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IWAN Wed: What’s more important? Uptime or Cost?

Screen Shot 2014-07-01 at 5.25.06 PM“Location, Location, Location” is what you need to keep in mind for real estate in the physical world.  But in today’s
enterprise environment where everything is virtual and many critical apps are in  the data center or cloud, the most important thing is connectivity.

So welcome to the era of connectivity, connectivity, connectivity!

As connectivity is so important, what can we do to ensure the uptime of the branch WAN connectivity without increasing costs?

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IWAN Wed: The Case for Direct Internet Breakout at Branch and IWAN

Simplify Branch Security with ISRCloud services and SaaS applications is enabling customers to accelerate their business processes and improve employee productivity while lowering their total IT spending. The Cisco IWAN solution is helping organizations adopt cloud applications with an improved user experience by enabling local internet breakout from the branch environment, thus helping eliminate the need to backhaul internet-bound traffic across the WAN link. This helps provide the user improved experience through lower latency for not only internet applications, but also free up bandwidth for application on the WAN link. The reduced WAN link usage also means lower IT spending those links.

However, a study commissioned by Cisco during Jan’14 from 641 customers from US and Europe on their MPLS usage and adoption of local internet breakout found that 68% of the customers responded that enabling direct internet access was an organizational focus for them.  However, 54% of the total respondents reported that lack of sufficient security at the branch environment hindered them from enabling local internet breakout at the branch. This was ranked as the #1 reason to not enable Direct Internet Access at branch sites.

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Unlock the Hidden Capabilities Your Cisco Integrated Services Routers

If you have a Cisco Integrated Services Router (ISR) in your branch – which most companies do – you won’t want to miss the April 23rdwebinar on hidden capabilities of the ISR.

These routers are the Swiss army knife of networking, and come loaded with so many features that it is almost impossible to know all of them. I cannot count the number of times I found myself saying “wow, I didn’t even know that the ISR can do that.” This is because IOS is a very mature operating system with about 30 years of customer experience and feature enhancements. I don’t think that there is any other company in the world that can say that they have 30 years of customer experience in this field.

Routing has evolved tremendously over those years. We’ve moved from access routing to full integrated services to an all-in-one converged branch solution. Our leadership in this space was recognized just two weeks ago, when a new Cisco routing solution won the Best of Interop for Networking. Read More »

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IWAN Wednesday: (Webinar) Enhance your branch with UCS E-Series

For the last 3 weeks, my colleagues have written on the topic of IWAN and its various components.  Ido wrote about the basics (and more) about IWAN, Kiran on how to get twice the bandwidth with PfR, and Hector on how Glue Networks improves the IWAN experience for IT.   As the name suggests, the ‘WAN’ in Intelligent WAN is a very important element but we can’t forget why we need an intelligent WAN – the branch or store that sits on the other side.  It’s the place where 80% of employees of enterprises reside and where content explosion is happening with cloud applications, video training, and other business applications need to be delivered to.  So it would be an understatement to say the branch architecture and how applications are delivered and hosted is important.

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WAN Management – Not on Your Watch

AM63512Network Operations Centers can be somber places.  I’ve seen quite a few during my last two decades in technology.  To monitor and manage a vast network is equal parts nerve racking and mind numbing boredom as you stare at wall-to-wall screens, waiting for an alarm to go off.

Over the years, networks have grown to be more and more complex because there are so many interdependent factors that affect their behavior. These factors include traffic flows, network typologies, network protocols, hardware, software, and most importantly, the interactions among them.

More frightening, the steps required to do these very complex network-wide changes are in many cases still manual.  In most enterprises this is done box-by-box one at a time – both time consuming and error prone.  On top of that you’ve got to make sure that you’ve calculated for variance with lots of different flavors of swtiches and routers in the field.  For example, to leverage a powerful feature such as Performance Routing (PfR), which can double your capacity, each WAN router must be properly configured and the overall WAN architecture adapted to the applications requirements. This can take many man-hours to implement, troubleshoot and optimize – which explains why most IT organizations spend 80-90% on operations, leaving little time for much needed innovation. Add in security, QoS, and mission critical applications and within seconds you can see this akin to kicking a sleeping beast. Once we move to the massive number of devices that are expected for the Internet of Things (IoT), then it simply becomes an unsustainable exercise in failure. Read More »

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