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IoE: Dead or Alive on Wireless

When we examine the average wireless client on a network today, we see a few options. There is the smartphone, the tablet, or the laptop. Even the Apple TV and Roku are often based off of similar technology and chipsets. All of these devices connect to a wide range of services, often consuming large amounts of bandwidth: we stream music while we browse; we video chat with friends, family, and coworkers across the globe; catch up on our favorite shows or sports teams. Occasionally, we do all of these things at the same time.

Our current wireless networks are built to handle this type of traffic. With 802.11AC, it is clear that we will be ready for anything that our standard client will encounter in the near future.  But what happens when the standard client model is broken?  The increasing shift to an Internet of Everything (IoE) forces us to face this question about the future of wireless clients.

There are lots IoE devices already on the market, and the next couple of years will see developments not that dissimilar from those during the “internet revolution” of the late 90’s. Finally, the average user will have the access and the ability to afford the smart homes we have been dreaming of for the past thirty-plus years. Read More »

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CiscoLive Orlando Follow-Up: Get your DeLorean Photo Before It’s Too Late

CLO_0311_DeLoreanDid you pay a visit to the Enterprise Networks booth at CiscoLive! Orlando? Remember that cool DeLorean and the picture you took with it?

We’ve extended the cut-off date to get your picture if you took one with the DeLorean! The last day to download your picture will be Monday, August 5, 2013. Read More »

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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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Behind the Scenes at the Ciscolive! Network Operations Center

I have been privileged to be part of a very dedicated team of networking subject matter experts for the past 5 years in prepping and running the Ciscolive! event  network.  Before 2008 the network was installed and monitored by a commercial events networking company.  However, it became clear with the number of Technical Marketing Engineers, Services Engineers and product developers on-site for Ciscolive! that we were well equipped to take on the responsibility in addition to our speaking responsibilities.

Planning

The preparation for Ciscolive! starts many months before the event with weekly, collaborative Webex sessions to discuss design criteria, venue particulars and product/feature configurations.  Generally the teams align into core Route/Switch, Data Center, Security, Wireless, and Network Management/Operations, however we work collaboratively to design and implement the best show network possible.  We have individuals that are part of our Cisco Remote Management Services (RMS) team, Video Surveillance and partner support from our CenturyLink Internet Service Provider and NetApp storage vendor.

A small part of the NOC staff will travel to the venue to survey the wireless, power and Internet service capabilities several months beforehand.

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Learning, Friends and Social Networking at #CLUS

Cisco Live! has come to a close and I want my first Cisco Guest Blog post to be about my amazing week in Orlando.  I am a Wireless Engineer based in St. Petersburg, Florida and I try to make it to Cisco Live! as often as possible (which has been every other year recently).

The Keynotes were great this year.  I loved the Opening presentation by Cisco CEO John Chambers on the Internet of Everything but I think my favorite was the presentation by Dave Evans @DaveTheFuturist on the future of the IoE and how our world will keep connecting.  The Closing Keynote with Sir Richard Branson was great.  Check out the video of it and the other keynotes on Cisco Live 365! as well.

I also attended a Cisco ISE TECSEC-3671 Tech section on Sunday and it was filled with excellent information.  If you are interested in ISE (Cisco Identity Service Engine) take a look at this two hour version of the class. You’ll need to register on the Cisco Live 365!, which is free. at Cisco Live 365! If you don’t know about ISE this PDF gives an excellent overview. In the course of the conference I had the chance to take some amazing sessions and the presenters are always leaders in their field so the Q&A is almost as good as the session.

session

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