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Five Cool Router Tricks with onePK

Network Management is dull.  No excuses.  Monitoring and interacting with the devices that move data from one location to another is a thankless undertaking that most of us building networks leave to an afterthought.  Part of that is the complexity associated with managing networks.  There are at least a dozen common methods for interacting with devices in the network including SNMP, CLI, AAA, Syslog, Netflow, and fancy XML/HTTP interfaces.  So much variety breeds complexity so we tend to set our goals pretty low for interactivity with the network.

What if we had one common mechanism for interacting with the network?  Different devices running different software would all speak a common language to the applications managing and monitoring them.  Now what if that language was something the programmers writing those applications understood implicitly like an API library they could compile directly into their program?  That would make interacting with the network as simple as making a procedure call within the application.  That’s exactly what onePK – or the “one Platform Kit” – accomplishes.

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Cisco and Citrix –Better Together Across Networks, Clouds and Mobility

Early this week, there was much buzz and speculation about how Cisco and Citrix will be doing business differently. The news was finally unveiled at Mark Templeton’s keynote, when he introduced Cisco CTO, Padmasree Warrior, and they jointly announced the expansion to the two companies’ current partnership on three strategic areas: cloud networking, cloud orchestration and mobile workstyles.  Details are outlined in this press release.

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Application Visibility & Control: CleanAir at the Applications Level

October 8, 2012 at 5:00 am PST

The Problem:

There are many challenges IT managers face on a daily basis. As the proliferation of user devices and the growth in business, personal and collaborative applications continue to grow, almost exponentially, these challenges only make the job of an IT manager harder. For instance, imagine what goes through the mind of an IT administrator who is responsible for helping a hospital and medical school get a handle on device and application growth and usage:

  • Is a guest or patient downloading movies using Bit-Torrent –in other words, stealing valuable airtime away from my mission-critical applications?
  • My network supports a mixed use of guests, employees and vendors/doctors. Without prioritizing applications on the network, employees risk losing productivity and response time to patients, insurance providers, labs. Can I prioritize business-class applications such as Cisco Webex/Jabber and de-prioritize the applications such as Netflix?
  • Who are my top 10 users and the top 10 upstream and downstream applications? Can I save a detailed report of all application flows in my network for compliance purposes?
  • The number of devices, number of users is exploding, and use of video is growing 50% year over year. Should I add more access points in my auditorium or conference room areas? Or should I upgrade to 802.11ac for more capacity?

Enter Cisco Application Visibility Control(AVC) integrated into wireless infrastructure.

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Plan for Your Network Evolution with Cisco Unified Access [Infographic]

September 19, 2012 at 8:30 am PST

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?

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