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IWAN Wed: LiveAction 4.0 True Scalability at Any Scale

Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 2.57.54 PMLiveAction 4.0, shipped in late June 2014, brings increased scalability to enable users the ability to see thousands of devices across their entire network on a single pane of glass. It provides centralized visibility and management enhancements while leveraging the intuitive user interface and robust troubleshooting capabilities that LiveAction has become known for.

Through a highly expandable architecture, LiveAction 4.0 provides a consolidated view for the entire network bringing central management and coordination of nodes, distributed analytics management and device interaction and configuration. This allows network administrators to easily troubleshoot and resolve performance issues in networks with multiple data centers and geographically dispersed branch offices.

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IWAN Wed: Say “Yes” and “Now” with Akamai Connect

Cisco and Akamai ConnectHas this happened to you? The line of business comes to you one day and says they have this great new idea to train the sales teams.  “Let’s use YouTube videos”, they say.  Or the CMO comes to you and says, “digital signage will increase our revenue if we can promote this next new line of products that is about to launch”.  Or “This new cloud application looks great and it will increase employee productivity!”

But all you could say was ‘no, that’s not possible’.  Not because you didn’t want to enable each of these groups but because 1) you are short of resources or 2) budget is tight or 3) the infrastructure just isn’t ready yet.  Any or all of the above?

With 80% of the workforce in a non-HQ location, enabling these digital services is daunting to IT.  What happens to other business critical applications if the WAN is flooded with YouTube videos?  Digital Signage is a great idea, sure, but how do I distribute those HD videos or images to the stores?  Cloud applications may seem like not much as a user but what happens if all my users are accessing the cloud at the same time? Read More »

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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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Glue Networks Software-Defined WAN Deployed at MWH Global

GlueCorporateLogo

Software Defined Networking is at the center of many discussions and debates regarding networking, and right fully so. It means many different things to many different people, and there is a lot of confusion and discrepancy in the term.  You can ask 10 different people what SDN means, and you will get 10 different answers. If you ask me, SDN is today what cloud was five years ago.   I won’t attempt to define what exactly SDN means, but what I will say is that like cloud, the value of SDN will clarify itself over time with powerful use cases and meaningful applications.  Case in point, at the Spring 2014 Open Networking User Group (ONUG) meeting in New York City, the ONUG board of directors proposed nine different use cases that were most likely to be in an RFI/RFQ in the next 12 months.  From these use cases, the IT business leader community at ONUG chose Software Defined WAN as the most critical use case in open networking today.

While the idea of SDN in general is exciting and powerful, most companies are in the planning stages of their SDN and automation vision.  Most believe it will take at least two to three years to architect and realize the benefits of automation across the enterprise.  What’s driving SDN is the promise of the following benefits:

  1. Management: Manual -> Automated Networks
  2. Configuration: Box Centric -> Network Wide
  3. Speed/Agility: Weeks/months -> Minutes
  4. Interoperable: Closed system -> Open System

Currently, there are very few, if any, companies who have completed their SDN strategy.  Partially because it’s quite complex with many permutations, and partially because it’s so important to get it right.  While planning for SDN and automation in the enterprise, there are two key things to consider:

  1. SDN applications must add value to the existing network today
  2. SDN applications must be able to integrate into the customer’s vision for SDN and automation.

There will be a transition between beginning and end state, but any SDN tool being considered must show value on the network as it is currently deployed and allow for integration with future architectures and platforms.  If these considerations can be met, there is a clear reason to begin deployment today.  Companies desire a mature solution in global production that enables value through SD WAN, meeting all of the benefits above, not just the promise of those benefits.   Glue Networks can provide these benefits. Read More »

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Bandwidth Alone Will Not Solve Branch Application Performance

Mark Lohmeyer CLUS 2014For years, many IT organizations have been addressing slow application performance by adding more bandwidth. With broadband speeds available at over 100 Mbps, and the future of Fiber-optic at 1 Gbps, you would think bandwidth would solve all our application problems. However, many organizations are quickly learning that bandwidth on its own is not the answer, especially when it comes to the branch office.

So what is the problem? While connections are getting faster, branch offices still need high reliability. We all know downtime can be very costly. The Aberdeen group estimates that downtime can cost a company, on average, over $160,000 per hour.  And, some hours are more costly than others. For example, if your CEO is talking to shareholders during an earnings call and the network goes out – I would imagine that would cost someone their job.

There are several factors to consider on why “throwing bandwidth at the problem” is not enough. First, let’s consider the impact of data center virtualization. Over the past decade, organizations have been consolidating applications to their data centers. While IT has benefitted from cost savings, applications have moved further away from users. This has resulted in a delay in application response times, which is felt strongest by branch users. Read More »

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