What Does “Enterprise Class” Mean, Anyway? A Case Study with 3G/4G
[WARNING: This blog post contains specifics on actual product features. Stop reading now if you prefer PowerPoint to Excel.]
“Enterprise class.” Sounds awesome. But does it have any meaning to your business?
It turns out that it does, but we need to dig into a real product example to make it clear. One shining example from Cisco is our leadership in Enterprise class (there’s that phrase again!) 3G/4G. Let’s use this example to highlight how our engineers create “Enterprise class” products by focusing on:
Enterprise class means performance with availability you can count on, supported by rigorous testing and iteration. Our vendors test their modems (all 3GPP and 3GPP2 compliant of course) – good but not good enough for Cisco. We test each of our modems on its own, in the overall system of Router with network services, and with our Service Provider partners for system certification. We test throughput and performance, which is necessary but not sufficient. We also test for EMI, noise, interference, and more. Test results are fed back to engineering teams across our vendors and ourselves for refinement and optimization. Our suppliers have told us that Cisco pushes them harder than other companies to deliver a quality product, a point of pride in the way we uphold the high-standards our customers require for 24X7 business continuity and high quality of experience.
Enterprise class means securing data in motion, not just data at rest. While Cisco is well-known for our leadership in VPN technologies, what may not be as widely known is the extensive system testing we do to ensure IPSec VPN, EZ VPN, DMVPN, and so on work seamlessly with 3G/4G for secure access. We go beyond this foundational leadership by supporting secure split tunneling configurations between sites with cloud offerings like ScanSafe. We’ve also built in software and hardware locking to prevent modem theft. Our comprehensive approach provides secure any-to-any connectivity, full threat mitigation, and more flexible and efficient connections without compromising security.
Enterprise class means being able to monitor, troubleshoot, and manage many devices in the field from a central site. For 3G/4G we are the only vendor to offer CPE-based 3G MIBs for remote management, which can be combined with extensive features on Cisco IOS to establish IP SLAs. Only Cisco offers Mobile IP/NeMo or MPN (both VRF-based deployments). We offer an integrated management capability at the system level across provisioning, system monitoring, issue reporting, and debugging including custom enhancements for diagnostics and logging.
Enterprise class means the ability to address multiple use cases. In the case of branch WAN there are many types of sites with different WAN access requirements. Wireless WAN can be deployed as primary, backup, and backup (always on mode) with seamless switch-over between the modes. At the most practical level, we have certified a huge portfolio of indoor and outdoor antenna solutions to extend coverage, while also working with Service Providers around the world so customers can get access where they need it from the provider they want. Our 3G/4G solutions are currently certified with over 75 carriers worldwide.
Enterprise class means products that will be available when you need them, with investment protection. While USB modems have lifecycles of 6-9 months, Cisco’s 3G/4G modems come with a 5 year support agreement to protect against any end-of-sale announcements from 3rd party modem vendors. We understand that customers need the same assurance for a wireless WAN as for a wired WAN.
While one blog can’t do justice to the work of our talented engineers for even one product area, I hope this gives a sense of how seriously we take our commitment to leading the market with Enterprise class solutions.
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