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Bringing Up a New Branch Site the Easy Way with Prime Infrastructure – Part 3

Last week, I discussed with you how to set up and managed converged wired and wireless access with Cisco Prime Infrastructure. Here, as the 3rd post of our 5-part blog series, I’ll focus on how to ensure application performance for your branch site users with Prime. Again, here’s my blog series plan on how to set up networking with Prime for a new branch site.

WAN deployment – blog 1
Converged wired and wireless  – blog 2
Application performance – blog 3 (This blog)
Troubleshooting – blog 4
Network health – blog 5
 applications

Your new branch network is up and running as planned.  Everything for your WAN, wired and wireless access is working beautifully. But how is your business application performance? At the end of the day, it’s all about the applications and user experience.

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Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services – How to get infected

On October 7, 2013 Cisco completed the acquisition of Sourcefire. At that time, I recognized this via Twitter and checked out the products on their website. I was excited to see the FirePOWER in action together with a Cisco ASA.

I had a good possibility to join the “ASA with FirePower Services” Workshop in Munich directly at Cisco. A big part of this Training was a Hands-on Lab, where the FirePOWER “Virus” infected me. I was thrilled, about the Cisco ASA with FirePOWER Services and the FireSIGHT Management Center.

This intelligent cyber security solution covers gaps in traditional security solutions. The threat-focused next-generation firewall provides next-generation security capabilities:

Application Visibility and Control (AVC)

Over 3000 Application-Layer and Riskbased controls, that works closely with the IPS to optimize the security.

Next-Generation IPS (NGIPS)

Visibility to detect multivector threats to streamline and automate defense response, Superior threat prevention and mitigation for both known and unknown threats

URL Filtering, and Advanced Malware Protection (AMP)

The comprehensive malware-defeating solution can enable malware detection and blocking, continuous analysis, and retrospective alerting.

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Hybrid WAN Requires Advanced Network Services

A few weeks back, Gartner analyst Bjarne Munch stated, “Internet and MPLS play an equally important role for enterprise connectivity. Network planners must establish a unified WAN with strong integration between these two networks to avoid performance problems.”[i]

So, why should IT move to a hybrid WAN architecture? What are the benefits?

#1 – Control Costs

Growth in bandwidth demand is overwhelming customer networks, particularly at the branch. IP traffic is expected to grow three times over the next five years due to video, cloud applications, rich media and data center centralization. At the same time, Nemertes’ 2014 WAN Best Practices and Success Factors report states that 60% of IT WAN budgets will remain flat or decline in 2015. Read More »

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3 Steps for Best-in-Class Wi-Fi

If you are a professional photographer or even an amateur like me, you want to have ready access to various control dials on your camera to capture the moment perfectly. Professional cameras provide high level of control to get the best outcome. But there are times when you want to put the camera and the lens in Auto mode or wish that the camera could automate some decisions that make your workflow easier.

Likewise, Cisco Wireless LAN products provides the level of quality, functionality and control that is unmatched and hands-down the best enterprise wireless networking portfolio in the industry. But there are scenarios where it is preferable to expedite wireless configuration with best practices automatically enabled and easy access to data to simplify monitoring and troubleshooting workflow. For example, a small business owner manages his own network or in a K-12 a librarian acting like a part-time IT administrator. This not only provides operational efficiencies for the IT organization but also improves end-user and partner experience.

Cisco WLAN Express Setup is an attempt in this direction. It is now available on 2500 Series Controller (CT2504) starting with software release 7.6.120.0.

It includes three components

  • Easy-to-use setup wizard: This eliminates the need for console cable and command line setup. Instead, 3-step web-wizard is used to quickly boot strap a Controller and configure employee and Guest WLAN out of the box.
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The Summer Blockbuster You’ve Been Waiting For: Cisco Wireless Release 8.0

Cisco Wireless Release 8.0 is now available: Product Bulletin 

The Cisco VNI Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast, 2013 – 2018 revealed some stunning trends with growth projections that are sure to have a dramatic impact on wireless networks worldwide.

In 2013, globally, there were nearly 22 million wearable devices generating 1.7 petabytes of monthly traffic. There were about 7 billion mobile-ready devices and connections with mobile network connection speeds that have more than doubled, to 1.4Mbps up from 526 Kbps in 2012.

By 2018, there will be more than 10 billion mobile-ready devices and connections. The average mobile connection speed will nearly double, from 1.4 Mbps in 2013 to 2.5 Mbps and over 4.9 billion devices will be IPv6-capable. There will be more traffic offloaded from cellular networks (on to Wi-Fi) than remain on cellular networks.

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