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It’s Not the Wireless! BYOD and Cisco Live! Customer Guest Blog

This week I’m happy to continue our customer guest-blog series with Blake Krone, CCNA Wireless, CCNP Wireless, and CCIE Wireless candidate. You can read more from Blake on his blog, Digital Lifestyle or connect with him via Twitter @blakekrone. Read on for a Cisco Live perspective from a true wireless professional.

Recently 14,000+ technology geeks invaded Las Vegas for Cisco Live! 2011 at Mandalay Bay Convention Center. For me this was my 4th year in a row attending Cisco Live! and the 2nd in a row at Vegas. If you have never attended a Cisco Live! event in person I strongly suggest that you try to budget for it next time around. Not only is this the best week to jump head first into all areas of Cisco’s product portfolio but it is also an opportunity to see how the products can come together to provide connectivity for devices and people.

For every Cisco Live! event that is held Cisco builds their own network to support the conference attendees, sponsors, and speakers. This gives Cisco the opportunity to get a large set of data points regarding their products performance in abusive conditions. Lately we have seen or heard about the BYOD (bring your own device) phenomenon that is sweeping across the enterprise network and there is no better place to see that than a large IT conference.

One can safely assume that for all the 14,000+ in attendance each person will have at least 1 Wi-Fi connected device. Now let’s assume that a large chunk of those in attendance are like me and also have their laptop and a tablet with them, that’s a lot of connected devices to support! Whenever I talk with customers about wireless deployments the first thing I will say when we get to the point of turning on a network is that the client will cause the best wireless network to fail. We always push to make sure that the latest drivers are applied to the devices going to be used to ensure proper roaming and performance. But how do you manage that when you have no control over the devices being used? In the future we’ll use tools like Cisco NCS and ISE, for now we just hope it works!

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Tablets Welcomed. Won’t BYOD increase my device troubleshooting costs?

Each year a considerable part (up to 30% in some cases) of IT budgets is funneled towards device troubleshooting. It is no surprise therefore that after security, maintaining lean operational efficiency is the next most frequent concern regarding enabling a BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) model.

Suppose you have allowed personal devices to connect on your corporate network, and you get a helpdesk call from a disgruntled employee that can’t access certain resources. How would you go about addressing the issue? In this video, Saurabh Bhasin, Product Manager of the Cisco Prime Network Control System (NCS) – a newly launched platform for unified wired and wireless network management – answers the troubleshooting question.

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Tablets Welcomed: Addressing the top BYOD concern. Security.

Allowing personal devices on the corporate network can make any IT professional cringe. Security is naturally a top concern – and the topic of today’s blog.

One dimension of security is about enabling network access. To do that properly, you would need to design and enforce a mobile device access policy, which may include attributes such as: what the device is, who the user is, where and when access is requested, and the health (posture) of the device. Another dimension of security is about maintaining overall device integrity regardless of the network (corporate or otherwise) it connects to.

In this video we only address the first. Cisco’s solution is based on a newly launched product, the Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE). Watch the video to learn:

  • What is the Cisco ISE?
  • Can I treat corporate devices differently from personal ones?
  • What about guests in the organization, do I need a separate system?

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Tablets Welcomed: How Cisco IT created a mobile access policy for any device

Hope you found last week’s inaugural blog on the “Tablet Welcomed.” series interesting enough to come back.

Today, I am sitting down for an interview with Brett Belding, who was instrumental in designing a mobile device access policy for Cisco, in his role as the Senior Manager of IT.

I met Brett over Cisco Telepresence one early morning (when I typically I am still asleep, let alone in the office) to accommodate his Eastern time zone schedule. For the videophile readers, I should say that I pointed my camera directly to the Telepresence screen, which is why you may notice my reflection at certain points. However, this amateur video alone could be a case study for the quality of Cisco Telepresence.

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Tablets Welcomed: Part 1

Eighteen months ago, when the original Apple iPad was announced, I posted a blog here posing a simple question: “Apple iPad, in the enterprise?”  The obvious answer, to me at least, was a resounding “Yes”. Today, it seems that professionals and employers alike would agree. The former like to bring and operate their own devices at work, and the latter are buying these devices to boost employee productivity.

In this six-part blog series titled “Tablets Welcomed.” I will be posting short video clips (3 questions in 3 minutes) of interviews with Cisco leaders, that walk you through the Cisco solution for providing access to any device, securely, reliably, and seamlessly.

Today, I am talking to Tom Wilburn, Vice President of Sales for Cisco Wireless, who has experienced this market transition firsthand. Watch Tom here as he answers:
-    How has the influx of new mobile devices changed IT?
-    What are the consequences companies need to confront?
-    What are some compelling tablet use cases?

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