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When Your Collaboration Infrastructure Starts Making Odd Noises

December 9, 2013 at 12:53 pm PST

If your car is overdue for a tune-up, it may let you know in unexpected (and unsettling) ways — rough handling, sluggish acceleration, and even an odd (“that can’t be good”) noise from under the hood. If you’re like me, you don’t want to find yourself waiting on the side of the road for a tow truck. You schedule your car for regular tune-ups to make sure your tires aren’t worn, the wheels are aligned, no fluids are leaking, and the engine is performing to the right specifications.

Just like your car, a collaboration infrastructure needs regular tune-ups. In fact, just like your car, a collaboration infrastructure will let you know that it’s not running optimally. But by the time you actually notice the performance problems with collaboration applications, the odds are that those problems have already started causing issues with your end-users.

Traditionally, optimization has been looked at (even by Cisco in the early days) as the final step in the deployment cycle. But IT projects queue up so fast that optimization for the last project may not happen because the next project is already underway. Today, however, we look at optimization in an Read More »

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Securing Critical Internet Infrastructure: an RPKI case study in Ecuador

Securing the Critical Internet Infrastructure is an ongoing challenge for operators that require collaboration across administrative boundaries. A lot of attention has been given in recent years to securing the Domain Name System through a technology called DNSSEC. However, in the last couple of years, the attention has shifted to the security of the Internet routing system and the best practices adopted by network operators around the globe in this area. The main questions these efforts are trying to answer are: is your network authorised to use resources such as IP addresses? Do my packets travel through the advertised path or are diverted on their way? These problem statements may sound too technical for the audience but in reality they can quickly be converted in real business impact. Unauthorised claiming of network resources are proven to cause downtime not only for one web server but to complete networks. Particularly, imagine a phishing attack where the IP address, the domain name and the TLS certificate are legitimate but you just interacting with the wrong network. The hijack of IP addresses is normally due to bad operational practices (basically miss-configurations that leak to the global Internet) but it is also suspicious of playing a role in SPAM and other sensitive areas in security.

The global inter-domain routing infrastructure depends on Read More »

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Taking the Journey to Private Cloud Services

Building our Cisco IT Elastic Infrastructure Services (CITEIS) has been a journey of planning, development, and deployment. Cisco customers will find the steps we’ve taken helpful in looking at their own plans for offering IT private cloud services.

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Mobile Network Opportunities for Service Providers

To read the first part of the Network Matters blog series that focuses on how IT leaders can rely on a network to simplify the process of onboarding new mobile technology, click here. To read the second part of the series that discusses how an architectural approach to mobility is essential for the Future of Mobility, click here.

The ultimate goal of business mobility is to drive better productivity, heightened customer experience, and achieve a harmonious work/life balance.

As we’ve discussed over the course of this Network Matters blog series, businesses can support and shape further adoption of this key technology and capture its full benefits by implementing the right network solutions.

It’s also important to discuss how business mobility represents an opportunity for service providers (SPs). I’m going to address three of them:

  1. Consumerization of IT to offer cloud-delivered mobility services at lower cost-to-serve, as well as service delivery reinvention
  2. New emerging and monetizable business models to support consumer desire for unique service offerings
  3. Consolidation of the business mobility market to provide a more integrated, end-to-end value proposition

Service providers can deepen their enterprise customer relationships by addressing pain points and meeting new enterprise mobility challenges. According to a recent Cisco whitepaper, here are some ways SPs can embrace new mobile opportunities by focusing on comprehensive network solutions.

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An Architectural Approach to Mobility

When it comes to mobility, everyone is learning fast in order to keep up. With what seems like daily advances in mobile technology and rapid consumer adoption, it is not getting any easier for organizations to break the cycle of reactive IT decision making. For many of our customers, enterprise mobility happened to them and the initial supporting architecture was built at light speed to respond to the demands of the business. While this approach was necessary to stop the deluge, it didn’t put all of the pieces in place to enable organizations to adapt the continuous change and emerging new realities of mobility. For instance:

  • Users now connect to the network with three or more mobile/WLAN devices such as laptops, tablets and smartphones, resulting in complex wireless infrastructures and network bottlenecks.
  • Inconsistent management tools and policies across the wired and wireless segments of the network increase the burden for network managers and drive up management costs and complexity.
  • Employees demand access from devices not only within the corporation, but also beyond the firewall.
  • Risk management dictates that corporate data must remain protected.

The need to balance productivity with security and coordinate business justification with the various line of business (LOB) owners has never been greater. IT leaders who want to break out of the reactive cycle of just keeping up must take a step back to evaluate what’s coming next. What changes are on the horizon? How will it impact my network? How can my network help me adapt to the changing needs of my employees?

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