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Is Your Branch Office Lean Enough?

CiscoAndStorMagic2Many branch offices rely on Cisco ISR G2 (Integrated Services Router, Gen 2) as their IT platform.  This router series delivers highly secure data, voice, video, and application services through a modular design.  This turns the router into a platform for WAN Optimization (through Cisco WAAS) and Application Visibility and Control, among other services.

When companies need to add a server into the mix at their branch, Cisco’s UCS E-Series is an obvious choice.  You basically have a server blade that can be inserted right into your router.  The E-Series is especially great for multisite organizations that have centralized IT but still need to host applications locally at their branch office. This need can come from performance requirements, survivability, or compliance, for example. Read More »

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Branch-in-a-Box

One for All

The vision: Moving the power of the data center to the branch office.

The design: An Integrated Services Router G2, delivering blade technology and virtualization to enable more services with fewer devices.

The result: The Intel® Xeon® processor-based Cisco® Unified Computing System™ (UCS) E-Series Servers.

Using innovative technology, the Cisco UCS™ E-Series has the power to connect multiple servers from various locations in just a single router. The footprint is small, while flexibility is huge.

CONET, a Germany-based IT consultancy company, is experiencing the benefits of the Cisco UCS E-Series. With many options available, CONET is able to customize their IT solution and bring together multiple diverse systems. As a result, the company saves time, money, and resources.

Read about CONET’s experience and learn more about the Cisco UCS E-Series Servers here.

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Top 4 WAN Obstacles and Solutions to Cloud Migration

The biggest buzzword in the network industry is Cloud: the majority of organizations have a strategy to use cloud-based services and applications, whether it be Public or Private clouds. Organizations have come a long way since ’migrating to the cloud’ discussions began . Take a look at this video recorded just a few years ago when cloud was still an enigma:

But Cloud has never been a new concept: IT professionals have been migrating applications to centralized datacenters for decades now…mainly to share recourses and save money by having less IT personnel supporting branch offices. Unfortunately, application performance as well as reliability and uptime requirements quickly became barriers to this centralization. Read More »

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Why Cisco, Not Juniper? OpEx, CapEx and the Frankenkluge in the Branch Office Closet

One of the great things about being at Cisco HQ in Silicon Valley is the wonderful diversity we have here. Although you don’t really get seasons you do get an awesome mix of people. A recent stroll around the lake at Shoreline Park revealed people speaking English, Russian, German, Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese, Hindi and some other languages I could not identify. Similarly sushi, butter chicken and naan, pho, bulgoki and bahn mi are all easy to find for the diversified, international foodie.

However, when I go out for Indian food with my friends, they almost always insist on going to a buffet in Mountain View called Passage to India. Partially because they usually have a huge assortment of “desi-chinese” dishes such as Gobi Manchurian and Chilli Chicken but largely because they see the buffet being a tremendous value. Little chicken tikka masala, little tandoori, little goat curry, some gulab jamun – enjoy them all, they are all included in a well integrated package. A la carte approaches make it hard to enjoy such variety, as each additional dish is usually priced like the main part of a meal.

Reminds me of the whole Cisco vs Juniper thing for the branch.

We took a look at the cost of building a modern, secure, integrated services network for the branch, incorporating the functionality and services that you would want in a new branch deployment, you know, things like security (firewall, IPS, VPN), video, server virtualization, WAN optimization, video optimization, 4G backup and Unified Communications. Doing all this with Cisco was pretty easy, all you need is an ISR, which we spec’ed out as an ISR 3945 for our hypothetical 150 person branch (with a 45Mbps WAN bandwidth). Implementation was cheap and easy, particularly when you consider all the capabilities that you were getting.

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UCS and UCS Express

I’ve been watching with some interest how reporting on UCS Express has played out in the wake of our latest Borderless Networks initiative.  The original Integrated Services Router launch was the first I participated in when I joined Cisco back in 2004, so it’s fun to have things come full circle.

Because I think history is a great way to get a perspective on the present, here’s a quick look at how we introduced the ISR in 2004:

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