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Bringing Up a New Branch Site the Easy Way with Prime Infrastructure – Part 1

If you have a need to set up networking for a new satellite clinic, a bank branch, a retail store or any other branch site, you probably have a lot of pressure to do it fast. After all, branches are where business actions take place. Did you know that branch locations and users consume 70% ~ 90% of a typical company’s business resources? Anything you can do to speed up the deployment and to reduce resource consumption is a big plus for your company’s topline growth and bottom line savings. In this 5-part blog series, I will share with you how to do so easily with Cisco Prime Infrastructure. We’ll use weekly blogs to accomplish it, and here’s the plan.

WAN deployment – blog 1 (This blog)
Converged wired and wireless deployment – blog 2
Application performance – blog 3
Troubleshooting – blog 4
Network health – blog 5
 Steve Song Blog pic 1

 

Let’s get started right away. The first thing for any remote site networking is WAN connectivity. That’s our focus of this blog. Cisco Intelligent WAN (IWAN) solution is an ideal way to go that provides transport flexibility and intelligent path control, plus support for high performance applications and security. But first thing first. We need to think about how to bring a new branch router into production. Read More »

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Gartner Recognizes Cisco WAAS as a Leader in the Magic Quadrant for WAN Optimization

I’m very excited and proud to announce that Gartner has placed Cisco into the Leaders quadrant in the Magic Quadrant for WAN Optimization. We believe this accomplishment reflects the substantial progress Cisco has made in developing and executing on its vision for the Cisco Intelligent WAN (IWAN) with Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS) over the past three years – a record that we feel clearly demonstrates Cisco’s ability to compete in this space.

Magic Quadrant for WAN Optimization

gartner blog pic

*Source: Gartner (March 2015)

The timing couldn’t be better

The analyst research and press coverage tells us loud and clear that the WAN is hotter than ever, and for good reason: mobility, cloud and the digitization of the enterprise are changing how we consume and deliver applications. Even the applications themselves are changing, as we’ve seen with the rise of a whole new class of bandwidth-intensive and latency-sensitive mobile apps and video. Read More »

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Making it easy to deploy Cisco’s Intelligent WAN

We continue to see great interest and momentum around our Intelligent WAN solution but there is one thing we are hearing loud and clear from our customers; the need for better tools to configure and manage branch sites and associated WAN connections. For those of you familiar with Cisco’s Intelligent WAN there are four main business outcomes that the solution promises to deliver:

  • Better Application Experience for Users
  • Robust Secure Access for Applications and Users
  • Lower IT Costs
  • IT Simplicity for Increased Agility

Management falls into the IT Simplicity bucket and many times while presenting our Intelligent WAN solution customers are already thinking about how they are going to reconfigure their network into an Intelligent WAN. One of the main concerns is that the more sites you have the larger the task. Quite often there are limited or no IT resources at the branch and the thought of sending someone onsite (truck rolls) to change or reconfigure the branch router can be an expensive proposition. So what can you do to take advantage of the cost savings provided by an Intelligent WAN?

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Security or Hybrid WAN’s? Do you need to choose?

Security is hot topic on everyone’s mind and for IT it is a constant challenge to stay ahead of the latest threats and vulnerabilities that their organizations face on a daily basis. Take a quick look at the news and it won’t take you long to find an article talking about the latest cyber attack that resulted in the leak of personal data. So what can organizations and more specifically IT teams do to protect themselves from threats and vulnerabilities. Personally I don’t think you can protect yourselves from all threats and vulnerabilities. Cyber threats will continue to exist and cyber criminals will continue to develop increasingly sophisticated attacks to evade even the most robust security barriers. Even if you were to isolate your network from the internet an intruder could overcome your physical security and launch an attack from within your organization.

So what can you do to protect yourself? I view security as a way to reduce your exposure to threats and you should at a minimum make sure you have the appropriate security measures in place to reduce your exposure to threats and vulnerabilities. While you may never be able to stay one step ahead of cyber attacks you should be in a position to detects threats and be able to mitigate them as fast as possible to reduce your exposure.

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Looking for cost savings? Start with the branch.

Our 2013 IT Impact Survey highlighted the importance of collaboration between business leaders and IT as trends like BYOD, data center consolidation and Cloud applications put more pressure on the network. Why collaborate? The survey highlighted that 34% of application roll outs over the prior 12 months were delayed because of not enough budget. You would think that if applications were a priority IT would be given sufficient budget to make sure the network was ready to handle the extra traffic. Unfortunately, according to Nemertes, most organizations’ WAN budgets will remain flat or decline in 2015, meaning that adding bandwidth is often not an option for IT. So how can you do more with less?

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