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Demystifying the Catalyst: The Basics of Network Software High Availability

What are Rolling Stack Upgrades (RSU) and In-Service Software Upgrades (ISSU) and how should you use them? In this blog post, let’s take a look at the basics of network software high availability.

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Plan for Your Network Evolution with Cisco Unified Access [Infographic]

Say you were on an advisory board for a city where population growth, traffic congestion, and demand for services (ambulances, police, & firefighters) presented major challenges, what actions would you suggest the city to take?  Similarly, say you were managing IT operations for your company, what actions would you put in place to respond to the Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) trend and the potential impact on your network as users flood it with tons of iPads, Ultrabooks and other personal devices?

Before you rush out of the door to take action, you may want to ask yourself two questions:
– Is my action plan going to deliver a consistent and high quality user experience?
– Is my action plan sustainable, given the demand, available IT headcount and budgetary resources?

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Always-On Mobile Experience with Wi-Fi

Importance of High Availability:  If you are reading this blog, you likely own 2-5 Wi-Fi-capable devices: laptops, mobile phones, or tablets. From employees to students, from doctors to guests, the common theme is that everyone now uses wireless as a preferred mode of access.

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Cisco Puts More Power in Your Hands with StackPower

I recently attended a presentation by bestselling author and speaker Chip Conley. Conley is best known for successfully applying noted American psychologist Abraham Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs Pyramid to create a simplified business model with three themes:
– Survival
– Success
– Transformation.

Conley’s Transformation Pyramid can be applied in many areas. For example, when it comes to serving customers needs,  these three themes tell us that we need to focus on not only customers’ basic and tangible needs at the bottom of the pyramid, but also their higher needs to succeed with their business goals. Here I’ll take a look at how Cisco StackPower helps our customers to achieve their objectives at each of the three stages.
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GPON in the Campus Network – A Misuse of Perfectly Good Technology?

What’s wrong with running my campus network on Gigabit Passive Optical Network (GPON) technology you ask?

Let me count the ways!

I was just reading a White Paper by Nick Lippis of the Lippis Report entitled, “GPON vs Gigabit Ethernet in Campus Networking” that lays out the issues pretty well in my opinion, and concludes up front that GPON is “suited to niche applications” and that “many GPON assertions and claims are overstated.”

Nick does a nice job of contrasting the two approaches, a last mile SP technology (GPON) that might be a good choice for the home & kids, with a Highly Available Ethernet Design that should be used to run a real business.

I’ll leave it to you to read the details, but he covers facts on all the key areas from power consumption and cabling costs to network scaling, single points of failure, and troubleshooting capabilites.

All this adds up to GPON being a poor choice in the Campus when you look at the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) even though the initial acquisition costs might be lower for the hardware itself.  When you look under the covers, the real price is quite high for GPON in terms of a “lack of flexibility, greater power consumption (certainly not green), limited network capacity, upgrades are system-wide events, troubleshooting tools and skilled technicians are limited and lacking, and multiple single points of failure exist.”

He goes on to say, with the Ethernet market being tens of billions of dollars, research and development is assured while competition privdes the motivation for innovation and feature enhancement.  An Ethernet campus network is a safe investment.

Caveat emptor!

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