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Cisco Catalyst Instant Access Dramatically Simplifies Your Network

August 24, 2013 at 6:30 am PST

There are a lot of great technologies that have outstanding business benefits but are not widely deployed. For example, 802.1X for wired networks can determine appropriate network access based on user identity and additional contextual information. The technology is already built into the network to help customers improve their network security. If you ask your peers in the industry, however, you may hear that many of them have not turned on 802.1X on their switching network.  Why? Depending on who you ask, you might get different answers from different people. But one common response is that IT staff is too busy with so many burning issues on their network so they don’t have time for something like 802.1X. It’s not just about this technology. They never have enough time to do testing, troubleshooting and configuration changes. That’s why any solutions that can help simplify and streamline networks and IT operations will go a long way. Read More »

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What’s the Value of Medianet for Video Collaboration?

July 24, 2013 at 11:01 am PST

Is interactive video an important business tool for your organisation? If yes, then read on.

Medianet is an architecture that Cisco often talks about and it seems like it’s been around for ages (well 5 years to be exact), but its true value is often obscured by complex diagrams and techno speak that Cisco engineers (like myself) love. So what exactly is the benefit of EX90 TE6 MSI firmware delivering Medianet metadata to an Access Layer Catalyst 4500? How does the combination of MSI, metadata, perfmon and Mediatrace save you time and money? Unless you have a degree in Cisco acronyms this might be hard to answer!

What I’m going to attempt in this short blog is to try and translate the Medianet architectural jargon into the potential cost savings that Medianet offers customers who deploy our video endpoints and applications over a 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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Could Connected Mobile Experiences Save You From Starring In A Horror Movie?

True Story: The night I arrived in Orlando I was exhausted & hungry.  I headed to a neighboring hotel to meet a colleague for dinner, entered the hotel from a side door, and realized I was lost.  The <REDACTED> hotel and conference center had electronic maps on the walls, but they were poorly done (that’s my story) and it took about 20 minutes to find my way out of the maze. Realizing I had gone in a loop amid abandoned conference rooms was the low point.  As much as I love that potential setup for a horror movie (She thought she’d visit a friend, but never suspected the grave danger that lurked in that funhouse of hallways in “The Beige Lands of Doom”.  Don’t open Hall A!) I was grumpy by the time I found my friend.  Thankfully, Connected Mobile Experiences could spare people this fate and help them remain pleasant to dine with.  Unfortunatly, it wasn’t there in this scenario and adult beverages were requested by all. Read More »

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Cisco ONE Enterprise Networks Architecture: Programmability for WAN Networks

In my last two blogs I discussed the challenges Enterprises are facing for their WAN, the differences between Enterprise needs in their LAN and WAN, and how the traditional ONF model for SDN isn’t practical for the Enterprise WAN.  Let’s now look at how the new Cisco ONE Enterprise Architecture can address this.

Cisco ONE Enterprise Network Architecture

The new Cisco ONE Enterprise Networks Architecture based on Cisco Open Network Environment (ONE) was introduced at InterOp Las Vegas during Rob Soderbery’s keynote, with a deeper dive in a blog by Inbar Lasser-Raab  (shown in Figure 2). Briefly, the 3 layers are similar to SDN Architecture but are also vastly different in the following ways:

ONE Enterprise Networks Architecture GameChanger Read More »

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