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Improve Your Backbone, Improve Your Business

Cisco recently announced the Cisco Catalyst 6840-X backbone switch to address new network backbone needs, especially in space constrained deployments.

According to the Visual Networking Index, Network traffic has grown exponentially over the last several years, and this trend is expected to continue into the foreseeable future. By 2018, there will be over 20 billion networked devices, a 100% increase from 10 billion in 2011. Business IP traffic is expected to reach 13.1 exabytes per month in 2016[1].

While devices grow in number, wireless connectivity speed is increasing. Gigabit wireless (802.11ac) enables a network that is three times faster due to its 1.3 Gbps capacity.  802.11ac Wave 2 more than doubles that.  Thus, the bottleneck is moving “up the network” from wireless AP to the access uplinks. With 1G becoming the standard for access switch ports, access switch uplinks will need to move to ubiquitous 10G and 40G.

To help improve business, networks must be capable of scaling well beyond the needs of today to deal with the traffic of tomorrow while at the same time providing investment protection.  While most Enterprise network engineers agree with this approach, the actual number of enterprises moving in this direction is still relatively small. According to a report published by the Dell’Oro Group, it’s not a technology issue – there are plenty of products on the market to handle 10G – but the economics of the network upgrade remain the key challenges, such as equipment cost, expense of upgrading and future proofing.

Cisco is changing those economics by offering easy, cost effective, network upgrades to support the explosion of mobile devices and video applications. The Cisco Catalyst 6840-X Series Switch is a prime example. Read More »

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The Evolution of Networking Software

As a long time networking veteran, I’ve watched our industry change and respond to a wide variety of disruptive changes. I remember PictureTel ISDN videoconferenchqdefaultes on the IBM PC. Then came  IP video conferencing in the early ’90s.  Things picked up 1991, when Microsoft launched Windows Media Player 1.0.

Though Windows Media Player and Microsoft Multimedia Extensions arrived without much fanfare, they ushered in the ability to record and playback audio, and display high-performance graphics on the desktop PC — a feature, prior to that time, reserved for high-end graphics workstations such as the Commodore AMIGA.

But these capabilities were the foundation that led to video streaming in 1995. And, as we know, the future of the Internet, and the network, would never be the same.  (Obligatory Rick-roll omitted)

Today, I watch younger generations (such as my own children) take for granted the networks that are all around them. Social media as we know it was (and is) clearly fueled by our endless appetite to create and share content with the whole world.  Unlike the Internet of the 1990’s, today, you can do it all from the palm of your hand. Read More »

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Mobile Data Traffic Is Exploding—but Who Is Profiting? How Mobile Service Providers Can Monetize Mobile Data

By Marc Latouche, Vertical Manager, IBSG Service Provider

The Cisco Visual Networking Index (VNI) Global Mobile Data Traffic Forecast Update projects a 13-fold increase in global mobile data traffic between 2012 and 2017 — two thirds of it video. To move all that data traffic with speed and quality, mobile network connection speeds will increase sevenfold by 2017. Clearly, mobile data services are becoming increasingly important. The question is, who will capture the revenue associated with all this activity? While mobile service providers (SPs) invest in building and maintaining the infrastructure to carry this burgeoning mobile traffic, over-the-top (OTT) content providers are benefiting from that new capacity, enabled and financed by mobile SPs.

Where are the revenue growth opportunities for service providers in this fast-changing mobile data landscape? Are there opportunities for mobile network operators to partner with OTTs, or to provide services that can extract greater value from the network? Read More »

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