Network 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 »
Tags: APIC Enterprise Module, Cisco, cloud, Cloud Managed Networks, Glue Networks, ISR, IWAN, Network as a Service
How many times have we done something for others? Something for people we don’t even know. We all love doing things either for ourselves, family or friends but participating in a cause, which is entirely for people who do not currently enjoy the beautiful morning walks, running or playing is another dimension and fills us with energy.
Would you like to participate in such a cause? It is happening simultaneously worldwide where everyone is running for those who can’t!
The Wings for Life World Run is an entirely new type of event never before seen nor undertaken in either running or any other sporting field. Why? Because it is a truly global adventure, encompassing up to 35 locations, in which everyone runs at the very same time all over the world! Read More »
Tags: healthcare, ISR, ISR G2, MDES, Spinal Cord Injury, Tiani Spirit, UCS, UCS-E Series, Wings for Life, World Run
You want to do what?
Enterprise networks are special. They require bomb-proof design, micro-second convergence and service-level agreements so good that the WAN will only be down for half a second every year scheduled six weeks ahead of time for midnight over a holiday weekend. That’s what we’re taught from the time we’re young Network Engineers sitting on our parents’ knees. An Enterprise network is something special they taught us. We should never consider running our mission-critical traffic over the dirty, unreliable Internet! Such talk would be blasphemy akin to looking for a date at a funeral. It might work for some, but our network is special and must be treated that way.
So what is all of this talk then, coming from Cisco no less, of using Internet links to run an Enterprise-class network? Cisco recently introduced the Intelligent WAN (IWAN) solution that promotes exactly this sort of “illicit” behavior. So what’s changed?
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Tags: AX, internet as wan, ISR, ISR G2, IWAN, routers, transport independence
It goes without saying (but I’ll say it anyway): reliability is important, as well as ensuring that you have a backup plan to continue that reliability. Just yesterday as I was embarking on my 50-mile commute into the office, I discovered that one of my car tires was completely flat. A spare tire, a standard feature in most cars here in the States, came to the rescue. Knowing how to change the tire myself, now that’s a different story…
In all seriousness, reliability and high availability are especially critical when it comes to keeping your business – including your branch locations – up and running. After all, downtime has disastrous consequences on your day-to-day operations, productivity, customer experience, and revenue. Imagine you’re in a retail environment and the WAN goes down, even for 10 minutes: the Point of Sale (POS) system is kaput, thus transactions are halted, customers are upset, and you’ve just lost thousands of dollars or more in revenue!
So what happens if your server, WAN, or worse, total system, fails? Read More »
Tags: Cisco, enterprise networks, failover, insidebranch, ISR, ISR-AX, reliability, UCS, UCS-E Series, VMware
We’re in November now, so of course it’s getting chilly outside -- even here in California! This means the holidays are right around the corner and retailers are gearing up for their busiest time of year. A growing trend these days is that more than half of holiday shoppers with smartphones plan to use these devices while shopping (53.8%, National Retail Federation). What better motivation for retailers to increase sales in all of their stores this season than by enhancing customers’ shopping experience with something like Facebook?
On the other side of town unfortunately, the holiday season goes hand-in-hand with the sniffling and coughing brought on by the winter cold and flu season. As usual, doctors will expect an influx of patients in their offices in the coming months. IT staff at hospitals need to prepare for the increased medical data traversing through the network and beyond.
Cisco UCS E-series on the ISR-AX is a consolidated solution in a single platform. With this solution, retailers can virtualize and host POS, video surveillance, and other applications. Doctors in medical offices of any size can focus on taking care of their patients rather than worry about the network slowing them down.
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Tags: facebook, healthcare, insidebranch, ISR, ISR-AX, mobile, point of sale, retail, UCS, UCS-E Series, virtualization