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BYOD Security and Scaling Solutions: Join us for a TweetChat April 17

These days, it’s nearly impossible to separate our work and personal lives. Network administrators likely feel this more than anyone as they try to help everyone in their organization use and onboard new smartphones and tablets. I experienced it this weekend while spending time with my cousin who came for a last minute visit from out of town. When he arrived we began to chat about the start-up he had been working for and discussed all of the potential challenges and risks that his former employer faced on the company network. I mentioned that Cisco had just run a Technical Deep Dive on Cisco’s Mobility Innovations for scalable and secure productivity.

After I mentioned the Cisco 3600 Series CleanAir Access Point and its ability to find and mitigate interference and to increase performance, his ears seemed to perk up a bit. “But,” he said “the challenge isn’t only high quality connectivity, it’s making sure that the network stays secure and that each user, whether they are connecting via wired or wireless devices, is granted the access they need to perform their job. No more, no less, and there should be no hassles for me.” Read More »

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North American IPv6 Summit: My Critical Takeaways for the Enterprise Customer

The 2012 North American IPv6 Summit was held in Denver, Colorado on April 9-12, 2012.  As usual, it was an excellent conference with the largest attendance of any IPv6 event in North America this year.  There were many excellent speakers who gave timely talks on the state of IPv6 deployment, gaps in the overall education within the end-user base as well as advances and limitations in vendor support.

I gave a keynote talk on “Enterprise Internet Edge Design for IPv6″ and afterwards I was approached by several enterprise customers who stated that they had great success using the Cisco Validated Design (CVD) options defined in our Deploying IPv6 in the Internet Edge CVD.  This is great to hear but our work is not done yet.  We still need to help customers understand the significance of deploying IPv6 in not just the network but throughout the enterprise.  This is most evident in the lack of documentation by commercial off the shelf (COTS) application vendors who need to do a better job of helping customers understand the support for IPv6.

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Cisco IOS Software Licenses: What’s What for Layer 2 and Layer 3 Switching – Part 1

Layer 2 and layer 3 switching makes a fun topic for a lot of IT professionals. I often see interesting discussions about this subject. A more practical question from many of you, however, is how to choose a Cisco IOS Software feature license to meet your specific needs. Here I will take a look at 4 common Cisco IOS Software feature licenses for Cisco Catalyst 2K and 3K switches. A quick disclaimer before I go any further: This post is for information-sharing purposes only. It does not represent or replace any Cisco documentation. Product information can change very quickly and usage of this post is solely at readers’ own risk.

The four common Cisco IOS Software feature licenses for switching are:
LAN Lite:              Enterprise EntryLevel Layer 2 Switching
LAN Base:            Enterprise Access Layer 2 Switching
IP Base:                Enterprise Access Layer 3 Switching
IP Services:         Advanced Layer 3 Switching

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How One Service Provider Overcame 5 Constraints and Helped Their Customers Succeed

International IT services provider Sycor was redesigning the networks for one customer who had 4500 employees spread across 80 branches in addition to a headquarters and many telecommuting and mobile workers.  One issue they were addressing was that this customer was having problems with one of their web-based applications. This specific app was used by just one person at each branch, but was important to the customer’s business. So Sycor engineers tuned both the app’s website as well as the central database with which it communicated.

The solution they were considering was a dedicated data terminal at each branch to work separately but in parallel with the existing network deployments.  And then the customer started having problems with more applications at more branches. Something had to be done.

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High Density Demand Will Test Your Network’s Readiness for Mobility

I was driving home the other day when I heard a radio report on densely populated California cities. What’s interesting was a mention of a small California city that is ranked as the nation’s fourth most dense urbanized area. I guess that a lot of people don’t know Delano, a central valley city with a population density of 5,483 people per square mile. It’s surprisingly more dense than the New York-Newark, N.J. metropolitan area which is ranked the 5th.

Many people with many devices in a densely populated area can pose a challenge to WiFi networks. I was talking to a Cisco customer in the New York City area a few days ago. He said that deploying WiFi was not as straightforward as it used to be. There are many RF interferences near his office and many new SSIDs that he never saw before.

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