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How Cisco IT Prepares for the Apple iPhone 5S, 5C and iOS 7

With all of the buzz around Apple’s announcement of the iPhone 5S, 5C and the launch date of iOS 7 — we’ve decided to check-in with our Brett Belding, IT Senior Manager, IT Mobility Services, and the IT Mobility Services team. Brett and the rest of the IT Mobility Services team have interactive discussions on industry trends, BYOD, and even University of Georgia Bulldogs Football. Last week, I asked the team:

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SDN and Network Programmability: First Five Use Cases for Cisco IT

The Cisco IT network services team views network programmability—the broader category that includes SDN, or Software-Defined Networking—as one of our top priorities.

To clarify terms, SDN is a network architecture that decouples the control plane (that is, the building of a routing table) from the data plane, moving the control plane to a software-based centralized controller. In Cisco IT, we see the real value of SDN as enabling network programmability. Network programmability requires two capabilities: harvesting information from network devices, and automatically pushing out new configurations in response to dynamic network conditions or service-provisioning requests.

We’re in the early stages of weaving network programmability into Cisco IT programs. So far, we’ve identified five internal use cases. Read More »

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Cisco Service Discovery Gateway – Enabling Zeroconf in Enterprise Networks

Cisco Service Discovery Gateway – Enabling Zeroconf in Enterprise Networks

I’ll admit it: I’m what others call an Apple fan boy. One of the many reasons for being one is the polished user experience and the ease-of-use of their products. One of the underlying technologies that enables the user to discover devices and services on the network is Zeroconf or, as Apple calls it, Bonjour.

Zeroconf consists of three major components:

  • Address auto configuration,
  • Naming –and–
  • Service discovery.

If your network doesn’t have a DHCP server or you haven’t statically assigned an IP address to your host, most operating systems will use an automatic private IP address. I’m not going into much detail on address auto configuration except that this is typically done using a technique called APIPA (Automatic Private IP Addressing) for IPv4 the host will use the famous 169.254.0.0/16 addresses or, in case of IPv6, by using link-local addresses only (FE80::/10) which has been designed into IPv6 as a basic functionality from day one. Also, naming is not of much of a concern in the context of this discussion. However, it is worth mentioning that Zeroconf names can contain Unicode characters and whitespace, which can make those names a lot more user friendly and meaningful contrary to pure DNS names.

The more interesting part, as it pertains to Zeroconf, is the service discovery. Read More »

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Florida Department of Highway Safety at Cisco Live!

This week at Cisco Live!, the Florida Department of Highway Safety and Motor Vehicles spoke on a government customer roundtable. Rob Fields, the CIO for the Department provided insight into the challenges that he faced with legacy equipment, the organization’s technology vision and plans for the future.

The Florida Department of Highway Safety had purchased lowest bid, low-quality networking equipment prior to Fields’ appointment as CIO. He knew that before he could accomplish any of his technology goals he had to rebuild the network with Cisco from the ground up.

Around this time the State of Florida imposed a travel ban, which was negatively affecting personnel throughout the department. Fields and his team had already been looking at video solutions following the network upgrade, but the travel ban gave them an even greater sense of urgency. “We installed video solutions at 15 locations and began conducting Florida Highway Patrol command staff meetings, remote interviews, and field manager meetings, over video and immediately saw ROI. It was a huge success,” said Fields. Read More »

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Introducing Cisco ONE Enterprise Networks Architecture Supporting the Internet of Everything

ONE Enterprise Networks Architecture SumA few weeks ago, Cisco introduced our new vision for enterprise-wide network architecture based on the Cisco Open Network Environment (ONE) framework. This approach is not a radical departure from traditional networks, but a transformative architecture that brings unprecedented openness and programmability to enterprise-wide networks (not just data centers) to be ready for the Internet of Everything.  It transforms networks making them more agile, high-performing and application-centric, while making the best use of existing network resources (brownfield deployments).

The need for this architecture is predicated upon the increasing number of applications, the complexity of deploying them, and the fast changing business environments that they need to support. These environments include multiple mobile devices users are bringing into the network as well as the sensors and other connected devices we expect will make up the 50 billion networked devices Cisco and GE have predicted for 2020. They also include new cloud-based application deployment models. This complexity is impacting the networks that need to serve these environments. Read More »

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