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Inside the Branch: UCS E-series 101

Recently, I was chatting with Hugo Vliegen, Director of Technical marketing, Enterprise Networks, and he was telling me all of the questions he had been getting from customers about the Cisco UCS E-Series.  Questions such as:

  • What’s this rumor I’ve heard that Cisco has a server that sits on a branch router?
  • You’re telling me the UCS E-Series is enterprise-class? What does that even mean?
  • What’s new on the Cisco ISR series?

So I suggested we do an interview series with Hugo – something short and fun where he could get the Cisco experts on the record and help our customers learn a little more about the UCS E-Series. Read More »

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Another “Better Together” Combination: Cisco and Akamai

register for webinarsTwo Companies Agree to Improve Application Delivery Over the Internet and Hybrid WANs

Today, Cisco and Akamai announced plans to work together to deliver the world’s first integrated Application Optimization solution for hybrid WANs, leveraging the Internet as a fast, reliable, and secure WAN option. The anticipated solution would leverage the most widely deployed enterprise router: the Cisco Integrated Services Router (ISR), and Akamai’s new Unified Performance solution.  We believe this collaboration will come as a pleasant surprise for Network and Application IT teams, who can appreciate the value in combining two great things that work even better together, while dramatically lowering their operational expenses.

First, let me explain what Akamai Unified Performance offers. As a proven leader in content delivery over the Internet, Akamai is now providing a new set of caching, and bandwidth optimization technologies to enable high-quality online experiences within “brick and mortar” locations. It basically brings Akamai’s world-class performance and optimization technology into the branch office.  With Akamai Unified Performance, retailers and enterprises can engage customers and employees in new, more immersive experiences through digital media, while alleviating the burden of more traffic over the wide-area network (WAN).

[EDITOR NOTE 11/13/13: The Cisco communities where you’d normally register for webinars are undergoing an update.  You can still register for the Nov 20 and Dec 11 webinars]

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A Brave New World for IT: Internet as WAN

Today’s IT organizations are stuck between a rock and a hard place. Most face an avalanche of new bandwidth requirements hitting their networks, yet too few resources to support the business’ needs.  In 2013, three out of four organizations will not have any additional wide area network (WAN) budget (Nemertes Research). That means 75% of IT teams will not be able to buy more bandwidth to address exponential traffic growth, and will need to re-think their entire approach to the network if they want stay successful.  Treading water will not be an option.

Here is a sampling of the trends that are challenging IT now:


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What the Heck is a Service Container?

Virtualizing services within the network

Picture1When we launched the new ISR 4451-X at Cisco Live a few months back, one of the Big New Things we talked about was the Service Container architecture.  Unless you were paying close attention to the 4451-X, you might have missed that whole thing.  So what the heck is a Service Container?

To put it simply, a Service Container is a virtual machine running within the network itself.  Instead of your typical server virtual machine, these VMs can be used to enhance the capabilities of the underlying network itself.  Service Containers can add additional services, such as WAN Optimization, to the network.  They can also enhance the capabilities of network devices by adding things like new programmable interfaces to the network.  In some cases they can even be used to add impressive capabilities to the network from trusted third party developers.

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Webinar: Service Containers Transforms the Router

#GameChanger is the one word we used to describe the new branch router: ISR 4451-X.  We said it was designed from the ground up with rich services and application delivery in mind.  How did we do that?  Two words: Service Containers.

Service Containers are embedded into the router hardware itself, making it easy for you to manage and operate network services and applications.  Services and applications are protected within each container, making it possible for each service to perform at the level that you need to, but also gives you the flexibility as its embedded nature entails.  And since these containers can talk to each other even if they are on a separate device, you get high availability for your branch automatically. Read More »

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