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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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Three Simple Ways to Boost Mobile Device Security

The explosion in business mobility is transforming our companies in profound—and sometimes challenging—ways. One of the most vexing issues is security.

Recently, I came across a Wharton article predicting that by 2015, more Americans will access the Internet through mobile devices than PCs. From open data to an increase in government-accessed information, this sweeping trend raises questions about the true security of mobile networks and devices. But how can an organization support the infusion of wireless devices into employees’ lives without opening the door to heightened security risks? Read More »

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[Cartoon Catalyst Blog Series] K-12 BYOD. Secure Students, Determine Internet Access, and Yet Provide Awesome Network Performance?

So many students, so many devices, yet zero increase in number of IT staffers. The increasingly unbalanced ratio is enough to cause a few nightmares for any IT professional.  Luckily, supporting student IT requirements, while remaining secure, has become a bit simpler with Identity Service Engine (ISE)  Policy Deployment, part of Cisco BYOD Solutions for K12 Education.   With ISE, IT staffers can quickly add and support student’s devices like laptops, smart phones and tablets and at the same time ensure the protection of student information access, dynamically control who gets access to what and provide optimal network user experience.  You can be rest assured that we have your back while you balance it all.

K-12 TightRope1    

Protection of Minors – Let’s face it – K-12 means we’re talking about minors, so we need to tread quite carefully. Extending network access across wired and wireless opens education to a world of innovation; yet it also opens the network up to security threats. 64% of parents feel it is a schools responsibility to effectively teach students how to use their mobile devices safely [Info graphic].  Protection of access to and access by students is a high-priority.  It is critical to restrict access to confidential student records while making sure students get the right access to resources they need for learning. The ISE component of the  K12 BYOD Solution protects student information through secure,   role-based, application access – simply – over the wired and wireless infrastructure. Read More »

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Partnering with Apple on BYOD and Great User Experience

Mobility extends beyond devices. Yet, having the right devices and choice of devices allows us to work the way we’d like. In fact, Cisco is one of the world’s largest enterprise users of Apple products. Employees have purchased 33,000 iPhones and 16,000 iPads as part of Cisco’s BYOD program, and almost half of our regular employees are using Macs.

Recently Cisco’s Sheila Jordan, Senior Vice President of Communication and Collaboration IT spoke with Apple about BYOD, as part of Apple’s Tech Talk series. Here she and Brett Belding, Senior Manager, Cisco IT, discussed what’s behind Apple’s popularity at Cisco. They also address what enterprises like Cisco can emulate  what Apple has created for consumers in terms of user experience and bring that into today’s mobile enterprise.

Check out Sheila’s blog “Partnering with Apple on BYOD and Great User Experience” where she discusses the Apple Tech Talk and Cisco’s mobile and collaboration strategy.

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Is Your Company Prepared for Gen Y? Cisco, Twitter and Google Share Their Thoughts

We’ve all heard about Gen Y, or “millennials,” and how this new generation is poised to take over the workforce and change the face of Silicon Valley. Next Tuesday, July 16th at 6:30 pm, I’ll be joining thought leaders from Twitter and Google on a panel at the Commonwealth Club in San Francisco, to discuss an issue of critical importance – how to attract tomorrow’s talent and prepare for the incoming Gen Y workforce.

Gen Y is expected to make up nearly 75% of the workforce by 2025. How will this change the way we work, and what kinds of opportunities and challenges does this pose for local Silicon Valley companies? During this panel, I’ll share my thoughts on the biggest shifts in culture, management style, and recruiting strategy needed to attract the best talent of this new generation.

As many of you know, using today’s enterprise tools can feel like taking a trip back in technological time.  For businesses to succeed in the future they are going to have to adapt to the needs of Generation Y and that will often mean offering them more flexibility. According to the Cisco Connected World Technology Report, 66% of employees place higher value on workplace flexibility than on salary.

But it will take more than offering a flexible Read More »

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