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Fosdem 2016, part 2: NBAR 2 gives insights into the protocols used on the network

Continuing the analysis of the data collected during Fosdem 2016, see XXX.

This year, we replaced the router with a more powerful model: an ASR 1006 with RP2 and SIP20 modules. This allowed us to enable the NBAR 2 feature to analyse the traffic crossing the router.

NBAR 2 is a traffic analysis engine which allows the router to classify traffic into applications. It does this on the basis of ports, but also based on the content of the traffic itself. It recognizes, for example, the difference between general web traffic and traffic to youtube.

This feature is designed to be used as a classifier for use with QoS, so that one can give higher priority to important web traffic and less to some other traffic. Now that HTTP and HTTPS are the new “TCP sockets”, meaning that more and more applications use HTTP or HTTPS to interact with the world, we need deeper insight into the traffic and just using port numbers isn’t enough anymore to discriminate between different kinds of requests.

For Fosdem, we used this to learn what kind of traffic is being generated on the network and to extract interesting information from traffic flows (but more on that in a later article).
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Is Your WLAN Ready for Unified Communications & Collaboration?

As Wi-Fi continues to be the primary mode of access, enterprise Unified Communication(UC) applications usage is increasing with smartphones, tablets and laptops.

Customers are asking, is there anything I can do to prioritize Jabber or Lync traffic over others or even identify how much of the traffic is really collaboration traffic vs. other types of media. The recently introduced Wireless Release 7.6 enhances the ability to classify Microsoft Lync 2013 and Jabber with Cisco WLAN Infrastructure.

In the first blog about Application Visibility and Control over Cisco WLAN, I captured what is AVC and the capabilities included in the release 7.4. In a subsequent blog, I had captured a success story about a customer who benefited from the reliability by deprioritizing scavenger level applications as well as captured highlights of the enhancements in release 7.5. This blog captures how the release 7.6 allows popular collaboration applications to be accurately classified and prioritized as well as provides a teaser to some of the innovations that can be expected in the future.

What exact capabilities AireOS 7.6 provide ?

The protocol pack 6.3 introduced in AireOS 7.6 allows you to identify and prioritize not just Jabber but also sub-classify Cisco Jabber Audio, Cisco Jabber IM and Cisco Jabber Video. Customers may want to prioritize the Cisco Jabber Audio as the highest priority while the others may be lower priority. Similarly you can classify not just Microsoft Lync but also Microsoft Lync Audio, rtcp and Microsoft Lync Video and thereby prioritize them separately. Read More »

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InfoVista Highlights the Significance of Cisco AVC to Application Visibility for Operators

Christopher Cullan, InfoVista

Christopher Cullan, InfoVista

InfoVista recently announced its support for Cisco’s Application Visibility & Control (AVC) as part of its Application Visibility Services solution for communications service providers (CSPs). I took some time out this week to speak with Christopher Cullan, product marketing manager for business services at InfoVista, to discuss the solution and specifically the significance of Cisco’s ISR-AX and AVC to his business.

Bob: Christopher, tell me what’s behind InfoVista’s investment in the Cisco AVC technology as part of your solution?

Christopher: Sure, by the way, you can call me Chris. Cisco AVC and the ISR-AX capability provides an attractive and simple architecture that takes advantage of the Customer Premise Equipment (CPE), and allows CSPs to offer customers a better service experience by enhancing the visibility of the service from an application perspective.

Bob: The application visibility?

Christopher: Yes, exactly—it’s a solution to the problem of the enterprises’ business-IT gap. Enterprise IT is constantly tasked to deliver greater agility to their business stakeholders, and it’s challenging for them to communicate with the business from an infrastructure perspective, including WAN services. The application is better understood and more tangible to the business because they experience it more directly (e.g. the business understands salesforce is slow today, versus the network latency is high). Having insight into not only what applications are traversing the WAN, between which users and systems and how much, but also the application performance itself, empowers enterprise IT to make better decisions and provide a greater experience to their stakeholders. In essence, it helps enterprises better align their IT to the needs of the business. Read More »

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Cisco ISR-AX is Now a Part of the Integrated Services Router Family!

On March 12thCisco announced the ISR-AX and how Cisco is changing the game, reducing complexity and making it simpler for enterprises to deliver and manage application delivery to users. Cisco is expanding the role of our Integrated Service Routers (ISRs) to deliver application-centric networks that provide granular visibility, control, and optimization without additional devices or bandwidth upgrades – Cisco® Application Experience (AX) Router family is now a part of the ISR family of routers!  The Cisco ISR-AX Routers directly integrate Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS), Application Visibility and Control (AVC), Data/IPBase and Security services into a platform that is simple to order, configure, and deploy for secure, optimized cloud connectivity and branch-office routing.  The Cisco ISR G2 and ISR-AX Routers are based on the same hardware and software that you know and love and are deploying today. Today I wanted to go into the technical details of each of the components. Read More »

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A Better (and More Affordable) Way to Deliver a High Quality Application Experience from Anywhere

Today, marks an important milestone in the history of routing, as Cisco introduces ISR-AX (Integration Services Router Generation 2 with Application Experience) and redefines the role of the router as the application delivery platform.

Quintiles – a biopharmaceutical in Durham, North Carolina – has experienced, first-hand, the benefits of an application aware router. They have successful rolled out VDI to thousands of users globally with key services of ISR-AX, namely Cisco Wide Area Application Services (WAAS). With this solution, they have been able to onboard new acquisition employees within days instead of months, and dramatically increase productivity.

HDR – an Omaha, Nebraska-based architecture and construction firm – also relies on application services integrated on the router to guarantee application performance. HDR runs several mission-critical engineering applications worldwide, which are latency sensitive and transport over 10 terabyte files. They depend on the Cisco Application and Visibility (AVC) services available on the ISR-AX to provide a high quality of experience and resolve issues in a matter of minutes and minimize downtime. Read More »

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