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Defending the Data Center

September 12, 2012 at 5:00 am PST

It’s no secret that enterprise data centers are in a state of transformation – they always are. There’s a constant need to scale data center operations to meet the seemingly insatiable demand for connection and throughput speeds, as well as the number of concurrent sessions. In fact, experts anticipate that these performance demands will increase by as much as 30X over the next few years.  While that statistic alone is remarkable enough, that’s just part of the story.  Adding to the dramatic changes is the trend toward virtualization – with over half of all workloads expected to be virtualized by next year; and the fact that employees currently use an average of more than three mobile devices to access enterprise networks.

All of these trends are fundamentally changing data center operations today. And while the obvious impact of these changes is the need for performance scalability to meet the increasing demands, they also inherently change how data centers are secured. It’s this second impact that is often overlooked. While security is certainly important to data center administrators, it isn’t their only concern.  Oftentimes their primary focus is maintaining business-IT alignment and avoiding chokepoints that can degrade performance and jeopardize their SLAs.  As a result, security is frequently put on the backburner while the entire operation continues to upscale – opening the door to the perfect storm for a major security breach.

Unfortunately, most security products are “bolted on” as an afterthought, so they’re not capable of meeting the robust and dynamically changing needs of enterprise data centers. But Cisco handles security very differently than the rest of the industry. By leveraging the SecureX Architecture, Cisco security solutions are built into the network fabric. 70 percent of the world’s Internet traffic and 35 percent of the world’s email traffic flows through Cisco networks, putting Cisco in the best position to see and proactively protect against threats before they affect customers’ networks. Cisco gains intelligence from throughout the network to enable more informed security decisions, and has used that intelligence to integrate security throughout the network infrastructure to provide comprehensive policy enforcement.

To this end, today Cisco made a series of product announcements that help provide modern data centers with what they need to remain secure, while enabling them to meet their business needs:

  • Cisco ASA Software Release 9.0, which is a major release of the core operating system which powers the entire line of ASA security appliances, adding data center-class performance and next-generation firewall capabilities
  • The Cisco ASA 1000V Cloud Firewall, a new multi-tenant edge firewall that uses the same base ASA code that runs the physical ASA appliances, but is optimized for virtual and cloud environments
  • Cisco IPS 4500 Series Sensors, a new series of standalone enterprise-class IPS appliances that provide up to 10 Gbps of IPS throughput in a single blade –four times the performance density of the closest competitor
  • Cisco Security Manager 4.3, which delivers several important capabilities for up to an 80% improvement in operational efficiency, as well as northbound APIs that enable customers to more efficiently deploy comprehensive security solutions

With these new product announcements, in addition to the rest of the SecureX Architecture, Cisco makes security a deployment decision, just like the rest of your network, with consistent security that enables policies to work throughout hybrid environments – physical, virtual, and cloud.  Because we’re part of the network fabric, rather than a bolted-on point product vendor, we deliver security when, where, and how you need it to deliver a flexible, comprehensive security solution. As a result, Cisco can provide high levels of network security, while enabling enterprise data centers to maintain business-IT alignment and avoid chokepoints that can degrade performance and jeopardize SLAs.  And since we enable one layer of security policies to work throughout the hybrid environment, we provide a high level of security while significantly decreasing complexity.

For more information, please visit http://www.cisco.com/go/securedc.

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Cisco Build and Price Gives Customers Access to Blade Server and Rack Server Prices

It’s no secret that Cisco Unified Computing Sytem (UCS) has had some tremendous success in terms of customer adoption.  In just three short years, UCS is nipping at the heals of IBM for the #2 spot for Worldwide x86 blade server revenue with 15.2% market share, compared to IBM’s 15.4%.  In fact, Cisco now has over 15,000 customers that have moved from legacy architectures to a more “Unified” approach, combining compute, network and storage access into a single, easy to manage solution. 

 So what’s missing? 

Well, believe it or not, until now it was relatively hard to do business with Cisco.  Quoting and ordering took days instead of minutes.  Well Cisco is changing that with the release of its new online presence called “Cisco Build and Price“, offering direct access to blade server pricing and rack server pricing.

A Simple Approach to Building and Pricing Cisco UCS Servers

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Delivering Customers Three Paths to the Cloud

Unless you are careful upfront and during implementation, multivendor solutions rarely provide worry-free ways for a service provider to meet customer needs. But done right, our close partnerships have simplified cloud deployment and support for our customers, and help ensure end-to-end visibility. Building off of a successful relationship, Cisco and EMC recently set a standard for such partnerships with their announcement of a “Three Paths to the Cloud” strategy.

The strategy benefits providers and customers alike by reducing complexity and enabling the leading time to market and lowest total cost of ownership for converged cloud infrastructure. The “Three Paths to the Cloud” are based on: Read More »

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Cisco Captures A Leadership Position in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications

Cisco has received recognition as a Leader in Gartner’s newly-released 2012 Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications (UC)! Find out more at Lynn Lucas’, Senior Director of Collaboration Marketing, blog below.

http://blogs.cisco.com/collaboration/cisco-captures-a-leadership-position-in-gartner-magic-quadrant-for-unified-communications/

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Cisco Captures A Leadership Position in Gartner Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications

I’m pleased to announce that Cisco has received recognition as a Leader in Gartner’s newly-released 2012 Magic Quadrant for Unified Communications (UC).  In this report, Gartner analyzed the current enterprise UC market, and named Cisco as a market leader based on Cisco’s completeness of vision and ability to execute.

Gartner’s Unified Communications Magic Quadrant reflects the rapidly changing needs of today’s knowledge worker.  Recent research from a Cisco IBSG Horizons study showed that a striking 95% of businesses are allowing employee-owned devices in some way, shape or form in the workplace. This includes smartphones, tablets and other personal devices that run on a variety of platforms. Highlighting this trend, Gartner closely evaluated UC options that work across multiple mobile platforms, and that provide support for open standards and interoperability with other solutions.

According to Gartner’s Bern Elliot and Steve Blood, “Enterprises wish to avoid ‘closed gardens’ and weak support for standards to ensure choice and control. Support for standards is a critical consideration, as enterprises wish to integrate their UC deployments with business partners, customers, business applications and third-party products.”

Support for multiple platforms

Cisco helps businesses address this growing need by providing a full suite of UC solutions for mobile devices across a variety of deployment options, including Apple, Android and other popular operating systems. For enterprises juggling a deluge of new employee devices and corporate platforms, the ability to provide full UC client support – including video, instant messaging (IM), presence and web collaboration – across a multi-vendor environment is critical.

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