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Santa’s Gift for Wireless Admins This Holiday Season

Last week, a friend of mine jokingly asked me, “So, what is Santa bringing to Cisco’s wireless customers this holiday season?”

I couldn’t help but grin because I already knew what many of you are now aware of: Santa’s wireless holiday delivery came early this year, with Release 7.4 now posted on Cisco.com.

We at Cisco’s Wireless Networking Group are really excited to show off this shiny new release. 7.4 is jam-packed with 40+ features to improve the everyday lives of Cisco wireless customers.

You must be thinking: But you just released feature-heavy 7.3 in October AND new products, such as Virtual Wireless Controller and the highly scalable Wireless Controller 8510!

So what makes 7.4 so special? We specifically chose each feature with the goal of creating an uncompromised user-experience while keeping wireless network administrators happy by making it easy manage their WLAN more efficiently. The 7.4 release specifically focuses on four main pillars:

  • Quality of Experience for Wireless Users
  • Improved Security & Spectrum intelligence
  • Improved performance for small deployments
  • Ability to deploy innovative IT services using mobile apps

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

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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What’s your Cloud IQ?

Two of my favorite geeks are presenting a workshop today on Bringing the Cloud to your Remote Offices.  Jimmy Ray is hosting his ‘brother from another mother’ (as we fondly refer to him) Matt Bolick.  Matt first blew our doors off back in 2009 as we featured the then new ISR G2 in our ‘Routers are Dead…Long Live the Router show (now retired).  Well, Matt was a featured guest recently on another big show we did, the Cisco Cloud Intelligent Network.   You can see Matt’s segment on Application Visibility and Control from that show right now as a great pre-study for the workshop above.   I also recommend our recent ‘Fundamentals of the Cloud Services Router’ as a secondary study resource.  Matt was instrumental in our writing and creation of this tool as well and I think you will find it valuable.

Heres the thing – The Cloud and the Network are very co-dependent.  The network is poised for incredible leaps of intelligence now more than ever with this pressure from cloud implementations being quick to reveal weakness. I have even heard where the WAN has been re-defined as “Weak Area Network.”  Why?  Poor performance, inadequate security, lack of visibility and complex management, just to name a few An intelligent network endows the WAN with the  efficiency of cloud and and the confidence of a private network.

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