Say you were on an advisory board for a city where population growth, traffic congestion, and demand for services (ambulances, police, & firefighters) presented major challenges, what actions would you suggest the city to take? Similarly, say you were managing IT operations for your company, what actions would you put in place to respond to the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend and the potential impact on your network as users flood it with tons of iPads, Ultrabooks and other personal devices?
Before you rush out of the door to take action, you may want to ask yourself two questions:
- Is my action plan going to deliver a consistent and high quality user experience?
- Is my action plan sustainable, given the demand, available IT headcount and budgetary resources?
The first question is all about your users – when they connect by LAN, wireless or remote access, they want to have the same application performance, the same video quality and the same user friendly experience. The second one is about you and your IT colleagues – your strategy should bring the highest IT efficiency, strongest security and maximized return on your investments to meet the business requirements, instead of a kneejerk reaction. As an example, just like building another highway may not be the best way to alleviate city traffic jams, merely installing some new wireless access points won’t necessarily be enough to address the challenges you have. Consider this Gartner comment:
By 2015, 80% of newly installed wireless networks will be obsolete because of a lack of proper planning.
That 80% is not where you want to be.
Cisco Unified Access helps you get ready with a thorough game plan. The essence of the Cisco strategy is: One Policy, One Management, One Network.
One Policy across the entire network allows both end users and IT operations to benefit from policy consistency and efficiency. Cisco Identity Services Engine is the heart of Cisco One Policy.
One Management for wired and wireless means greater visibility, more effective troubleshooting and faster problem resolution. Cisco Prime Infrastructure makes this possible – if you haven’t, you ought to take a good look.
One Network is a unified network architecture that brings Cisco Catalyst switching, wireless and remote access all together with unique functionalities that are shared across the entire Cisco product portfolio.
Take, for example, advanced security. Cisco has successfully implemented Security Group Access (SGA) for switches, routers and wireless, making it possible for you to deploy scalable and role-based SGA security end-to-end: from branch offices to campus to data center. Application Visibility and Control (AVC) helps you gain deep visibility into user behavior and network traffic, using tools such as Flexible NetFlow and Network Based Application Recognition. In the network resiliency area, Cisco Unified Access enables maximized network availability with stateful switch over and many other high-availability mechanisms with the fastest WLAN and LAN recovery times (sub-second). And with Cisco Smart Operations, you can use auto-install and configuration of Cisco Catalyst switches and wireless access points to simplify your IT operations and save on the overall total cost of ownership.
A more fun way to look at it is the Cisco Unified Access Infographic:
Visit the Cisco Unified Access website for additional information and new innovations in this space.