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Is Your Network Flexible and Secure?

May 17, 2011 at 6:01 pm PST

Remember the old days when work meant sitting at your desk, typing away at your desktop computer, at the office? There was no such thing as a smart phone or even a laptop or a tweet – you just sat at your desk and waited for the network, which was probably running at 56k dial-up speeds or slower. (Now I probably sound like my father who told me he had to walk uphill to school in the snow every day.)

These days, we don’t need to be tied to a desk, but we also expect much more of our networks: they need to be fast, secure, run the applications we need, and allow employees to work anywhere, anytime, and on any device.

So how to design an enterprise network with enough flexibility and security to address users’ needs without CIOs and IT managers having coronaries in the process? And how can enterprise networks live harmoniously (and securely) with our many devices, from smart phones to iPads to laptops?

As we continue the Seven Myths of the Good-Enough Network series over on Silicon Angle, Cisco’s Mike Rau--Vice President, CTO for the Borderless Network Architecture--tackles those questions and more as he dispels the second myth: bolt-on security.

What exactly is bolt-on security anyway? Read More »

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FlexPod: More Flexible Than Ever, and Gaining Customers

What’s a FlexPod—is it a highly flexible case for your favorite MP3 player? A cool new modern chair? No, FlexPod is a design architecture combining networking, computing and storage infrastructure that’s now available through 120 channel partners worldwide!

Yes, that’s right—since its launch in November of last year, FlexPod has seen tremendous growth in the marketplace, with 120 partners worldwide now offering this flexible, scalable shared infrastructure that helps customers lower deployment risk, increase data center efficiencies, and create a flexible IT environment to build a private cloud. FlexPod, which is built on the Cisco UCS server platform, Cisco Nexus switches, and NetApp unified storage, has also been adopted by more than 150 customers.

Furthermore, to make it even easier to purchase and deploy a FlexPod, Avnet Technology Solutions today announced it is pre-bundling the FlexPod, based on the Cisco and NetApp reference design architecture guides, for our resellers partners in the U.S. and Canada. Avnet will now provide a single source through its newly introduced FlexPod Services, offering partners all the products, assembly, testing, technical expertise, and support they need to successfully bring FlexPod to market.

Do your customers use SAP applications? Then you’ll also be interested in the last piece of today’s FlexPod news.

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New Microsoft Solutions Offer Partners More Ways to Differentiate

In a competitive market, differentiation makes all the difference. Whether you’re selling sneakers or servers, being able to offer the widest selection of products to meet a broad set of needs is critical in helping to drive growth and grow profits.

So today’s announcements of three new reference configurations focused on Microsoft applications and technologies will likely please you—now our partners will have even more opportunities to sell a broader set of solutions, giving customers more choice.

Today, along with our storage partners, Cisco is greatly expanding our channel partners’ ability to offer customers Microsoft-based private cloud, data warehouse, or OLTP configurations based on shipping Cisco UCS server and Nexus networking products. Three standalone, discrete reference architectures are now available: A Cisco-developed SQL Server 2008 R2 Data Warehouse solution; a Cisco-developed SQL Server 2008 R2 Online Transaction Processing (OLTP) offer; and Cisco as the server partner with NetApp as they bring to market their NetApp for Private Cloud offer as part of Microsoft’s Hyper-V Private Cloud program.

How will this impact you? Here are more details.

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It’s Your Lucky Day, We’ve Got Your Top Cisco News Headlines

May 13, 2011 at 12:50 pm PST

Many believe that number 13 equals bad luck. And on Friday the 13th some may take extra precautions to ensure nothing bad happens. There are literally hundreds of myths out there around things that could bring bad luck: a black cat crossing your path, walking under ladders, and breaking mirrors, to name a few.

One thing that’s guaranteed to bring good luck to all, however, is watching the latest Partner Update newscast. What could be more lucky than getting all of the latest Cisco partner news in less than five minutes?

It’s been a busy week! In this newscast, we share ways that Cisco is simplifying and making easier to do business with us, we cover the top networking myths, new IT cloud and print solutions, give you a recap of our B2B lead generation and marketing webcast with tips on turning leads into customers, a way to turn your customers’ old networking equipment into money for you, showcase B2B blogging tips, and highlight our Tweet of the Week.

Keep reading for highlights and links to everything we covered in this week’s Partner Update along with timestamps so you can easily jump to each item. Read More »

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How Mobile Devices Impact the Network

May 12, 2011 at 2:47 pm PST

dog facebookAre you among the one third of smartphone owners who use social media applications from bed?

I’ll admit I was surprised to hear so many people check their phones even before having a morning cup of coffee, mostly because I didn’t realize other people did that, too!

This phenomena probably won’t be as surprising in a few years when there will be one mobile device for every person on Earth, according to the Connected World Report, 2010.

While these stats may sound like drivel, they actually underscore the importance that a reliable network plays (and will play) for an increasingly mobile workforce — not just for those people checking Facebook under the covers.

Let’s face it: a network built on “good enough” equipment isn’t going to deliver the same experience as one using next-generation equipment designed for the loads of today’s demanding applications—including voice, video, and data.

Curious about the importance of the network as it relates to mobile? Head over to Silicon Angle where Mike Rau (Vice President, CTO for the Borderless Network Architecture at Cisco) blogged on myth number one --The Single-Purpose Network Myth.

In the post, Mike explains that a good enough network is not designed to handle the needs of an increasingly mobile population, but is built to serve the single purpose of connecting users to resources in silos of connectivity. As mobility demands on the enterprise increase, he indicates that it becomes critical that an end user is consistently managed as they access the network, whether over a wired, wireless, or VPN connection.

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