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SDN in the Enterprise: aligning with business needs part 2

August 14, 2013 at 8:54 am PST

“I confess that in 1901, I said to my brother Orville that man would not fly for fifty years . . . Ever since, I have distrusted myself and avoided all predictions.” — Wilbur Wright, 1908

In SDN in the Enterprise: aligning with business needs I highlighted one of what some people are claiming to be the most disruptive technologies in the networking space in recent memory: Software Defined Networking (SDN), or what I like to call the continuation of the abstraction of everything. Today we’ll explore some of the ways I believe SDN will and will not change networking.

Trying to predict the future in any endeavor is fraught with danger, or at least substantial risk of embarrassment. Winston Churchill once said, “I always avoid prophesying beforehand because it is much better to prophesy after the event has already taken place,” and he was on to something. Technology predictions, in particular, seem to have a funny way of getting away from even the most intelligent and business-savvy among us. Hit the target, and you look like a genius. Miss it, and if you have a high enough profile people will remember it forever. Worse than that, however, is that in business if you miss the target you leave money on the table, or in the worst cases sink the company. Read More »

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SDN in the Enterprise: aligning with business needs

July 31, 2013 at 8:00 am PST

There is always a well-known solution to every human problem--neat, plausible, and wrong. -- H.L. Mencken

As a long-time practitioner of the art of beating computers and communications systems into submission, I am as enamored with the latest gee-wiz technology trends and tools as the next self-respecting geek. I’m also not completely above the allure of the herd-mentality; all for one and all for the new tech. As an IT Director looking at the business side of the house, however, and having to translate all of the latest trends into actionable business intelligence and strategy, I am far less quick to jump on the latest bandwagon. Sometimes what my cohort are talking about, and what I find fascinating personally, isn’t what the business needs. Often, it’s not even close.

It can be a challenging thing, trying to match potential technology solutions to existing or future business problems. It can be even more challenging separating the latest trends and market buzz-word bingo, from the actual solutions that will help my company move forward. Finding those solutions can sometimes seem like a search through the proverbial haystack.

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Picking a Networking Solution for a Fast-Growing Small Business

June 27, 2013 at 2:57 pm PST

Network Connectivity is a big concern for any size of business, let alone a small, growing business. Picking the right solution to address  growth is a key decision.

There are countless options available to small business owners ranging from asking cousin Jimmy, calling a “computer expert” you found on Yelp, or even a quick Google Search. No doubt, this experience can be a daunting one.

All jokes aside, choosing the right solution can save some money now and in the future. That is where right-sizing your network solution comes into play. It does not take long for a successful, single-person business to transform into a growing small business.  A consumer wireless router could probably do the job for a single person home office adequately. But if you are looking to use your network for more than just accessing the Internet, then the choice is not so obvious.  Now or in the future, you may want to access local network resources remotely and securely, use Voice over IP, or segment your network to securely support guest access.  Moreover, as you grow, business applications become more critical.  They need to be readily available, dependable and always on-line.

This is where the new Cisco Small Business Wireless Access Points and RV Series Router come into play.

 

Cisco AP551

Part of a growing small business portfolio, the all-new Cisco WAP551& 561 are perfect wireless solutions for your small business These access points enables small businesses to deliver high-capacity wireless N connectivity and guest access, securely and reliably. Simple yet powerful, it delivers business-class features such as Gigabit Ethernet connectivity with PoE, a captive portal for customized guest access, multiple SSID, VLAN’s and more…

Makes sense right?

But wait! How does the network connect to the WAP’s? First, you need a router. The business-class RV320 is the new flagship in the Cisco Small Business RV Series portfolio.

The Cisco RV320 is a powerful, yet highly secure business class router, offering strong networking performance throughput. Add in business-class features such as dual WAN’s for fail-over and load balancing, an intelligent user interface, USB 3G/4G Broadband failover, and you have a router that will provide years of reliable service.

The last piece of the puzzle is a Cisco’s business class switch that offers power-over Ethernet (PoE) functionality, allowing Access Points to be flexibly optimized for placement. The Cisco SG300 Series of PoE switches offer PoE functionality, with the Security, Quality of Service, Scalability, and Reliability to deliver the best experience for your users. These switches are available in 10 to 52 port configurations.

Cisco SG300 Series

The bottom line is this: Cisco Small Business Products are changing the way you connect your business to the world.

 

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Keeping the Momentum with Business-Relevant Wi-Fi Solutions

Can you remember life without Wi-Fi? Mobility is an integrated part of our daily lives – from how we operate as a mobile user or consumer to how we conduct business. And as Cisco continues to focus on architectures and solutions that transform our customers’ businesses, our Wi-Fi business soars: in last week’s Q3 earnings, we reported a 27 percent increase in year-over-year revenue and a 200% increase in sales of Service Provider Wi-Fi. We’ve now seen 6 out of 7 quarters of Wi-Fi growth, and we continue to be the clear industry leader.

We’ve made exciting new announcements in wireless – the industry’s first edition of the 802.11ac module; extending our portfolio for a cloud-managed offering with the acquisition of Meraki; and unveiling several marquees customer deployments.

One of the truly differentiated ways Cisco is delivering business-relevant solutions is extending the Unified Access architecture through the Connected Mobile Experiences solution. This solution embodies Cisco’s commitment to deliver relevance to line of businesses by shifting the network to a revenue enabler that creates meaningful Wi-Fi user experiences and increases business efficiency.

The Connected Mobile Experiences solution uses Cisco Wi-Fi infrastructure– access points, controllers, Mobility Services Engine (MSE), and management – to detect, connect, and engage end users and to provide unique insight to venue owners through location analytics.

cmx1 Read More »

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Learning from Others: Gartner Symposium ITxpo 2012

“One of the most valuable things any person can learn is the art of using the knowledge and experience of others”

- Napoleon Hill (1883-1970)

I learned to swim in a day. I remember I was standing by the side of the pool, watching the various ways people propelled themselves through the water. The butterfly stroke seemed too hard, but the Australian crawl seemed simple enough. Being very young at the time, my sense of adventure outweighed my sense of self-preservation, and I jumped in and began flailing away. To my great surprise, it worked. It’s a lesson I have carried forward in life: You can learn a lot by just watching what other people do.

With that in mind, I am very pleased to be hosting a panel at this year’s Gartner Symposium ITxpo 2012 on the topic of “A Mobility Strategy for Business Success”.  Joining me on the panel will be three IT leaders with three very different approaches to mobility. They are Barry Libenson, CIO at Land O’ Lakes Inc, Ron Gilson, CIO of Johnsonville Sausage, LLC and Bhavani Amirthalingam, Vice President of IT at World Wide Technology Inc.

Just from talking to them beforehand, I was struck by the diversity of business reasons that went into their individual mobility strategies. I’ll be asking them to share some of their decision-making process, best practices and lessons learned from their mobility roll-outs. We’ll also be exploring how they have provided superior customer, partner, and employee experiences without compromising the security or policy of their respective businesses.

If you will be attending the Gartner Symposium ITxpo 2012 in Orlando, I hope you can join us and add your own perspective to the discussion. The panel will be on Monday, October 22nd, from 3:30 – 4:30 PM in Swan 1-4. With the proven experience of these three IT leaders to draw upon, it should be an engaging and thought-provoking session.

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