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On The Edge: Innovations that Break Down Borders

The best way to predict the future is to create it.” -- Peter Drucker

In 1989, a couple of amazing changes occurred that are still affecting our world today. The Berlin Wall fell, and a little company called Cisco developed the Border Gateway Protocol so routers could eventually connect the entire world. These developments still reverberate through our lives as outdated social, political, and economic borders continue to break down, and we enjoy more freedom than ever to connect and interact with virtually anyone.

While the public debate on the abstract value of these freedoms continues, most private organizations see very concrete value in giving their employees, partners, and customers the ability to connect globally using any type of device or media. And they’re investing accordingly.

For example, more than half of all companies surveyed* have already spent some of their precious I.T. budgets deploying video or collaborative applications, allowing personal devices for work use, or adopting software as a service models. Of course, these new innovations also require more bandwidth and more security; but leading organizations are minimizing additional costs and earning ROI sooner by integrating these new technologies directly into their routing infrastructure, which in turn can actually reduce overall traffic loads and complexity.

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EX90s rock InteropNet help desk

Ran into Dave Mattlin here at Interop, and he was really enthusiastic about how the EX90s I had mentioned in my previous post are being used here. Here’s what Dave had to say:

EX90 at the InteropNet Help Desk

Cisco EX90 at the InteropNet Help Desk

“Cisco EX90 is more than just a sexy desktop. When you are setting up a network, everyone wants to speak with an expert. But that is usually someone far away. This is the case at Interop 2011 in Las Vegas. Setting up  Interop is a long process with many hurdles, one of them being access to IT/Technical support quickly. At shows like this one a show management company has a few people they can reach out to in order to get network links up and working. At Interop the Network is HUGE, technical and very complex so specialized support has to be in place.  So how does someone setting up for the show get the expertise they need, when they need it?  Easy, by using an EX90 which provides real time face to face communications for quick resolutions.

Cisco has placed several EX90’s around the show floor which provide real time access to a qualified help desk to assist companies with their technical questions and needs. This has proven to be very successful and relieved exhibitor services  from the daunting task of understanding the very complex show network.

I had an opportunity speak with the show management. They are very impressed with the technology and say that having the EX90’s actually improved their customer service.  They did not have to send their customers away to get technical help. Instead, they could just call up the help desk and get their questions answered immediately. Many of the show vendors who used these systems reported that the enjoyed  the video clarity and easy to use interface.”

Thanks Dave, for that story. And I would be remiss if I did not mention that the video clarity is aided by the Cisco Medianet technology we have deployed on the Cisco Catalyst switches we have deployed on the show floor and in the core.

IPv6 Testing Sites and Tools

So, World IPv6 Day is just under a month away.  You already have IPv6 connectivity, right?  How do you know that everything will work correctly when the big day arrives?  You will need to do some testing.

A number of enthusiastic engineers across the world have set up public IPv6 sites that you can use to perform all manner of tests.  I would like to tell you about some of my personal favorites, and invite you to tell me about your own.  Please note that Cisco manages none of the tools mentioned here, and as such cannot offer any assurances about their suitability for use on your network, so insert your own dire sounding legal disclaimers here before continuing.

Can You Connect?

For a quick “Am I Ready?” test, http:/omgipv6day.com/ provides a simple Yes-or-No assessment of your web browser’s ability to access IPv6 enabled sites on World IPv6 Day.  Here is my attempt to connect with an impaired IPv6 tunnel:

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See Medianet in Action at Interop Las Vegas 2011

If you are attending Interop Las Vegas this week, come visit the Cisco Medianet booth (1127-C2) to learn how you can scale and deploy video with Medianet to reduce complexity and costs. Webex introduces the new medianet-enabled client to enhance cloud collaboration experience. This new “smart” client includes embedded intelligence, works in conjunction with the “smart” network for improved network visibility, quality assurance & quick problem isolation. We will be showing a demo of this new exciting solution. We will also show Cisco Prime Collaboration Manager and the new Cisco ISR-G2 ad hoc conferencing solution.

For those looking for a real video deployment scenario, we have a session on how to make your network ready for video without straining resources. The session will take place on May 10 at 2:15 pm, location Mandalay Bay L.

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Building a Borderless Experience Together at Interop Las Vegas

I’m excited to be attending Interop Las Vegas this week.  This year marks the 25th Anniversary of Interop and we are celebrating by hosting our major launch event in Las Vegas.  Rebecca Jacoby and Brett Galloway will be unveiling new Borderless Networks innovations during the Cisco keynote on Tuesday, May 10 at 9:30am Pacific Time.  During this keynote, you will learn about breakthrough innovations in Borderless Networks that will help you deliver centralized policy, unified wired and wireless management, and a better quality video and voice experience to your workforce and customers. 

If you can’t attend Interop in person, we will be broadcasting this event online on May 10 at 9:30am Pacific Time.  Please register here to view the live keynote.  You will also receive access to a special series of TechWiseTV episodes that will air on May 12.

Now, I’d like to share some of the other unique activities that I think you will enjoy.

Hear from Cisco experts at the following Interop Las Vegas activities:

  • Conference sessions: Our marketing and technical experts will speak in panel sessions ranging on topics such as breakthrough LAN technologies, WLAN, video and virtualization.  Please check the latest schedule at this website.
  • Cisco Educational Sessions: We are sponsoring three sessions on IPv6, video and preparing your network for mobile devices and other tablets. These sessions are open to everyone, and attendees will receive a free Cisco Press Book.
  • InteropNet: Cisco is sponsoring InteropNet and will further demonstrate IPv6 leadership across the entire network. Customers will be able to take daily, engineer-led tours of InteropNet.
  • Customer Appreciation Reception: Join us for an opportunity to relax and socialize with Cisco executives and your industry peers, while enjoying drinks, food, and fun on Wednesday, May 11 from 5 to 7pm at the Border Grill, Mandalay Bay. Customers -- please register here. 

Participate in a number of fun Booth Activities and win a prize!

  • Cisco 3D Borderless Challenge -- Test your networking IQ for your chance to be one of eight who will to win a Linksys® E4200 Maximum Performance Dual-Band N Router.  The Cisco 3D Borderless Challenge is a competition that tests your knowledge of Cisco Borderless Networks innovations, especially in video and security solutions.  The Cisco 3D Borderless Challenge features IT “superhero” Ike Willis and will take place at the theater in the Cisco booth 1127 on May 10 and May 11.   
  • Cisco Interop Las Vegas Mobile Game - Attendees can check into various Borderless Networks activities using their smartphones, such as conference sessions and booth demonstrations, to win points.  Read the rules and guidelines here.
  • Borderless Networks Demonstrations – We will showcase the latest innovations in eleven BN pods including: Borderless Mobility, EnergyWise, IPv6, Medianet, Security, WAN optimization for cloud based solutions, Cisco Prime and Borderless Branch Office. For more information about the demos, please see detailed descriptions on the following website

Hope to see you at the show!

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