vendors is simple: their TAM is shrinking, and rapidly so. For managed service providers, the need for rich networking services, when enterprises maintained their own infrastructure, is dwindling rapidly as well. With IaaS, enterprises just need a simple connection to get to the Amazon, Microsoft and Google clouds and do not heavily depend on managed service providers. Usually the service providers such as AT&T, Verizon, Comcast are also managed service providers and are increasingly becoming cloud service providers as well to mitigate this effect and still be relevant to these enterprise customers. But, how is this making networking closed off?

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#IWANWed: Harness the Power of Web Within the Enterprise Branch

Cloud Web Security AAG ImageIn the ever-changing world of enterprise branch environments, a high number of businesses are planning to migrate their WAN to the Internet. To be exact, Nemertes Research (Benchmark 2012–13 Emerging WAN Trends) estimates that number to be close to 50%.  That’s 50% of businesses migrating to Internet for WAN.

And why is that happening? Enterprises are trying to optimize their WAN to increase ROI. Internet has become a much more stable platform, offering significant price-to-performance gains. Thus, the growth of new cloud traffic, high bandwidth applications, and video can be easily load balanced across multiple WAN lines, one of which or both can be Internet links. Some of the enterprises go even further and enable local Internet breakout from the branch. Not only does it eliminate the need to unnecessarily backhaul the traffic to the corporate HQ or data center, but also helps to free up the precious WAN bandwidth for critical business related applications. This enables enterprises to provide guest Internet access within the branch and then slowly offer the same services to corporate users, both for trusted public clouds applications and general Internet access. Read More »

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Your Network: Well-Kept Secret for Your Protection?

July 22, 2014 at 10:29 am PST

In my discussions with security executives who gathered at the recent Gartner Security Summit they recognized that unsecured access to the network is a critical threat vector.   However, when leveraged properly, the network itself also provides a significant platform that offers comprehensive protection to close those gaps. What does this mean?

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Cisco Positioned As A Leader in the Gartner Magic Quadrant for Wired and Wireless LAN Access Infrastructure– For the 3rd Time in a Row!

Gartner has released their 2014 Magic Quadrant for Wired and Wireless LAN Infrastructure.  For the 3rd year in a row, Cisco is recognized as a leader in both vision and execution.  We believe this Gartner recognition is validation of Cisco strategy and investments for unified access, policy management and cloud managed solutions.

Cisco’s position in the Wired and Wireless Gartner MQs has been consistent over the past 3 years as the market landscape has shifted we believe validating our commitment to meeting shifting customer priorities and requirements.

Qartner Magic Quadrant 2014


This graphic was published by Gartner, Inc. as part of a larger research document and should be evaluated in the context of the entire document. The complimentary copy of the Gartner document is available to view here.

The 2014 Gartner Magic Quadrant for the Wired and Wireless LAN Access Infrastructure (Authors: Tim Zimmerman, Andrew Lerner, Bill Menezes; Published 26th June 2014) reflects the evolution from prior years and highlights what customers are looking for:

With limited growth in IT resources, administrators require one network management application, one access security solution, one guest access application or one policy enforcement solution with the flexibility to be deployed in a public cloud, private cloud or on-premises. This integration reduces the costs associated with the upfront capital expense of multiple network service applications each dedicated to either the wired infrastructure or the wireless or cloud components. This savings is also extended to the ongoing software maintenance costs of all access layer management, security and policy enforcement components.”

What Does Being a Leader Mean?

According to Gartner, ‘a vendor in the Leaders quadrant will have demonstrated an ability to fulfill a broad variety of customer requirements through the breadth of their access layer product family. Leaders will have the ability to shape the market and provide complete and differentiating access layer applications, as well as global service and support. Leaders should have demonstrated the ability to shape the market, maintain strong relationships with their channels and customers, and have no obvious gaps in their portfolios.’

Cisco’s Unified Access solution directly addresses today’s customer priorities with deployment options a variety of customer segments ranging from large enterprises to mid-size companies to organizations with broad IT expertise to organizations with lean IT staffs. In a recent press release Sujai Hajela, senior vice president of Cisco Enterprise Networking gives his thoughts on why Cisco has remained in the Gartner Magic Quadrant Leaders quadrant for three years.

Cisco has taken a customer-centric approach in order to meet the needs of enterprise organizations.  For those looking for a cloud-based approach, we offer the Cisco Meraki solutions.  For those who prefer the on-premise managed approach, Cisco continues to build on our traditional Unified Access Solution.

The Cisco Approach   

Cisco recognizes that not every IT organization is created equal, and we have developed solutions that align to whatever operation model those IT organizations feel will help them propel their business to the next level. Within both our cloud-managed and on-premise managed solutions the fundamental need to improve agility, simplify operations and deliver a high-quality user experience is inherent in both deployment models. I think this is what has helped Cisco stay in the Leaders Quadrant since the Gartner Wired and Wireless LAN Magic Quadrant has been introduced three years ago.
Overall, Gartner’s view is one that we feel Cisco shares with our ‘One Policy, One Management, One Network’ vision. First introduced in 2012, Cisco has delivered and expanded upon this vision for the last three years to help our customers achieve their business goals and simplify IT while addressing the rapid growth of BYOD, Mobility and the evolution toward the Internet of Everything.

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