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Behind the WiFi Network @ Mobile World Congress 2014: Setting the Stage

Every year a new attendance record is set at Mobile World Congress by networkers participating from over 200 countries across the globe. This grand attendance of industry-defining vendors, technology enthusiasts and exhibitors triggers an explosive growth in the number of Wi-Fi capable devices being brought to the event. For MWC 2014, Cisco partnered with Fira Gran Via and GSMA to pull off one of the most successful high density Wi-Fi network deployments in the history of global tech events. This blog kicks off a series to provide a glimpse of behind the network, into the design stages, and the course of actions undertaken to implement a robust high density wireless network which served more than 22,000 concurrently connected unique devices and a total of 80,880 devices throughout the event. Full details in whitepaper here.

Setting the Scene

Divided into eight massive exhibition halls, Fira Gran Via covers around 3 million square feet (280,000 square meters) of area which also includes outdoor areas, restaurants, conference rooms, network lounges and a continuous elevated walkway flowing through the entire venue. Higher the environmental complexity, the more fun and challenging it is to achieve the right wireless design for a pervasive network that meets all the needs.

An aerial view of Mobile World Congress 2014 arena at Fira Gran Via, Barcelona

An aerial view of Mobile World Congress 2014 arena at Fira Gran Via, Barcelona

Generally, the physical design of large convention and exhibition halls bear an impish knack of unfavorable conditions for a ubiquitous high density Wi-Fi network, owing mostly to the lofty ceiling heights and construction components. Read More »

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Welcome Dave Cronberger to the Manufacturing Industry Blog

September 6, 2013 at 11:12 am PST

Welcome Dave Cronberger to the Manufacturing Industry Blog

Dave Cronberger

Dave Cronberger

It is with great pleasure that I introduce a key member of the Cisco Customer Global Enterprise Solutions Group. Dave is a customer solutions architect, working with and supporting key global customers, especially in the automotive industry. As an Infrastructure architect he is focused on physical and logical networks and network based services in industrial automation in discreet and process control environments.

He is a 14-year Cisco veteran with a background in IT networks, network security, IT and OT infrastructure, networks and security, with additional focus on collaboration technologies that use voice, video, and web to improve manufacturing process.

Dave is no stranger to the cutting edge of the automotive industry. He has initiated fleet connected vehicle solutions for Cisco, associated with an IP enabled vehicle using a variety of wireless connections, and today he is focused on Industrial Automation Networks and supporting systems along with network architecture and design for control systems in discreet and process manufacturing systems. This also includes systems supporting the plant floor such as communications, remote expert solutions, wireless networks and security. Read More »

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Services – the Missing “S” in the SDN Debate

June 7, 2013 at 8:49 am PST

While I’ve been writing about Cisco Domain TenSM, I’ve been watching the SDN debate evolve in our industry, and I have to say, I’ve had my concerns.  Don’t get me wrong – I personally see SDN as an important and very much required evolution (and note: ‘evolution’ – not ‘revolution’) of the networking industry.  Being able to extract more value from the network – through, for example, a consistent and broad network API – I mean, who wouldn’t be excited about that!  And especially for us in Cisco, with the largest by far networking installed base, the ability to uncover and exploit additional value for our customers from the network can only be a good thing!

As I say, over the past year or two, I’ve been perturbed about lack of discussion across the industry about the adoption and deployment challenges associated with SDN.  There is – bluntly – too much “nirvana” or “marketing promises” out there,  too much focus on the end result (e.g. “look at our use case, wow isn’t it great”) without discussion of steps required for a success, and too little discussion on the costs and challenges of the design and implementation of SDN solutions (e.g. “took us X man years + $M of investment”).  It’s now time to change the discussion.

I was therefore delighted to see Jim Meltzer’s discussion of the issues he was seeing with his clients regarding SDN.

Read More »

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New Technologies for the Delivery of Services

July 23, 2012 at 8:11 pm PST

Reduction in the complexity of deploying and managing services, accelerating new service introduction, and reducing capital/operational expenditure overhead are key priorities for network operators today. These priorities are in part driven by the need to generate more revenue per user. But competitive pressures and increasing demand from consumers are also pushing them to experiment with new and innovative services. These services may require unique capabilities that are specific to a given network operator and in addition may require the ability to tailor service characteristics on a per-consumer basis. This evolved service delivery paradigm mandates that the network operator have the ability to integrate policy enforcement alongside the deployment of services, applications, and content, while maintaining optimal use of available network capacity and resources. Read More »

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Learn, Experience, Architect and Plan Your Data Center

October 20, 2010 at 1:05 pm PST

It’s one thing to hear about the latest data virtualization and cloud infrastructures, but to truly understand the way these technologies work, you have to see them in action. In the past, testing out the technologies required finding someone willing to give you a tour of their data center, or paying for your own dedicated test environment.

But that all changes today. Cisco distributor partner the Westcon Group has unveiled the first in a series of US-based “Centers of Excellence” so VARs can get hands-on training and an up-close look at solutions targeted at next-generation, virtualized data centers.

Called LEAP Centers (LEAP stands for Learn, Experience, Architect and Plan), these locations provide an opportunity to test-drive a broad range of leading data center.

We chatted with Westcon about these new LEAP centers, what they offer, and how partners can get involved.

What’s inside the LEAP Centers?
Read More »

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