Last week I was without Internet.
Compared to the people who have been without a home over the past several months through floods, earthquakes, tsunamis and tornados, it sounds rather trivial. I was only dealing with some renovations which involved moving my home office and waiting for the cable guy.
Still, to my 7 and 9 year old, not being able to connect to Moshi Monsters and Club Penguin was a big deal. As for me, I managed to get by, tethering to my iPhone and physically going into the office more than usual.
But it got me thinking about our reliance on the physical and what that means in the context of the cloud.
Following the floods up in Queensland, Australia, I heard a story about a cloud-based managed service provider. As the floodwaters receded, they hired a bunch of sales folks who went around to every small office and retailer in the region and told them to call before they spent their insurance money buying new computers. Why buy a bunch of servers to run MYOB or Quicken and risk floods, fire and theft, when you can run everything including your POS out of the cloud?
But when you don’t have an Internet connection, the cloud is of little use.
Google is facing this exact dilemma with its upcoming Chromebook release, and is providing offline support for Gmail, Google Calendar and Google Docs—something they apparently have been running internally for the past several months. Interestingly though, based on both the Cr-48 pilot release and earlier internal conversations, it would seem that there is a view within Google that begins with the assumption of always-on connectivity to the cloud. “When people use our Google Docs, there are no more files. You just start editing in the cloud, and there’s never a file.” And so offline support becomes the exception, instead of the rule.
Of course, when you hit that exception, knowing exactly how your business will continue to run is crucial.
Clearly, there are trade-offs to be made. Without an Internet connection, I can’t access my cloud based applications and data, but neither can I send and receive email or verify credit card transactions. What do I need to be able to do even in an offline state, and what applications are useless to me unless I’m online?
What are the options for WAN redundancy? When I learned about the Japanese earthquakes and tsunamis, I knew my friend was safe was from his Facebook postings. While he didn’t have power, his phone still worked. For individuals, perhaps tethering is the right solution; for a small branch, 3G backhaul as a failover option in the router may be more cost effective.
Ultimately, the answer will be that there is no single answer. Not only is every business different, but each application and its use will be different. It’s only when you take stock of those applications that you understand where your own requirements lie.
I needed to stay connected to do my job while the renovation work was being done. But my kids… they read a book instead.
Stay mobile. Stay secure.
Tags: 3G, Chrome OS, Chromebook, disaster recovery, html5, ISR G2, WAN redundancy
As many of you are aware, this week the Interop tradeshow is taking place in Las Vegas.
Did you know that Cisco is the primary sponsor of the show’s InteropNet? InteropNet is a world-class, fully IPv6-enabled network powering the 15,000-attendee and 400-exhibitor tradeshow complete with dual-stack IPv6 capabilities to all capable endpoints. This is the first-ever show network to be “dual-stack” with IPv4 and IPv6 running side-by-side and it highlights Cisco’s IPv6 leadership. For more info on our IPv6 activities, please click here.
In addition, those of you stopping by the Cisco booth (booth 1127) will notice demos of our latest solutions including the new Cisco ISR Cloud Web Security with Cisco ScanSafe solution announced today. This solution seamlessly extends ScanSafe Cloud Web Security to branch offices and provides scalable, centralized Web protection and malware detection on the Cisco ISR G2 branch router and requires no additional hardware.
With this solution, organizations can easily deploy cloud-based Web security and Web usage policies, enabling highly secure local Internet access for all branch offices and users while saving time, money, and resources associated with traditional hardware deployments. The cloud service delivery model and central user account administration also make Cisco ScanSafe easy to deploy, manage and maintain via remote IT staff.
For more information on this plus the rest of today’s news (including mobility updates), please click here.
Tags: g2, innovation, interop, IPv6, ISR, ISR G2
Furthering its leadership in networking, last week Cisco introduced new security, management, and video solutions to its Borderless Networks portfolio to help information technology departments more efficiently manage the proliferation of mobile devices, ongoing changes in workforce habits, and the impact of video on the network.
The innovations include:
- Cisco Identity Services Engine (ISE) for policy management
- Cisco Prime for Enterprise to help organizations more effectively manage their network and network services
- Cisco Medianet and video conferencing to optimize video delivery. Highlighting Cisco’s commitment to on-going innovation in its core technologies, this announcement included details of integrated video conferencing on the ISR G2.
To get an update on the full announcement, please watch this short video featuring Marie Hattar, VP of Borderless Networks Marketing and Ross Fowler, VP of Borderless Networks Sales here.
For the full press release, please click here.
Tags: Borderless Networks, ISE, ISR, ISR G2, management, policy, video
A common discussion I hear a lot is around how to ensure application performance when accessed remotely over WAN from a centralized data center. At the same time, efficiently utilizing the limited network bandwidth available is key to customers. Cisco WAAS solution can help achieve both these objectives in a cost efficient way.
WAAS (Wide Area Application Services) is Cisco’s WAN optimization solution that helps accelerate enterprise applications delivery and data transfer in cloud. The key benefits that Cisco WAAS solution provides for enterprise applications are:
- Improving end user experience for the global workforce accessing enterprise applications in private/virtual private clouds, resulting in enhanced productivity.
- Improving efficiency (reduced bandwidth requirements/time) for remote replication of the enterprise application data to the DR site are
The requirement for optimizing WAN traffic becomes even more critical as customers continue to adopt data center virtualization and private/hybrid cloud to run their most demanding applications.
Deployment flexibility/options with Cisco WAAS
Cisco WAAS offers multiple deployment options (both physical and virtualized), and can easily plug into different architectures across your datacenter/private cloud, virtual private cloud at service provider, remote/branch offices, Backup/DR site, and mobile workforce. The picture below shows the different deployment options available with Cisco WAAS.
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Tags: Application Velocity, Cisco, cloud, ISR G2, VMware, vWAAS, waas, WAN
“Innovation is the central issue in economic prosperity.” - Michael Porter
There’s been some interesting coverage this week about President Obama’s State of the Union address. And while pundits on all sides debate the ideologies as well as the details, it’s easy to agree on one of his key points – that innovation is the key to getting the economy and the country back on track.
Given the importance of innovation, isn’t it worth taking a fresh look at innovation itself? Many “innovations” such as the Declaration of Independence, the Apollo Space Program, even clever ad campaigns, were all realized by having several smart people in one place to develop ideas together. But now that’s all changed.
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Tags: Borderless Networks, branch, ISR G2, routing, Unified Computing System Express