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On the Borderless Experience and Secure Mobility

When I talk about the Borderless Network to customers and partners, one aspect I try to articulate is that of the Borderless Experience—the idea that access and security should be transparent to the user.  The security department will care about whether I am securely connected to the network, with policies applied to my device irrespective of how I connect.  The finance department will care about whether I am using the cheapest method for data access, staying under my broadband quota, and minimising my international data roaming charges.

But all I care about is getting my work done, without having to fight technology to do so.

And this is what the Borderless Network is all about: seamless and secure connectivity, anytime, anywhere and from any device.

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How Do You Plan for 2011 – Part 2: Think Outside the Box about Cloud

January 14, 2011 at 8:14 am PST

In my previous post on virtualization, I discussed the potential to make greater use of this technology beyond just better server utilization. If you have already done a lot of virtualization projects, you would likely agree that eventually virtualization alone is not enough. Read this interesting story to see how a tech company reached this conclusion based on their multi-year experience with virtualization. The next stage, from an IT architectural perspective, is to incorporate automation, elasticity and governing to deliver on-demand and pay-per-use computing services. As you guessed it, we are talking about cloud computing here.

Much has been written to describe the business advantages, various service types (SaaS, PaaS and IaaS, to name a few common ones) and deployment models (public, private and hybrid) about cloud computing. But, where do you start to plan for cloud?

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On The Edge – A new blog on transforming the branch experience with Borderless Networks

“The road of excess leads to the palace of wisdom.”

-      William Blake.

Looking back, the first decade of this millennium could ultimately be viewed as an age of excess. From securities, SUV’s and PDA’s to business travel, there was arguably too much focus on quantity and not enough on quality. This “more is better” attitude was also visible in the world of I.T. – particularly when it came to branch offices. But that’s all changing now.

I.T. people know all too well how many services are required to run remote sites in a growing business: routing, switching, applications, security, voice, mobility, and more recently, virtualization and video. During the “go-go years” from 2000-2008, some just kept deploying more and more dedicated appliances in more locations to deliver ever more functionality to try to keep their companies’ top lines growing faster than their competitors.

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Good, Fast, or Cheap – Pick Any Two

There’s an old saying, “Good, Fast, or Cheap -- Pick Any Two” that I’ve liked for years. It still generally holds true for those of us who can work with our hands. When I’m not helping Cisco expand its wireless universe, I like to work with my hands.

I’m actually pretty good at it, I’ve installed hardwood, tile, and marble floors and showers in our house, recently remodeled one of our bathrooms after ripping the previous one out right down to the studs and concrete pad. I can build a pretty mean V8 engine, and most things you’d see in a house or small business by hand.

The problem is I’m slow. Really slow. Like, measure three times before I cut once kind of slow. I doubt I’d last even a week as a professional contractor because of this. So, the tag line “Good, Fast, or Cheap” applies pretty well to me.

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Take the SBA-Train

As someone who grew up riding the Boston MBTA, and later the New York City subway system, I have an affection for that gritty form of public transit. So I loved the New York Times article from some weeks ago that detailed the results of the city’s subway survey. My favorite quote:  “Please.  I’ve lived in New York for 20 years — I’ve seen more bizarre things on the trains than I can remember.  That’s why we live here.” 

When you zoom out from that passenger experience, though, there’s a lot that goes into building a subway system to carry all that humanity. Just look at this site dedicated to dreaming up a better MBTA for Boston. Clearly people rely on subway systems for different things and have very subjective needs when it comes to the design of the overall system. And that’s why Cisco’s new Smart Business Architecture (SBA) subway system is so cool. It’s designed to help you navigate easily from Point A to Point B as you move through the modules that help you turn a Borderless Network Architecture into a reality.

Each module—or subway stop—represents a prescriptive, step-by-step guide for a specific aspect of the Borderless Network Architecture. And when you zoom in to explore that guide, you find a clear point of orientation.

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